Station Name: HASSOP

[Source: Paul Wright]

Date opened: 1.8.1862
Location: East side of the B6001
Company on opening: Midland Railway
Date closed to passengers: 17.8.1942
Date closed completely: 5.10.1964
Company on closing: London Midland & Scottish Railway
Present state: Station building extant in use as a book shop, cycle hire and café. The goods dock is also extant. Both performs are now very degraded and overgrown following the removal of the edge stones shortly after closure.
County: Derbyshire
OS Grid Ref: SK217705
Date of visit: June 1989 & 2.10.2009

Notes: Hassop Station was situated on what became the Midland Railway’s (MR) main line between Ambergate and Manchester Central.

The station opened on the 1st of August 1862 as a temporary terminus of a MR line that had been authorised in May 1860 and completed from Rowsley to Hassop by that date. The line was completed through to Buxton by 1863 and it opened on the 1st June of that year. From that date Hassop became a through station.

Ever since the 1840s there had been a desire by the MR to reach the important industrial town of Manchester. Inter company rivalry, finance and landowner objections had all delayed things and it was only the possibility that rival companies might build a route between Derby and Manchester that finally moved the MR to get their Act of 1860. The line
between Rowsley and Buxton was only the first stage though as on the 1st February 1867 a further line opened from from Blackwell Mill (north of Millers Dale) to New Mills. The Midland then reached Manchester which it had long desired with the co-operation of the Manchester Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railway. . Hassop Station was now part of a main line that stretched from London to Manchester.

Hassop Station was located in a fairly isolated area about one mile to the south of the village of Hassop. Situated on the east side of a road overbridge that carries the modern day B6001 across the line the station had two platforms. The main station building, a single storey stone built structure with an extensive range of facilities, stood on the southbound platform. It was linked to the Hassop Road by its own approach road which also gave access to the station's goods yard with three sidings running behind the up platform and a stone built goods shed to the south of the station on a loop. Access to the yard was controlled by a signal box on the up side of the line south of the station. There was a 5 ton crane in the yard. The station building had a canopy on the platform which protected passengers from the elements. A two storey station master's house stood adjacent to the northbound platform.

One of the main reasons that Hassop, in such an out of the way location, was provided with a wide range of facilities, including first class waiting rooms, was because the MR had thought that the Dukes of Devonshire would use it. As things turned out they did not, preferring Rowsley.

The station's goods facilities were extensive. Located on the north side of the line to the south of the station they included a large goods shed and numerous sidings. In an area as rural as this part of the Peak District the goods yard was guaranteed a healthy business in farm produce.

When the station opened it was served by trains that ran from Ambergate but on the 1st of June 1863 after the line had opened all the way to Buxton trains calling at Hassop traveled south to Derby; long distance trains nver called at Hassop. Passenger patronage at Hassop was as good as, and sometimes better than, that at Longstone from 1872 (when MR statistics are first
available) until the early 1890s. when there was a noticeable decline perhaps due to a combination of reduced train services (there were 6 Up and 4 Down on weekdays in 1891 – with long gaps), and a consequential reduction in horse drawn vehicles meeting the trains. For example, the Chatsworth Hotel omnibus now met trains at Rowsley rather than at Hassop. The goods yard was alway much busier than the passenger station. Sunday services, of which there were two in each direction for the most part of the station’s life, were withdrawn on 3rd October 1921.

In 1923 Hassop became part of the London Midland Scottish Railway (LMS) and although that company found itself with two routes between Manchester and London, the other being the former LNWR route, Hassop remained as important as it had been in MR days for goods services. Passenger revenue though remained disappointing and the LMS closed it as a passenger station on the 17th of August 1942. When the station closed, just three trains in each direction called at Hassop (9.2am, 1.2pm, and 4.35pm in the Up direction; 8.30am, 11.32am, and 7.3pm on the Down line). This was not the sort of service to encourage people to travel, though it was wartime of course, and Great Longstone only had one extra train in each direction.  Shortly after closure the LMS partly demolished the platforms, effectively cutting them back away from the lines. This ended any hope of passenger trains ever calling again. The goods yard remained open for business.

In January 1948 Hassop became part of the nationalised British Railways (London Midland Region).  For the next fifteen years Hassop remained open for goods services. Indeed as a main line the former MR was even considered for electrification in the early 1960s. It therefore came as a surprise when all of the local stations between Matlock and Chinley were earmarked for closure in the 1963 Beeching Report. The Beeching report included the closure of all stations between Matlock (exclusive) and Buxton (inclusive)/Chinley (exclusive), other than Bakewell. Hassop of course was already closed.

Hassop station closed completely in 1964. In the same year the station master's house was sold into private ownership. Through goods services were withdrawn on 3rd October 1966, with the expresses being withdrawn on 1st July 1968 after which the line from Matlock to Peak Forest Junction closed completely. Track lifting began in 1969.

In 1982 the Peak District National Park established the Monsal Trail, a long distance path that uses many miles of the former MR route including the section that passes through Hassop station.

Hassop's station building and its cut back platforms have survived closure, and the building was used as the Country Bookshop and café. This closed at the beginning of January 2010. The new owner has refurbished the building, reopening in June 2010 with a café, smaller bookshop, and cycle hire establishment. Initial work concentrated on sandblasting the outside
of the upside station building and reducing the height of the wall along the edge of the platform.

Sources: Lost Railways of Derbyshire by Stan Yorke. Published by Geoffrey Kingscott & The Monsal Trail then and now by Alistair Lofthouse – Ald print.

Other web sites: Peak Rail now providing a regular steam service between Matlock and Rowsley. David Hey's Collection - Transition from BR steam. Includes railway photographer ER Morten's photographic tour from Buxton - Derby. Hassop Station web site.

Eight and a half miles of the Matlock - Buxton line now forms the Monsal Trail starting at Coombs Road Viaduct, one mile southeast of Bakewell and finishing at the head of Chee Dale, about three miles east of Buxton. There is a diversion round the tunnels.

Further reading: Railway from Buxton to Bakewell, Matlock and Ambergate (Scenes from the Past) by JM Bentley, 1992. Railways around Buxton by JM Bentley, 1987. Hassop: A Chronology of Railway History by Laurence Knighton, (Midland Railway Society), 2004 ISBN 0-9537486-5-0.  (Available from Midland Railway Society)

Additional notes and photo captions by Glynn Waite/Rowsley Association. Click here for a more detailed history of the complete closure process of the Derby - Buxton/Manchester line.

Additional source Glynn Waite. Tickets from Glynn Waite & Michael Stewart, route map drawn by Alan Young. Click here for a list of Hassop Station Masters.

To see other stations between Manchester Central & Matlock click on the station name:Manchester Central, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Withington & West Didsbury, Didsbury, Heaton Mersey, Cheadle Heath, Hazel Grove (Midland), Buxworth, Chinley (2nd site) STILLOPEN, Chinley (1st site), Chapel-en-le-Frith Central,
Peak Forest, Cheedale Halt, Buxton (Midland), Blackwell Mill Halt, Millers Dale, Monsal Dale, Great Longstone, Bakewell, Rowsley (Second site),
Rowsley (First site), Rowsley South PEAK RAIL, Darley Dale,
Matlock Riverside PEAK RAIL & Matlock STILL OPEN.
See also Stockport Tiviot Dale & Stockport Portwood

Hassop station looking north c.1910, with the Station Master’s house and an impressive station sign on the left. The facilities on the Down platform were sparse compared with those on the Up side, with just a gents’ urinal and a small waiting room (added in 1893) behind the veranda wall. Many photos which included station staff were taken at shift changeover times, and gave the impression that there were more people on duty than was normally the case. This appears to be such a scene. The photographer has also got a member of the permanent way staff to pose for him in this particular picture. The PW staff at Hassop were renowned for their ‘topiary’ skills, with 15 hawthorn bushes being cut into shapes of animals. This practice is believed to have started in the 1880s; the bushes were still being maintained when the line closed. Note the water column at the end of the Down platform.
Photo from Rowsley Association

A southbound goods train approachong Hassop station in 1948. Although the station only closed 6 years earlier the platform edge stones and canopy have already been removed.
Copyright photo from Stations UK

Class 4F 0-6-0 44090 hauls a down coal train through Hassop in September 1951. Although closed to passengers the goods yard remained open until 1964, the goods shed can be seen
beyond the signal box.
Copyright photo by ER Morten from the David Hey collection
A northbound freight train passes the abandoned down platform at Hassop station in September 1951
Copyright photo by ER Morten

Hassop station looking south in May 1960. At thnis tim e the goods yard was still open. The goods shed is seen in the distance with the atation master's house on the right.
Photo by H. Townley from Stan Roberts Collection/Peak Rail)

Hassop station as seen in February 1976 seven years after the track had been lifted. now partially hidden behind a stone wall.
Photo by Alan Young

Looking south from underneath the road overbridge at Hassop station in June 1989.
Photo by Nick Catford

By January 1990 Hassop Station was in use as a bookstore.
hoto by Martin Potter

Hassop station looking northwest in October 2009. The platforms were cut back shortly after the stations closure in 1942. The greater part of both platforms is however extant but obscured by vegetation.
Photo by Paul Wright

The station building from the former Down platform, with a painter still putting some finishing touches to the window frames in May 2010.
Photo by Glynn Waite

Click here for more pictures of Hassop station




[Source: Paul Wright]

Last updated: Sunday, 21-May-2017 11:03:50 CEST
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