Notes on Rowley station by Alan Young): Although the listed date is 1.9.1845, Bradshaw continued
to show Crook as the terminus until October 1846. The station
was opened as Cold Rowley and was renamed Rowley on 1.7.1868.
Rowley station’s facilities were primitive at first, with only a rough platform and no signals — as noted in a report following an accident on the line. It is clear from the same source that passengers were carried on the route in coaches attached to mineral trains, and that some passengers took free rides in mineral wagons.The North Eastern Railway absorbed the S&D in |863.Ten years later the NER improved Rowley station, whose use was increasing as it served the growing community of Castleside, about a mile to the north-west.
A stately single-storey building in sandstone with a tall ridged roof was constructed on the down platform (north-west of the double track). Its broad, arched windows enlivened the platform elevation, and passengers were provided with both an enclosed waiting room and an open-fronted waiting area.The signal box was north- east of this platform.The up platform possessed a waiting shelter, and there was a siding to the south-east. Goods traffic handled at Rowley was principally ganister (stone) and livestock.
ln l896 four passenger trains in each direction, between Blackhill and Darlington, called at Rowley.The winter |937/38 timetableshows the same frequency. NER statistics reported that in 1900 only 9,350 tickets were issued and that the station served a population of almost 1,000. By 1931 bookings had declined to 2,548,and only 753 in 1938.Together with the LanchesterVa|ley route,the Blackhill-Tow Law passenger service through Rowley was withdrawn on I May l939. Goods traffic ceased between Burnhill and Tow Law, and this section of track was lifted in |952.
In the late l950s the track through Rowley was singled. Rowley continued to handle goods traffic until l966, and for a further three years the line through the station carried traffic from Durhills sand quarry (near Parkhead, between Waskerley and Stanhope) and the War Department siding at Burnhill. The line closed entirely on l May I969 and the track was lifted in I970.
Rowley station`s building fell into disrepair; but its future was assured when it was acquired by the North of England Open Air Museum at Beamish. ln l972 it was dismantled and reconstructed at its new home.|ohn Betjeman, Poet Laureate and tireless campaigner to retain the best of our railway legacy, formally opened the station in the museum in july |976.The building is now the centrepiece of a delightful North Eastern Railway exhibit, complete with goods yard, signal box and rolling stock, presented as a station of l913.
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE STANHOPE
& TYNE RAILWAY (Stanhope - Blackhill)
This early railway was opened in 1834 to transport limestone
from the quarries above Stanhope in Weardale and coal from the
various collieries in North Durham to South Shields. Its consulting
engineer was Robert Stephenson and the line was built without
an Act of Parliament and by means of 'Wayleaves' where the company
paid the landowner an annual rent for crossing their property.
Not surprisingly as word got out so the landowners started asking
for extortionate rents and the line was bankrupt by 1840. The
section from Consett to the Tyne was taken over by the newly
formed Pontop & Tyne railway while the rest southwards was
bought by the Derwent Iron Company to ensure a supply of limestone
to the iron works at Consett which had been established following
the discovery of iron ore in the area. It became know as the
The line had to rise several hundred feet out of Weardale by
means of inclined planes and winding engines at Crawley and
Weatherhill; the summit was worked by horses and the traffic
was lowered northwards by means of another winding engine and
the self-acting Nanny Mayors incline. More horse working followed
after which traffic was lowered down one side and hauled up
the other side of Hownes Gill and then hauled by rope to the
subsequently purchased the Derwent Railway. The line, opened to traffic in 16 May 1845, joined the former
Derwent Railway at Waskerley, at the head of Nanny Mayors Incline
where a small railway village developed on the top of the moors.
||The Derwent Iron Company was looking for an outlet to the south
and itself considered building a line towards Crook and the
Stockton and Darlington Railway but in the end it was the S&D
who constructed the Weardale Extension Railway from Crook, via
the Sunniside incline and Tow Law, on behalf of the Derwent
Iron Company and which
The Stockton and Darlington replaced the inclines by deviations
suitable for locomotives except at the Stanhope end where the
two inclines survived until 1951. Hownes Gill inclines were
replaced by a fine viaduct (still standing) in 1859 and in the
same year a new line, avoiding Nanny Mayors Incline, facilitated
through working from Crook to Consett, traffic from Stanhope
and Waskerley northwards now having to reverse at the new Burnhill
Junction. A station was built at Burnhill on the new deviation
line about half a mile north of the junction and footpath connected
it to Waskerley across the moor. Just before the new Hownes
Gill Viaduct a spur line was constructed bringing the S&D
line down to the Lanchester branch of the NER and passenger
traffic was diverted to the station at Blackhill on the western
side of the new town of Consett
The line from the Crawley incline above Stanhope to Crook carried
passengers from 1 September 1845 but no stations were initially
provided beyond Tow Law. (The S&D did advertise for tenders
for Waskerley in 1846 but almost immediately canceled it and
a station was provided for Rowley instead). The passenger service
was cut back from Crawley to Waskerley in October of the same
year, resuming on 1 April 1846 but was finally withdrawn at
the end of the year and not resumed again. The service from
Crook to Waskerley survived until 1859 when the deviation line
was opened and services northwards diverted via the new Burnhill
With increasing competition from roads and the decline in the
handling of lime and stone the line north of Tow Law to Blackhill
(Consett) was closed to passengers in May 1939. The original
route across the moors from Waskerley survived intact until
1951 when the inclines above Stanhope were closed and Weatherhill
became the terminus until all traffic ceased on this original
Stanhope and Tyne route from 1 May 1969.
for a more detailed history of the Stanhope & Tyne Railway
up to the amalgamation with the North Eastern Railway in 1863.
Ticket from Michael Stewart
To see the other
stations on former Stanhope & Tyne line click on the station
name: Parkhead, Waskerley,
Burnhill & Blackhill
for other views of the Stanhope & Tyne Railway
for freight movements around Consett
See also Stations on the Bishop
Auckland - Burnhill line
Derwent Valley Railway
Lanchester Valley Railway