Station Name: CASTLE HOWARD

[Source: Steve Serowka]


Date opened: 7.7.1845
Location:

South of the Welburn junction on the A64 York to Scarborough road. Located at the end of Castle Howard Station Road.

Company on opening: York & North Midland Railway
Date closed to passengers: 22.9.30
Date closed completely: 2.11.59
Company on closing: London & North Eastern Railway
Present state: Private home and holiday accommodation. Station house intact but only a narrow section of the original Scarborough bound platform remains to maintain access to former waiting room door.
County: North Yorkshire
OS Grid Ref: SE737666
Date of visit: Not visited

Notes: All stations and railway properties on the York to Scarborough line were designed by respected architect George Townsend Andrews. Due to the association with the noble residence of the same name, Castle Howard Station received special attention by Andrews to create with elaborate Italianate styling, one of the most imposing station buildings on the line.

On July 7th, 1845, just one year after the Act for the construction of the line was passed, the York to Scarborough line was opened with the usual festivities, commencing with a public breakfast at York. The inaugural train of 35 coaches left York at 11am and according to reports of the time: “proceeded at a slow rate over the line, with the first stop at Castle Howard Station to pick up Lord Morpeth.” The stop at Castle Howard probably proved quite worthwhile, as apparently the Earl of Carlisle provided “a supply of strong ale from the cellars of Castle Howard for all those who chose to partake”.

In August 1850 Queen Victoria and Prince Albert arrive by train at the station when they visit Castle Howard at the invitation of the Earl of Carlisle. The visit attracted many loyal subjects to see their Queen and the event was well documented by the Illustrated London News which published a superb engraving of the Royal train arriving at the station. Two days later the Queen continued her journey north by train to officially open the new Newcastle Central Station and the Royal Border Bridge at Berwick.

As well as being an arrival and departure point for passengers of every class and status, the station handled modest amounts of freight from from a single siding and loading dock. Over the years the goods yard at Castle Howard station had been very important to the local community, for sending and receiving goods and produce around the country. In
its heyday, the goods yard had also been invaluable to Castle Howard. This was not only for supply of the day-to-day provisions that such a large house needed, but also as a good way to get larger items like furniture and valuable works of art to the house.

A good example of this was the baroque Atlas fountain, which came from the Great Exhibition of 1851. The five figures were carved in Portland stone by John Thomas and transported to Castle Howard railway station by steam train, a great achievement considering the size and weight of the fountain. The fountain is still in use today and is very impressive despite its age.

Castle Howard Station closed to passenger traffic on 30th September 1930. Scarborough’s popularity as a seaside destination, increases the demand for more excursion express trains. To facilitate this requirement for faster trains, twelve minor stations on the York to Scarborough line closed to passenger traffic, although Castle Howard Station is still operated for local freight movements.

After the station closure the redundant wooden waiting shed on the up platform to York was let as a holiday cottage. For the next twenty years or more the holiday cottage was popular with families that wanted to explore the surrounding countryside including nearby Kirkham Priory and Castle Howard.

On 2nd November 1959 and twenty-nine years after passenger services ceased at Castle Howard Station, all freight workings came to an end. For 114 years the station has served the needs of farmers, merchants, the ordinary traveling public, nobility and even Royalty.

Now that the freight siding was no longer in use the signal box was decommissioned in 1960. In the following February, the up platform to York was removed completely. On the station building side the platform was greatly reduced in length and width, although a small section remains today to allow access to the building on its' line side. The signal box was finally demolished almost twenty years later in 1979.

The station buildings and land (goods yard) are sold for a sum of £1,000 by the British Railways Board to Mr Raymond Hodgson, a railway inspector in 1964. Rights of access are retained by the board via the station gate for track maintenance purposes, although this was closed off completely some years later.

After a succession of owners the station was sold to the present owner, Mr Edmund Collins. As well as residing at Castle Howard Station, Edmund also moved his vet practice to the station from nearby Welburn. Station House Vets continued to operate from this site until 2006, when it returned to Welburn and new purpose-built premises.

Trains still run between York and Scarborough and form part of the TransPennine Express service. During the summer months steam hauled specials pass through the old station most commonly the Scarborough Spa express.

In 2009 the old waiting room was sympathetically renovated and made into luxury self-contained holiday accommodation which appeals to people who have an interest in railways, historic buildings and the countryside.

Over the years a great deal of archive material relating to the station has been collected and this is now freely available to view on the Castle Howard Station web site. This online record contains a history timeline, many rare photographs, fares, Queen Victoria's visit, passenger numbers and fascinating personal memories spanning over a 150 years. 

Tickets from Michael Stewart


This engraving shows the arrival of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert at Castle Howard
station in August 1850. Click here to read the full report.
From Illustrated London News



Castle Howard station in early 20th century
Photo from Helena Lee collection

Castle Howard station looking north c.1905
Copyright photo from John Alsop collection

NER Fletcher 2-4-0 No. 910 passing through Castle Howard Station with the Scarborough to Leeds train c.1920. This locomotive which was built between 1872-82 still exists today and is preserved by the National Railway Museum.
Copyright photo from John Alsop collection

Castle Howard station and goods yard looking north in September 1950
Copyright photo from John Alsop collection

Castle Howard station looking south c.1950s
Photo from Ken Hoole collection

DMU passing through Castle Howard Station bound for York in the summer of 1958.
Photo from Richard Alder Collection

Castle Howard station in June 1978, little evidence of the down platform remains
P
hoto by Alan Young

Castle Howard station looking north in 2009
P
hoto by Steve Serowka


Last updated: Wednesday, 17-May-2017 08:07:12 BST
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