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Goods Shed at Clare Railway Station

A Grade II Listed Building in Clare, Suffolk

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Latitude: 52.0764 / 52°4'35"N

Longitude: 0.5824 / 0°34'56"E

OS Eastings: 577070

OS Northings: 245153

OS Grid: TL770451

Mapcode National: GBR PFF.XR9

Mapcode Global: VHJHL.12RK

Entry Name: Goods Shed at Clare Railway Station

Listing Date: 19 February 2013

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1413396

Location: Clare, St. Edmundsbury, Suffolk, CO10

County: Suffolk

District: St. Edmundsbury

Civil Parish: Clare

Built-Up Area: Clare

Traditional County: Suffolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Suffolk

Church of England Parish: Clare with Poslingford

Church of England Diocese: St.Edmundsbury and Ipswich

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Goods shed at Clare Station built for the Great Eastern Railway in 1865.


MATERIALS: Red brick laid in Flemish bond under a slate-covered roof.

PLAN: The goods shed is located to the west of the main station building. It has a small projection on the west side, originally used as the railway clerk’s office, and a C20 extension on the south side. On the east side is an 1865 type crane, brought in from another site, and now fixed on a concrete standing.

EXTERIOR: The goods shed has a pitched roof with a parapet at the gable ends and prominent corner buttresses which rise to form corbelled kneelers. The east elevation has a large opening with a flat lintel on the left side with C20 double timber doors and strap hinges. The long north elevation has two large openings, accessed via a raised platform, the openings of which appear to be original although the glazed doors with a five-pane over-light are C20 in date. The west elevation has cogged eaves and an oculus in the gable head. The small projection on the left, originally the clerk’s office, has C20 windows and doors. On the right, the large opening that corresponds to the opening on the east elevation has been partially blocked up and a six-light window inserted. The south elevation has, on the left side, a small C20 red brick extension under a lean-to roof, followed by four large, slightly recessed panels, the third one lit at the top by a horizontal five-light window. The brickwork shows signs of repair in places.

INTERIOR: The east side of the goods shed still retains the space for a railway carriage with the internal platform formerly used for loading and unloading goods. The roof is largely intact and consists of six trusses with a tie beam, principal rafter and king post. A modern partition divides the building into two large rooms.


Clare Railway Station was opened on 9th August 1865 by the Great Eastern Railway as part of the Stour Valley line. In 1862 most of the railways in the eastern counties had been amalgamated to form the GER. Amongst these were a number of lines still in the early stages of construction for which the GER produced a set of standard building designs. These became known as the ‘1865 type’ as this was the year in which most of them were completed. The last branch for which this design was used opened in 1869, bringing the total number of 1865 type stations to about thirty. The GER 1865 type had a complete architectural vocabulary for station buildings, waiting shelters, crossing keeper’s house, goods sheds, which even extended to joinery and ornamental brickwork, including a distinctive type of panelled brick walling used at the rear of the platforms. The style was modular in nature so that various combinations of basic elements could be used according to the requirements of the particular location. The main building consisted of the station master’s house joined to a small, medium or large booking hall which included the waiting rooms. The only real variation was in the choice of red or white brick.

Clare Station is an example of a medium size GER 1865 type station building with a platform shelter (both listed at Grade II in 2013) and goods shed to the west. In 1923 the GER became part of the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER), and the line became important during the Second World War, carrying construction material for the new aerodromes. The goods yard could hold up to fifty wagons, and a movable crane was in place to lift heavier crates and items. As recommended in the Beeching Report, the goods yard was closed in 1966, followed by the station in 1967, and the crane, railway tracks and signal pylons were all removed. In 2004 the 1865 type crane at nearby Glemsford was donated to Clare Station where it stands outside the goods shed.

The goods shed has been subject to some alterations. Whilst still in use, the arched openings on the east and west sides were replaced with flat lintels, and the canopy on the north side, which would have provided shelter, has been removed. Since then, a small, single-storey extension has been added to the south side in the late C20. The glazing in the two openings on the north side of the shed also appears to be modern in date, and the large opening on the west side has been partially blocked to create a window. A partition wall has been inserted in the building and the east side is now used as a museum.

Reasons for Listing

The goods shed at Clare Station, built for the Great Eastern Railway in 1865, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Rarity: it is the sole survivor of the eleven examples built to the 1865 type design and forms a significant element of Clare Station which is the only surviving example of the GER 1865 type to retain a full set of buildings, i.e, the goods shed, station building and platform shelter. The goods shed also retains part of the internal platform, an uncommon survival which provides valuable evidence of the building’s use and function;

* Historic interest: the crane, whilst not original to the site, is a rare surviving example of the kind of crane used at 1865 type stations, and it therefore adds to the special historic interest of the station complex;

* Architectural interest: the development of the GER 1865 type represents one of the first attempts of a railway company to apply a rigid standardisation to all elements of a station. Whilst other companies reproduced standard designs for the main station building, the GER developed a more systematic approach by applying the same architectural vocabulary to other types of railway building;

* Alterations: goods sheds are generally prone to alterations, and the example at Clare is no exception, but such is its rarity that a higher degree of change can be accommodated without unduly affecting its special interest;

* Group value: the goods shed has considerable group value with the Grade II listed station building and platform shelter which is further enhanced by the nearby scheduled ancient monument of Clare Castle and listed remains of the C13 castle keep. The accumulative significance of these historic elements confers appreciable heritage value to the site.

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