Station Name: HOLMSLEY


[Source: Nick Catford]

Date opened: 1.6.1847
Location: On the west side of Station Road (loop off A35)
Company on opening: Southampton & Dorchester Railway
Date closed to passengers: 4.5.1964
Date closed completely: 7.8.1967
Company on closing: British Railways (Southern Region)
Present state: The platform is still extant, a public footpath follows the course of the line west towards Ringwood through Holmsley Station. The station building on the opposite side of Station Road has been extended and converted into a tea room.
County: Hampshire
OS Grid Ref: SU232007
Date of visit: March 1983 & February 2003

Notes: The station was known as Christchurch Road until 13.11.1862. The goods service was withdrawn from the station on 1.5.1961.

BRIEF HISTORY OF SOUTHAMPTON & DORCHESTER RAILWAY (Lymington Junction to Hamworthy Junction)
The South Western's first major push westwards occurred after collaboration with Charles Castleman, a Wimborne solicitor, and the opening of 'Castleman's Snake' from Northam to Dorchester during June and July 1847. From Lymington Junction, Brockenhurst, the line swept inland through Holmsley (known as Christchurch Road until 1888), Ringwood, West Moors, Wimborne and Broadstone before continuing southwestward to Wareham and Dorchester. The usual destination was Bournemouth West. The line was opened by the Southampton & Dorchester Railway although the service was provided by the London & South Western. The S & D amalgamated with the LSWR in 1848.

When the 'Branksome avoiding line' and the 'Holes Bay curve' were opened on 1st June 1893 they removed the need for reversals at Bournemouth West and Broadstone respectively for the Southampton - Dorchester- Weymouth service and the line from Lymington Junction through Ringwood to Hamworthy Junction lost all main line traffic except for Weymouth extras avoiding Bournemouth.

On summer Saturdays in Southern days the line served as useful alternatives for some of the many holiday trains run at peak periods. A few through trains from Waterloo ran to Swanage. Traffic on the line was always light and closure had been proposed before the line was eventually axed under Beeching from 4 May 1964, although goods traffic continued to use the line to Ringwood from Broadstone Junction until 7th August 1967, after which it was cut back to West Moors where occasional military trains served a fuel depot until 1974. After that, a local twice-weekly goods service to Wimborne together with the presence there of an exhibition train company base, kept the western stub of the line in use until 1977

Sources: A regional history of the Railways of Great Britain - Volume 2 Southern England
David & Charles 1961
Rail Routes in Hampshire & East Dorset by David Fereday Glenn - Ian Allen 1983

Web sites: Rural Rides describes the entire route today with many photographs

To see the other stations on the former Salisbury & Dorset Junction Railway click on the station name: Ringwood, Ashley Heath, West Moors & Wimborne

Painting of Holmsley Station
Received from Margaret Pickup

Holmsley Station in April 1964
Photo received from Neil Lambourne

Holmsley Station on March 1983
Photo by Nick Catford

Holmsley Station building is on the other side of Station Road, it has now been converted into a tea room. Seen here in February 2003
Photo by Tim Grose

Click on thumbnail to enlarge




[Source: Nick Catford]

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