Station Name: BRITANNIA BRIDGE

[Source: Paul Wright]

Date opened: 18.3.1850
Location: East side of an overbridge (probable)
Company on opening: Chester & Holyhead Railway
Date closed to passengers: 1.10.1858
Date closed completely: 1.10.1858
Company on closing: Chester & Holyhead Railway
Present state: Demolished
County: Caernarvonshire
OS Grid Ref: SH543707
Date of visit: 23.7.2011 & 17.10.2012

Notes: Britannia Bridge station was located at the south end of the Britannia Bridge that spanned the Menai Straits linking Wales with Anglesey. The station was opened as was part of the Chester and Holyhead Railway Company’s line which was engineered by Robert Stephenson. The line opened to Banger in North Wales on the 1st May 1848 and between Holyhead and Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogochuchaf, both on the island of Anglesey on the 1st August 1848. The reason for the gap in the route was because the Britannia Bridge across the Menai Straights was still under construction. Passengers travelled from Bangor to Llanfair PG by horse drawn coach using Thomas Telford’s Menai road bridge.

Finally, the Britannia Bridge opened to public services on the18th March 1850 and from that date through trains could run between Chester and Holyhead. Britannia Bridge station opened at this time presumably to allow the local population to gain access to the Anglesey, via the bridge, by train.

The line was a double track so the station was provided with two platforms which were on a sharp curve and both of which were low and quite short. The Holyhead platform was constructed using a timber edge which was backfilled with earth and topped with cinders or gravel. The Chester platform was made up from timber boards. Lamps were provided on both
platforms. The southern end of the Britannia Bridge was at the north end of the platforms. The bridge consisted of iron tubes that were carried on stone pillars. The railway lines ran in their own tubes. Adjacent to each platform two large pillars supported lion statues.

It is likely that the Britannia Bridge station was only served by local train services but it is not known for sure which services called there.

The area at the southern end of the bridge was sparsely populated and it is likely that the station was not well used. It closed in 1858 when a new station opened further to the east. The new station was called Menai Bridge and was located at the point where the Caernarfon Railway joined the Chester Holyhead line.

For a full history of the Chester - Holyhead line see the North Wales Coast Railway web site

Further reading: The Chester & Holyhead Railway by Peter E. Baughan (1972) - Volume 1 & 2, Published by David & Charles ISBN 10-0715356178 and Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain Vol. 11, North & Mid Wales by P.E. Baughan, published by David & Charles (1991) ISBN-10: 0946537593. Tickets from Michael Stewart

To see other stations on the Chester - Holyhead line click on the station name: Sandycroft, Queensferry, Connahs Quay, Bagillt, Holywell Junction, Mostyn, Talacre, Prestatyn (1st site), Prestatyn (2nd site and Dystrth branch platform), Foryd, Llandulas, Llysfaen, Old Colwyn, Mochdre & Pabo, Llandudno Junction (1st site), Conway, Conway Marsh, Llanfairfechan, Aber, Menai Bridge, Gaerwen & Valley  


Looking northwest from the Holyhead platform of Britannia Bridge station in the 1850s probably not long after the station and the bridge had opened. Three passengers can be seen waiting to board a train to Anglesey. Beyong the station is Britannia Bridge which carried the Chester and Holyhead Railway over the Menai Straits. Each line of the railway was carried over the straits in an iron tube which was supported on stone piers.
Photo copyright Archive Images

1889 1:2,500 OS map.


Looking northwest at the site of Britannia Bridge station probably taken c.1860s. All traces of the station platforms had been swept away although what was probably the station
building is still visible on the right.

Looking northwards at the site of Britannia Bridge station in the early 1960s over 100 years after it had closed. The station was located between the white gate and the lion statue.

The site of Britannia Bridge station looking northwest towards the bridge in 1966.
Photo by Angus McCulluch, reproduced from Geograph under creative commons licence.

Looking northwards from the site of Britannia Bridge station's Holyhead platform (left) in March 1970. A Sulzer type 2 locomotive can be seen heading towards Chester on a goods working
having just come off the bridge.
P
hoto by Berriff3

Looking west at the site of Britannia Bridge station in July 2011. The structure above the station site is the road deck of the Britannia Bridge. On the evening of the 23rd of May 1970 some boys who were playing on the structure dropped a burning torch which set light to the tar coated roof of the tubes. The bridge was severely damaged the tubes themselves were beyond saving. The bridge was closed until the 30th of January 1972 when one line was re-opened. It was then substantially altered and a road deck was installed above the railway. The road deck which carried the A55 opened in 1980.
Photo by Paul Wright

The station building at Britannia Bridge looking north in July 2011. Amazingly although the station had been closed for over 150 years the building was still standing.
Photo by Paul Wright

Inside the station building at Britannia Bridge looking north in March 2012.
Photo by Carl Williams


The site of Britannia Bridge station looking north-west in October 2012.

July 2011

July 2011

March 2012

 


Click n thumbnail to enlarge

 

 

 

[Source: Paul Wright]


Home Page
Last updated: Wednesday, 17-Oct-2012 16:00:41 BST
© 1998-2012 Disused Stations