Thursday, June 13, 2024

UK train station in a quiet village is the oldest in the world

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This train station in a quiet UK village is believed to be the world’s oldest.

Heighington and Aycliffe Railway Station in County Durham has been described as one of “England’s most important” by Historic England.

This is thanks to research by Friends of the Stockton & Darlington Railway and Historic England which found when the building was completed.

It has been dated back to 1827, which would make it the oldest train station in the world. This was previously thought to be Liverpool Road Station in Manchester, which opened in 1830.

The station in Newton Aycliffe was initially listed as Grade II in 1980 due to its importance in the early development of the Stockton & Darlington Railway. 

It was upgraded last year to Grade II*, elevating the station to the top 10 percent of England’s most important historic buildings.

The building was commissioned before the concept of a railway station had been developed to be used as a stopping point for trains.

It was also intended to be a tavern to provide shelter and refreshment for workers and customers at the adjacent coal and goods depot, the Darlington and Stockton Railway.

Sarah Charlesworth from Historic England said: “It’s amazing to think that this simple building in County Durham helped to inspire a way of travelling that’s used by billions of people across the world.”

She added: “From the humblest single platform station to the vast terminals of St Pancras and the Gard du Nord, they all owe a debt to Heighington and Aycliffe Railway Station.”

The station’s upgraded listing is part of the work of the Stockton & Darlington Railway Heritage Action Zone, a five-year heritage-led conservation and economic development scheme in partnership with Historic England, local authorities and other stakeholders.

The Stockton & Darlington Railway played a significant step in the development of the railways and was where George Stephenson’s Locomotion No1 was put on the rails for the first time.

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