Raglan railway station to move to St Fagans museum

Gerallt Nash of the National History Museum at St Fagans with Monmouthshire council chairman Maureen Powell and joint deputy leader Bob Greenland Gerallt Nash of the National History Museum at St Fagans (left) takes the keys to Raglan station from Monmouthshire council chairman Maureen Powell and joint deputy leader Bob Greenland

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"The building leaving Platform One is the 1876 Raglan station to St Fagans."

More than half a century after a train last departed, the Monmouthshire building itself is on the move.

It is to be preserved as an exhibit at the National History Museum in the outskirts of Cardiff.

The station opened in 1857 but by 1930 saw only three passengers per day, the same number of people it took to run the building. It closed to the public in 1955.

Raglan had its first station on the Coleford, Monmouth, Usk & Pontypool Railway to cater for the growing Victorian tourist trade to its castle.

The present station came 20 years later, to replace two unofficial halts where locals would jump on and off.

Start Quote

Many original features still survive, such as the deep cast iron rainwater gutters, wrought iron brackets for the paraffin oil lamps and the platform canopy”

End Quote Gerallt Nash, senior buildings curator St Fagans National History Museum

The station was made of red bricks and the design was typical of the time, a low-pitched roof and a small canopy which projected out towards the platform.

Ffacilities consisted of little more than a single platform on the up side of the line, a small goods yard and coal wharf, and a cattle loading dock.

But according to Gerallt Nash, senior buildings curator at St Fagans, it's this typical and unremarkable history which makes Raglan station a rare find nowadays.

"Raglan station is a good example of the sort of small country station that was once a common feature of rural Wales," he said.

"The station building, which was built in 1876, is constructed of brick, with sandstone sills and heads to the window and door openings."

"Many original features still survive, such as the deep cast iron rainwater gutters, wrought iron brackets for the paraffin oil lamps and the platform canopy."

Raglan station The fomer station has been used as a council maintenance depot

Even during its 19th Century heyday, Raglan station was doomed.

Despite its name, the Coleford, Monmouth, Usk & Pontypool Railway ran out of money, and never actually managed to reach Coleford in the Forest of Dean.

The line was subsumed into the Great Western Railway, which continued to run it at a loss for more than 70 years.

In 1910, the foot-fall at Raglan was an already paltry 10,000 passengers per year.

Although by 1930 this had fallen to 1,190 - or around three passengers a day - which coincidentally was the same number of people it took to run the station.

It finally closed to the public in 1955, and the last service to run through there was a commemorative trip to mark the centenary of the Stephenson Locomotion Society in 1957.

Mr Nash says moving the building to Cardiff will be an engineering feat of which George Stephenson himself would have been proud.

"The museum's specialist historic buildings unit have started on the careful dismantling of the structure and weather permitting, hope to complete the work by the end of the year," he said.

"The museum will then be able to start on an interpretation strategy for the station which will include the date and ideas for interpreting the building as a museum exhibit."

"St Fagans do not currently have a timetable for re-erecting the building."

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