Heritage Locations

Curzon Street Station, Birmingham


World's oldest surviving piece of monumental railway architecture

Constructor:
Unclassified

Period of construction:
1800 - 1849

Transport Trust plaque:
No

Transport Mode:
Rail

Address:
New Canal Street, Birmingham B2 4ND

Postcode:
B2 4ND

Nearest Town:
Birmingham

Heritage Centre:
No


Curzon Street Station was a railway station in Birmingham in the 19th century and is the world's oldest surviving piece of monumental railway architecture. It acted as the terminus for both the London and Birmingham Railway and the Grand Junction Railway, with lines connecting Birmingham to London and to Manchester and Liverpool respectively. The two companies had adjacent, parallel platforms but no through services were provided.

The station was opened in 1838, with the first train from London to Birmingham arriving on September 17. However, the railway station was inconveniently located on the eastern edge of Birmingham city centre. For this reason, its use as a passenger station was short-lived. When the London and North Western Railway was created in 1846, they decided to build a new joint station with the Midland Railway at New Street. It was about half a mile west of Curzon Street Station. When this was completed in 1854, Curzon Street ceased regular passenger use, although holiday excursions ran from the station until 1893. However, it remained in use as a goods station until its closure in 1966. The station was known simply as 'Birmingham' until November 1852, when the suffix 'Curzon Street' was added. A smaller goods station, Lawley Street Goods Station, was located to the east of the station.

The surviving entrance building, which was designed by Philip Hardwick and constructed in 1838, is three storeys tall but relatively small. The architecture is Roman inspired, following Hardwick's trip to Italy in 1818-19. It has tall pillars running up the front of the building, made out of a series of huge blocks of stone.

The design mirrored the Euston Arch at the London end of the L&BR. As part of the original design, the building was to be flanked by two arches leading into the station, but excavations revealed that these were never built. The interior housed the booking hall, with a large iron balustraded stone staircase, a refreshment room and offices. It is Listed Grade I.

Latterly, the building was used by a University of Birmingham student theatre group and also proposed as a new home for the Royal College of Organists - the proposal foundered in 2005 for lack of funds. A Parcelforce depot to the rear of the station was demolished in May 2006. The building is currently unused, other than for occasional art exhibitions. The City Council had intended that a refurbished building would form the centrepiece of the City Park and Masshouse development scheme, but these plans have been superseded by the High Speed 2 proposal. The new station would leave the surviving entrance building intact and could even incorporate it.


Bibliography:

Barman, C., An Introduction to Railway Architecture, Art & Technics, ASIN: B001HX58XI (1950)

Biddle, Gordon, Britain's Historic Railway Buildings, Oxford University Press, ISBN-10: 0198662475 (2003)

Biddle, Gordon & Nock, O.S., The Railway Heritage of Britain : 150 years of railway architecture and engineering, Studio Editions, ISBN-10: 1851705953 (1990)

Biddle, Gordon and Simmons, J., The Oxford Companion to British Railway History, OUP, ISBN 0 19 211697 5 (1997)

Biddle, Gordon, The Great Railway Stations of Britain, OUP, ISBN-10: 0715382632 (1986)

Binney, Marcus. and Pearce, D., Railway Architecture, Bloomsbury Books, ISBN-10: 0856132691 (1985)

Butt, R.V.J., The Directory of Railway Stations, Patrick Stephens, ISBN-10: 1852605081 (1995)

Conolly, W. Philip, British Railways Pre-Grouping Atlas And Gazetteer, Ian Allan, ISBN 0-7110-0320-3 (1958/97)

Cragg, R. Civil Engineering Heritage: Wales and West Central England, Thomas Telford, ISBN-10: 0727725769 (1997)

Eyre-Todd, George, The London & North-Western Railway, BiblioBazaar, ISBN-10: 1110394144 (2009)

Foster, Richard. Birmingham New Street - The Story of a Great Station, Including Curzon Street, 1: Background and beginnings: the years up to 1860, Wild Swan Publications, ISBN 0-906867-78-9 (1990)

Lloyd, David & Insall, Donald, Railway Station Architecture, David & Charles, ISBN-10: 071537575X (1978)

Miller, Frederic, Vandome, Agnes & McBrewster, John, Curzon Street Railway Station, Alphascript Publishing, ISBN-10:  6134031720 (2009)

Ransom, P.J.G., The Archaeology of the Transport Revolution, Littlehampton, ISBN-10: 043714335X (1984)

Ransom, P.J.G., The Victorian Railway and How it Evolved, William Heinemann, ISBN: 0434980838 1989)

Reed, M., The London & North Western Railway, Atlantic Transport Publishers, ISBN-10: 0906899664 (1996)



Opening Times:
Visible at all times, especially from trains on the east side of New Street

How To Find:

By road: Off A47, on New Canal Street

By rail: Adjacent to Birmingham New Street Station


Facilities:
http://weather.msn.com/RSS.aspx?wealocations=wc:UKXX0018&weadegreetype=C


Birmingham, GBR - Weather via MSN Weather

Weather conditions and forecast for Birmingham, GBR


Current Conditions: Clear in Birmingham, GBR (as of 5:20 AM 8/20/2014)

Current conditions (as of 5:20 AM)
Clear
Clear. 9°C (Feels like 8). Humidity: 82% Winds: 7 km/hr WSW.
All times shown are local to Birmingham, GBR.
Detailed ten-day forecast   Hourly weather forecast    Weather maps    Weather averages


Forecast for Wednesday, August 20, 2014 for Birmingham, GBR

Today: Showers / Clear.Showers / Clear Lo: 7°C. Hi: 17°C. Chance of precipitation: 35%
Tomorrow: Showers / Clear.Showers / Clear Lo: 10°C. Hi: 18°C. Chance of precipitation: 50%
Friday: Showers / Clear.Showers / Clear Lo: 8°C. Hi: 17°C. Chance of precipitation: 70%
Saturday: Showers / Clear.Showers / Clear Lo: 6°C. Hi: 17°C. Chance of precipitation: 65%
Sunday: Partly Cloudy.Partly Cloudy Lo: 12°C. Hi: 16°C. Chance of precipitation: 30%

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