Twenty-six signal boxes in England have been given Grade II listed status by the Department for Culture Media and Sport
The listings come as Network Rail decommissions many of the mechanical signal boxes, which are to be replaced by 12 regional centres as part of a 30-year plan to modernise the signalling system.
Network Rail worked with English Heritage to identify and protect a representative sample of the most significant designs and bring about the listings. The listed signal boxes date from the 1870s to the 1920s, with many still retaining their original operating equipment.
The designs range from the large Saxby & Farmer designed box at Eastbourne, to simple single-storey timber buildings like the Stevens & Sons box at Grain Crossing in Medway, Kent. Other listed boxes include the Hebden Bridge Signal Box built in 1891, which still retains signage from 1914, and the large signal box at Totnes in Devon which is now a café.
There are around 500 signal boxes in use now compared to 10,000 in the 1940s. Constructed by specialist contractors, railway companies developed their own distinctive style of signal box, often with detailing and design beyond what was needed for their practical function.
Heritage Minister, Ed Vaizey said that the railways were one of the country’s most “endearing and enduring national preoccupations”.
He said: Signal boxes are a big part of this, and so I am very pleased indeed to be able to list these lovely examples of the type. It is greatly to Network Rail’s credit that they have worked so constructively with English Heritage to bring this project to such a successful outcome.”
Listed Signal Boxes:
- Hebden Bridge, Calderdale, West Yorkshire
- Hensall, Selby, North Yorkshire
- Bournemouth West Junction, Poole, Dorset
- Lostwithiel, Restormel, Cornwall
- Marsh Brook, Shropshire
- Par, Restormel, Cornwall
- Totnes, S Hams, Devon
- Brundall, Broadland, Norfolk
- Bury St Edmunds Yard, St Edmundsbury, Suffolk
- Downham Market, Kings Lynn and West Norfolk, Norfolk
- Skegness, East Lindsey, Lincolnshire
- Thetford, Breckland, Norfolk
- Wainfleet, East Lindsey, Lincolnshire
- Wymondham South Junction, South Norfolk, Norfolk
- Aylesford, Tonbridge and Malling, Kent
- Canterbury East, Kent
- Cuxton, Medway, Kent
- Eastbourne, East Sussex
- Grain Crossing, Medway, Kent
- Littlehampton, West Sussex
- Liverpool Street, City of London, (owned by London Underground Ltd)
- Maidstone West, Maidstone, Kent
- Rye, Rother, East Sussex
- Shepherdswell, Dover, Kent
- Snodland, Tonbridge and Malling, Kent
- Wateringbury, Maidstone, Kent