History in Structure

Broxbourne Railway Station and Signal Box

A Grade II Listed Building in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire

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Latitude: 51.7469 / 51°44'48"N

Longitude: -0.0108 / 0°0'38"W

OS Eastings: 537424

OS Northings: 207223

OS Grid: TL374072

Mapcode National: GBR KCD.J2G

Mapcode Global: VHGPW.RCN6

Plus Code: 9C3XPXWQ+PM

Entry Name: Broxbourne Railway Station and Signal Box

Listing Date: 2 March 2009

Last Amended: 25 January 2023

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1393158

English Heritage Legacy ID: 506687

Also known as: Broxbourne Station

ID on this website: 101393158

Location: Spitalbrook, Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, EN10

County: Hertfordshire

District: Broxbourne

Electoral Ward/Division: Broxbourne and Hoddesdon South

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Hoddesdon

Traditional County: Hertfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hertfordshire

Church of England Parish: Broxbourne with Wormley

Church of England Diocese: St.Albans

Tagged with: Railway station

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A railway station and signal box in a Brutalist architectural style, designed by H H Powell of British Railways Eastern Region Architects’ Department and built in 1959-1961.


A railway station and signal box in a Brutalist architectural style, designed by H H Powell of British Railways Eastern Region Architects’ Department and built in 1959-1961.


Reinforced concrete with stock brick infill, with dark purple brick towers. Internally there are hardwood handrails and ceiling cladding.


The building consists of a rectangular entrance and ticket hall to the west of the tracks. There is an enclosed footbridge extending in a line eastwards across the four railway tracks. Canopies extend northwards from this on the platforms.


There are flat roofs throughout. The building consists of a single storey rectangular entrance block opening into a double-height glazed entrance hall behind it, leading into a roofed footbridge. The horizontal shape of the building is emphasised by the exposed concrete frame and blind brick wall of the footbridge. Three purple brick lift towers rise above the flat roof of the footbridge. There is a single storey square block attached to the north side of the ticket hall with small, horizontal slit windows.

On the platforms, flat roofed canopies with hardwood timber cladding to the underside extend northwards from the glazed staircases, on brick supports.


The single storey entrance opens into a double-height glazed ticket hall with a quarry-tiled floor, and a turning, floating concrete staircase with moulded hardwood handrails on steel supports.

The footbridge is also floored with quarry tiles and contains hardwood handrails and hardwood clad ceilings. It is glazed to the north side. The centre of the area contains enclosed brick spaces for newsagents, lavatories, and lifts.

From the north side, glazed staircases with hardwood ceiling-cladding and handrails lead down to covered platforms, also with hardwood ceiling-cladding.



The signal box is built from stock brick and concrete, with a glass room on the upper storey and a felted, flat roof. It is rectangular, oriented north to south in a linear plan alongside the track. It consists of a single-storey range with the concrete frame exposed in a similar style to the main station. There are three small windows in the west elevation and a window and single door in the south elevation: the ground floor windows are early-C21 uPVC. Towards the southern (station) end is a glazed upper floor signal room with a deep, cantilevered canopy roof, and there is a cantilevered and railed inspection walkway around the outside of the signal room.

Internally the signal box contains its original staircase with hardwood handrails. The signal room contains the housing for the NX panel, with buttons and phone fittings, but the diagram panels that depicted the lines and position of the trains have been removed. There are also original fitted cupboards and a small tiled partition.

The ground floor retains its original plan-form of offices opening from a side corridor. The decommissioned banks of switches have been enclosed with board partitions.


The first railway station at Broxbourne opened in September 1840 as part of the Northern and Eastern Railway.

In 1959 the railway line from London Liverpool Street to Bishops Stortford was electrified. New railway stations were designed by the British Railways Eastern Region Architects’ Department under H H Powell. The job architect was Peter Rainiers, working under John Ward, who went on to become Eastern Regional Architect. Harlow Town station (listed at Grade II, NHLE 1117351) was designed in 1959-1960, and opened a few months before the new station at Broxbourne, built 1959-1961 and opened on 3 November 1960.

Both stations were innovative in conception. Previous non-terminus stations had variations of the same separate elements: ticket office; waiting room; footbridge and newspaper kiosk. At Harlow and Broxbourne the design intent was to arrange all of these functions within a single building with lifts to all platforms. At Broxbourne, the station was built from stock brick and concrete (rather than the more traditional appearance of Harlow which is built from brick and timber). Both buildings were acclaimed in the architectural press for their strong profile and contrast of masses and materials.

At Broxbourne, the new signal box was also designed and built in similar architectural style and materials. This was one of the first purpose-built electric signal boxes and brought into operation the new electric signalling system created by Westinghouse, known as the Entrance / Exit (or “NX”) panel system, operated by a panel of electric buttons. As with the station, the use of the building informed the design, with a glass box on the top housing the NX panel to afford the signaller a 360-degree view of the railway lines, with offices and banks of electric switches housed in the ground floor. The brickwork shows signs of possible rebuilding at the extreme southern end, at an unknown date. In 2003 the signalling functions on the line were centralised at London Liverpool Street and the signal box was decommissioned. The offices in the ground floor continued to be used.

In 2011 the station was upgraded as part of the Department of Transport’s “Access for All” programme, which included replacing the front doors with automatic doors, installing ticket barriers and enclosing part of the open central area of the footbridge with glass and fixed seating to form a new waiting area.

In 2020 the signal box was refurbished internally and the roof felt renewed. The signal box diagram panel was sold by auction in 2021.

Reasons for Listing

Broxbourne Station, built in 1959-1961 in a Brutalist style, and its signal box, are listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural Interest

* For the innovative approach to spatial planning combining in one building all the usual station components of ticket hall, footbridge, waiting rooms and kiosks;
* For its striking visual quality with the strongly-emphasised horizontal form of the station and signal box;
* For the quality of original fixtures and fittings in the station including hardwood handrails and ceiling cladding;
* For the survival of most of the original fixtures and fittings in the upper storey of the signal box.

External Links

External links are from the relevant listing authority and, where applicable, Wikidata. Wikidata IDs may be related buildings as well as this specific building. If you want to add or update a link, you will need to do so by editing the Wikidata entry.

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