(Photo 3 © Ethical Property, photo 4 © Steve White,
photo 5 © Adrian Boliston, photos 6-7 © Ben Brooksbank)
Bath’s Queen Square Station was built as terminus of the Midland Railway’s ten-mile branch from Mangotsfield which opened in 1869. Delays completing a nearby bridge over the Avon meant that it didn’t start its operational life until 17th May the following year. In 1874 the station also became part of the Somerset & Dorset Railway following construction of the company’s Bath extension; through trains had to reverse there. Under British Rail, Queen Square was renamed Green Park on 18th June 1951.
The station buildings blend seamlessly with the city’s Georgian architecture. Designed by J H Sanders and erected by Charles Humphries of Derby, they cost the Midland £9,539 and feature a classic three-section frontage with six Ionic columns and pilasters to both sides. The contract for the main shed - measuring around 300 feet by 110 and comprising a vaulted glass roof in a single-span wrought iron arch - was let to Messrs Andrew Handyside & Co from Derby, working to designs by J S Crossley. Its price tag was a little over £6,000.
Only two platforms were provided - one for arrivals, the other departures - with two sidings between them. Summer Saturdays were the station’s busiest time, with many holiday trains passing through en route to Bournemouth from towns in the North.
Parts of the main shed were damaged during bombing raids in April 1942; the glazing was not reinstated until after the railway’s closure. Passenger services ceased on 7th March 1966 and the last goods train ran on 31st May 1971. In November ’71 the station was afforded a Grade II listing.
Green Park’s approaches were redeveloped by Sainburys in the early Eighties; the station itself was restored at a cost of around £1.5 million and is now used as a car park and pedestrian thoroughfare into the city. Small shop units are accommodated in the various buildings whilst the former booking hall is now a brasserie. Markets and events are held on the concourse.
The Ethical Property Company PLC took over the station’s management in November 2008.
(Ethical Property's photo (Wikipedia), Adrian Boliston and Steve White's photos (Flickr) and Ben Brooksbank's photos (Geograph) are used under Creative Commons licence.)