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Leek Brook Junction Signal Box on the Churnet Valley Railway

A Grade II Listed Building in Leekbrook, Staffordshire

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Latitude: 53.0811 / 53°4'51"N

Longitude: -2.0295 / 2°1'46"W

OS Eastings: 398118

OS Northings: 353759

OS Grid: SJ981537

Mapcode National: GBR 24W.X9D

Mapcode Global: WHBCH.STRC

Entry Name: Leek Brook Junction Signal Box on the Churnet Valley Railway

Listing Date: 8 February 2008

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1392398

English Heritage Legacy ID: 504067

Location: Leek, Staffordshire Moorlands, Staffordshire, ST13

County: Staffordshire

District: Staffordshire Moorlands

Civil Parish: Leek

Built-Up Area: Leekbrook

Traditional County: Staffordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Staffordshire

Church of England Parish: Longsdon St Chad

Church of England Diocese: Lichfield

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Listing Text


611-1/0/10004 CHEDDLETON HEATH
08-FEB-08 Leek Brook Junction Signal Box on the
Churnet Valley Railway

Signal box. Circa late 1860s by McKenzie and Holland for the North Staffordshire Railway. Constructed of Staffordshire blue brick with wooden weatherboarding and hipped Welsh slate roof.

EXTERIOR: The building is of three storeys, the lower two of brick laid to English Garden Wall bond. The east elevation, facing the Churnet Valley line, has two round-arched windows to the bottom storey, now bricked in. There is a large brick buttress to the south elevation and a bricked-in doorway to the north providing access to the locking room. The uppermost storey has continuous fenestration to all elevations below weatherboarding. Most of the windows have been boarded over; those that are visible retain their 2/2 sliding casements. The operating floor was accessed by a wooden stair to the north, since removed. The balcony, on cast iron brackets, and entrance porch remain. The west elevation is similar to the east with a central louvred section indicating the position of the stove.

INTERIOR: The cabin retains its 40 lever McKenzie and Holland No. 6 pattern frame, although some of the levers have been removed, which faces east across the Churnet Valley line. The middle floor provides access to the rodding system for maintenance purposes and is accessed from a hatch in the locking room ceiling. The ground floor locking room retains the pulley wheels and vertical signal lever rods, although the horizontal rods have been removed.

HISTORY: The North Staffordshire Railway (NSR) was formed in 1846 and opened in 1849. Leekbrook operated a junction on one of the initial lines, stretching from North Rode, near Macclesfield, to Uttoxeter, where it met a branch line added in 1867 which left the mainline south of Stoke. The NSR commissioned McKenzie and Holland, one of the earliest signalling contractors, to build signal boxes. Until 1875 the firm used their own design, with hipped roof as seen in this example, before going on to provide boxes to the specification of NSR, with gable ends and decorative bargeboards, characteristic features that were adopted across the country from the mid 1870s onwards.
The 40 lever McKenzie and Holland No. 6 pattern frame was installed in 1903 when the line to Waterhouses and Caldon to the east opened.

SOURCES: David Hucknall, Signals and Signal Boxes of Great Britain (1998)
Michael A. Vanns, Signal Boxes (1997)
www.signalbox.org accessed on 05 November 2007

Leek Brook Junction signal box is recommended for designation, for the following principal reasons:
* It is the oldest surviving signal box on the former North Staffordshire Railway and is one of the oldest surviving examples in the country.
* It dates from the late 1860s, and is an unusual example of a design by McKenzie and Holland prior to NSR standardisation.
* Despite its neglected state it remains largely intact and retains its McKenzie and Holland lever frame of 1903.

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

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