Station Name: BLAKE HALL


[Source: Nick Catford]

Date opened: 1865
Location: Intermediate station on the branch line from Epping - Ongar. On the west side of Blake Hall Road.
Company on opening: Great Eastern Railway
Date closed to passengers: 31.10.1981
Date closed completely: 31.10.1981
Company on closing: London Transport Executive
Present state: The platform has been demolished but the station building survives as a private dwelling.
County: Essex
OS Grid Ref: TL523038
Date of visit: April 1981

Notes: Blake Hall station was first opened by the Eastern Counties Railway on 1 April 1865, serving principally as a goods station taking agricultural produce from the nearby farms into central London. It was named after Blake Hall, a country house located a mile or so to the north east of the station in the village of Bobbingworth, and inhabited by a family of substantial local land owners. The station was built as part of the landlord's agreement to build a railway through his land.

The Ongar branch was taken over by the London Passenger Transport Board as part of their 1935 New Works Plan to extend tube lines to the outer suburbs. Initially steam locomotives operated by British Railways for the Underground ran a shuttle service from Epping to Ongar from 1949 to 1957, when the line was electrified and taken over by the Underground's Central Line. British Railways continued to run a freight service over the branch until 1966.

The station subsequently became known as the least used on the entire Underground (not surprisingly: fare subsidies provided on the rest of the underground system were not provided on this part of the line due to the failure of local government agencies for Essex and London to agree their respective public transport responsibilities, and Blake Hall station was located a considerable distance from any substantial settlement). By the time it was closed on 31 October 1981, the station was reported to have only seventeen passengers a day. The entire Epping to Ongar branch was closed 13 years later, on 30 September 1994. The station building still exists (it has since been converted into a private home), as does the now reopened line passing it; but the small coal depot at the western end of the station was closed in the early 1960s, soon after the line's electrification, and the passenger platform has now also been demolished.

Other web sites: The Holden F5Locomotive Trust
Abandoned tube stations
Epping Ongar Railway

Blake Hall Station looking west in October 1973
Photo by Alan Young

Blake Hall Station in April 1981
Photo by Nick Catford

Blake Hall Station looking west in 1981, shortly after closure
Photo by Brian Gronland

Blake Hall Station looking east in the mid 1980's
Photo by Craig Ian Gonsalves

Blake Hall Station looking east in October 2005
Photo by Pendar Silwood

Click on thumbnail to enlarge

[Source: Nick Catford]

Last updated: Tuesday, 20-Apr-2010 16:11:34 BST
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