[Source: Nick Catford]

Date opened: 1.6.1907
Location: North side of Monks Lane
Company on opening: London Brighton & South Coast Railway
Date closed to passengers: 11.9.1939
Date closed completely: Before 1945
Company on closing: Southern Railway
Present state: Three concrete pillars that once supported waiting rooms survive, two on the up side and one on the down.
County: Kent
OS Grid Ref: TQ422487
Date of visit: Not visited

Notes: Both Monks Lane Halt and Hurst Green Halt to the south of Oxted opened on 1 June 1906 to cater for expected residential development. At Hurst Green the development came and the halt is still open today but at Monks Lane it failed to materialise and with little passenger traffic the halt closed on 11 September 1939. The halt was reopened during WW2 to serve a near by military camp.

The halt consisted of two short timber platforms suitable for use by single carriage railmotors. Each platform had a corrugated iron waiting shelter supported on two concrete pillars to the rear of the platforms. The shelter had an internal wooden seat. On the platform there were two oil lamp standards, a bench seat and a name board. Access to the halt was along two footpaths from Monks Lane running to the north end of the platforms.

At closure the halt was served by four down trains on weekdays at 07.43, 11.02 am and 12.37 and 8.01 pm. There were only three up trains at 10.31 am and 12.16 and 1.53 pm. The first up service being mid-morning ensured that the halt would be of no use to commuters. There was no Sunday service.

In 1878 powers were obtained for a 1 mile long spur between Ashurst Junction on the East Grinstead - Groombridge Line and Birchden Junction, 1 mile north of Eridge on the Uckfield line. This enabled Groombridge to be bypassed without a reversal there. It remained largely unused until the opening of the Oxted & Groombridge Railway's line from Hurst Green Junction south of Oxted to Ashurst Junction. The local company was incorporated in 1861 and taken over by the LBSCR in 1864 four years before the line opened in 1888. The line opened to Edenbridge on 2.1.1888 and to Groombridge on 1.10.1888 with intermediate stations at Edenbridge Town, Hever, Cowden and Ashurst.

To save operating costs a number of new halts were opened in the south east from 1906 with the introduction of single carriage railmotors fitted with mechanically worked controls to enable them to be hauled or propelled by small tank locomotives. These halts were served only by the railmotors; two of these were at Hurst Green and Monks Lane between Oxted and Edenbridge Town. Husrt Green Halt was closed on 12.6.1961 and replaced by a new station on the north side of Greenhurst Lane.

By the 1960's the Beeching era had begun and by 1964 new timetables were introduced making travel difficult with long waits for connections, by now a common ploy to reduce the number of passengers. The railway board wanted to close the line south of Hurst Green Junction to Lewes, together with the branch to Tunbridge Wells West. This met with vigorous opposition from local authorities and private individuals. Eventually the Minister gave way and agreed closure between Uckfield and Lewes from 6th January 1969.

With the closure of the branch from Eridge - Tunbridge Wells West on 8.7.1985, British Rail issued a circular denying rumours of closure south of Hurst Green Junction. Even so a scheme to `Rationalise' and re-signal the line was undertaken and some sections were changed to single track but the line remains open.

Tickets from Michael Stewart. Route map drawn by Alan Young.

To see the other stations on the Oxted & Groombridge Railway click on the station name: Oxted, Hurst Green Halt, Hever, Cowden, Ashurst & Groombridge

The up platform at Monks Lane Halt in August 1947. Facilities were basic consisting of an open waiting room, a bench seat to the right of the waiting room, a lamp at either end of the platform and a name board; now without irs letters. The entrance to the platform is on the left by the lamp.
Photo from John Mann collection

1880 1:2,500 OS map shows the site of Monks Lane Halt before the line was built. The original alignment of Monks Lane is seen. When the line was build the road was realigned to the south to allow for a bridge.

1912 1:2,500 OS map shows the two short platforms to the north of Monks Lane, each accessed by a footpath from the road. The original road alignment is still clearly visible

Monks Lane Halt down platform circa early 1950s. The lamp standard beside the telegraph pole has now lost its lamp.
Photo from John Mann collection

The site of Monks Lane Halt down platform in 2009. One of the concrete pillars that supported the rear of the corrugated iron waiting room is seen.
hoto by Colin Watts

The site of Monks Lane Halt up platform in 2009. The two concrete pillars that supported the rear of the corrugated iron waiting room are seen.
hoto by Colin Watts

Looking north from Monks Lane at the site of Monks Lane Halt in May 2011.
Photo by Robin Webster, reproduced from Geograph under creative commons licence





:[Source: Nick Catford]

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