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Former Railway Works Building

A Grade II Listed Building in Wolverton and Greenleys, Milton Keynes

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Latitude: 52.0646 / 52°3'52"N

Longitude: -0.8056 / 0°48'19"W

OS Eastings: 481978

OS Northings: 241365

OS Grid: SP819413

Mapcode National: GBR CZV.F55

Mapcode Global: VHDSZ.ZCHM

Plus Code: 9C4X357V+RQ

Entry Name: Former Railway Works Building

Listing Date: 23 May 2001

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1246104

English Heritage Legacy ID: 487608

Location: Wolverton and Greenleys, Milton Keynes, MK12

County: Milton Keynes

Civil Parish: Wolverton and Greenleys

Built-Up Area: Milton Keynes

Traditional County: Buckinghamshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Buckinghamshire

Church of England Parish: Wolverton St George the Martyr

Church of England Diocese: Oxford

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Listing Text

SP 8141, 891/2/10002


Former Railway Works Building




Railway works building. 1845, for the London and Birmingham Railway, extended 1850 and altered late C19 and early C20 by the London and North Western Railway. Red brick with some stone dressings and slate roofs with extensive glazed lights. A high single storey with gabled roofs running in different directions. The 1845 build is a rectangle facing west onto the railway line with five gabled roofs running east-west, the southern one of these flanks the Stratford Road. Stretching north along the railway to the canal bridge is a gabled range, once the tender shop. To the north and east of the original build are extensions of 1850 and later. The whole is in a very similar 'house' architectural character, which make it very difficult to separate into different builds. The infilled site forms a triangle with the west elevation facing the railway, the south elevation the road and the north-east one the Grand Junction canal.
West elevation: This has three and a half bays of the former tender shop running parallel with the track and then the five gable ends of the engine plant to the right. Each of the left-hand bays have sunk panels containing two arch headed metal-framed multi-pane windows. The piers between the bays carry a plain stone cornice. The half-bay to the right has only a single window. Glazed ridge light to the roof. The five gables to the right are fronted by a wall again with a sunk panel to each gabled section with two recessed arched windows, some of which have been bricked up. Stone parapet and stone coped gables which each have an arched louvered vent. The second bay from the left is set forward with carriage doors in the returns, this originally had a through line with a turntable inside to give rail access to the workshop. The south elevation to the road is largely hidden by the perimeter wall, but the east end of the south gable has a tripartite light.
The north-east elevation is obscured at the south end by the old reading room. Where it fronts the canal there are four bays parallel with the water, each has a single arched window. Then there are four gables each divided into two sunk panels containing an elliptically headed window; small central arched louvered vent in the gable above. At the far right hand adjoining the railway bridge is the gable end of the 1845 tender shop (see above). This completes the circuit. The three sections have can be clearly seen as different builds with straight joints between, but are so close in character as to be very difficult to date.
INTERIOR: Interior not seen but it is known to have timber roofs of wide span carried on plain cast iron columns. The roof trusses have principal rafters, which carry collars and king posts; the principals do not go to the ridge but to large purlins surrounding the ridge glazing.

HISTORY: The new locomotive erecting shop of the London and Birmingham Railway was the second phase of the development of Wolverton works following its beginnings to the west of the line in 1838. The new shop was built in 1845 and after J McConnell was made Locomotive Superintendent of the southern division of the London and North Western Railway in 1847 it became extremely busy and was where his famous 'Bloomers' were constructed in the years 1851-62. On the resignation of McConnell in 1862 locomotive building was confined to Crewe and Wolverton became the principal carriage works of the LNWR. These particular buildings were thus the locomotive erecting shop and forges until 1873 and then the carriage painting shop, which it remained until reorganisation in 1963. It then became the cell shop and general store until final closure in 1991. It is of particular significance as being the earliest surviving part of the Wolverton works which was, for a long period, one of Britain's premier industrial complexes.

References: M A Bird, The Development of Wolverton, Buckinghamshire from Railway Town to New City (1838-1974), Goldsmiths College dissertation, 1974 (Wolverton Library).
Bill West, The Trainmakers, The Story of Wolverton Works, 1838-1981.
Bill West, Wolverton Works in Camera, 1838-1993.
Information from Milton Keynes Borough Council.

Listing NGR: SP8197841365

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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