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© Mr Michael Perry

IoE Number: 443080
Photographer: Mr Michael Perry
Date Photographed: 30 September 2004
Date listed: 11 August 1972
Date of last amendment: 11 August 1972
Grade II

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823MANVERS STREETBath Spa StationST 7564 SW 23/845II

ST7564SW MANVERS STREET 656/23/10027 Bath Spa Station 11.8.1972 GV II* Railway station. c1840, altered 1897 and 1962. Designed by I K Brunel, built under the superintendence of Mr.Frere the resident engineer for the Bristol Division of the Great Western Railway Company. Bath limestone ashlar, later wing in yellow brick, slate roofs. High-level through station raised on arches with divided platforms, and with pedestrian and vehicle underpasses. Main entrance and facilities are on the north side, facing the city centre. Two storeys, the entrance front has a central range with 3 shaped 'Flemish' gables (these are possibly later alterations), swept by a shallow quadrant to a projecting square wing to the left, and stepped back to a later wing at an angle to the right. Windows are all small-pane casements in double ovolo-mould stone mullions and transoms. The upper level has 4+1 three-light with central transom, a central bay brought forward, with a 4-light oriel under an open decorative balustrade, flanked by single lights, and a single light to the right. The wing, left, has a pair of loading doors, a single and 3-light, the centre recessed, and there is a part-concealed 3-light on the return. At the right-hand end are 2 small singles on the return, then the brick wing with 3 and 4-light to flush surrounds. The ground floor has a series of 8 arched openings with decorative radial fanlights above late C20 pairs of glazed doors, formerly an open arcade, with a blind arched panel in the quadrant. The centre opening, under the oriel, is flanked by 2-light casements, and the wing has central doors flanked by 2-light windows, to recessed arched panels. Across the main entrance section is a glazed gabled canopy, with central tall fluted cast-iron columns carrying bowed cantilever trusses; the oriel is carried by 2 similar columns. At each end of the ground floor, brought forward in a slight bow, the walls are stopped to lofty square piers with finials. There is a moulded mid string, and the windows below central gables have strapwork aprons. A full entablature runs across the complete frontage, including the wings, under a blocking course with parapet. The central gable has a clock-face added 1931. To the left of the wing are 2 arches, one vaulted in engineering brick, under the platforms. Attached to the right is the ramp with low ashlar side wall which originally served the former Goods Shed which stood on the site of the present car park. This section is supported on a series of three brick arches, which formed part of the original station, and which are faced in ashlar and visible on the north and south sides where the station abuts the Avon Bridge (qv). The south side has a straight stepped frontage, mainly in ashlar, but with yellow brick to the later upper level to the left. The upper level has various 2,3, and 4-light casements with transom, and the ground floor various lights, some to shallow recessed arched panels, and some with doors. There is a bold moulded mid-band, and continuous entablature and blocking with parapet. The left section is set back, and has 2 through arched passages, and to the right the main platform canopy is exposed at the upper level, above the arched throughways. INTERIOR mainly modified by late C20 fitting. The platform canopies added in 1897 are carried on pairs of square cast-iron standards with cantilevered trusses each side carrying trussed purlins; the standards are carried through to upper trusses with a continuous glazed double-sided clerestorey, each main bay having six 4-pane lights each side. The up platform is approached by a flight of 3x13 steps, with painted wooden balustrade to the upper level, with a 19-bay canopy, and V-edged valance under slated roofs. The two platforms were originally joined by a hammer-beam roof of similar type to the one at Bristol, Temple Meads. This is illustrated in Bourne's "Description of the Great Western Railway", but it was removed in 1897. The rear wall has various 2 and 3-light casements with stone mullions, and doors, some with transom-lights; each main bay has 3 windows or doors. A central recess runs back to the curved outer wall, with a large cambered truss across the opening. The platform risers are in engineering brick, with stone nosing, and where there is no back wall, there are iron railings. The down platform is approached by a flight of 2x19 steps, with a top balustrade similar to that opposite. There are 12 canopied bays, but the valance is cut square; at the London end the roof is returned to a hipped end over a larger loading area, with fluted standards to the enclosing railings. The rear wall with windows and doors is similar to the other side; at the Bristol end the rear of the platform is enclosed by a parapeted wall. The lines run through the station on a long curve, crossing the river in two places, and set at an angle to the 'grid' of the town; the station follows this angle, but the front is inflected, using the shallow curve, so as to face directly north along the approach way, Manvers Street, which is flanked by two buildings, The Argyll and Royal Hotels (qqv), providing a dignified entry to the city. HISTORY, the station approach and buildings were laid out in accordance with the Great Western Railway Act of 1835. The station was opened on 31 August 1840 with the line between Bristol and Bath Spa. The whole line to London was not opened until 30 June 1841 following completion on the Box Tunnel. The station as built consisted of the present buildings joined by a roof across four broad gauge tracks with platforms hardly projecting beyond it. On the London upside end between the station and the river stood the engine shed and turntable, this is now covered by the later platform extension. The London downside end had sidings and stabling for locomotives with another turntable. Bath was at the bottom of a long steep incline up to Swindon and locomotives were often added to or subtracted from trains here. The Bristol upside end between the station and river bridge carried the goods shed, which was raised to track level on three massive brick vaults at right angles to the track, these survive under the present car park, as does the horseshoe ramp up from the street level. Following the end of the broad gauge in 1892 the GWR began a major series of alterations to many of their principal stations including Bath. Almost all the through roofs were removed at this period, including Bath's which went in 1897 and was replaced by the present platform canopies shortly afterwards. The platforms were also greatly extended and soon spanned the whole distance between the river bridges (qqv). The goods shed had already been removed, probably in the 1860's when Westmoreland Goods Station was built.

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