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Rayne Railway Station

A Grade II Listed Building in Rayne, Essex

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Latitude: 51.8732 / 51°52'23"N

Longitude: 0.5063 / 0°30'22"E

OS Eastings: 572630

OS Northings: 222375

OS Grid: TL726223

Mapcode National: GBR PHV.GTY

Mapcode Global: VHJJH.Q5HT

Entry Name: Rayne Railway Station

Listing Date: 20 July 2015

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1425096

Location: Rayne, Braintree, Essex, CM77

County: Essex

District: Braintree

Civil Parish: Rayne

Built-Up Area: Rayne

Traditional County: Essex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Essex

Church of England Parish: Rayne All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Chelmsford

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Black Notley


Railway station built for the Great Eastern Railway in 1869. The early C21 WC extension on the east side is not included in the listing.


This list entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 07/08/2015

Railway station built for the Great Eastern Railway in 1869.

MATERIALS: red brick laid in Flemish bond with gault brick dressings, stone door and window surrounds, and slate-covered hipped roofs.

PLAN: the station building is located on the north side of the former railway track. The station master’s house has an L-shaped plan and is attached on the east side to the booking hall which is almost square on plan. To the west of the house is a rectangular outbuilding.

The early C21 WC extension on the east side is not included in the listing.

EXTERIOR: the building has a brick plinth and prominent rusticated quoins, string and eaves courses. The doors are painted railway green and the window surrounds and glazing bars are yellow, evoking the original colour scheme of the Bishops Stortford to Braintree line. The north elevation has, from the left, a single-storey, three-bay booking hall with a central four-panelled door. The panels are flush with the framing and the vertical edges are emphasised with a double groove. The door has a single-pane overlight which brings it to the same height as the tall flanking windows. These are two-over-two pane sashes, the upper panes of which are cambered. The doors and windows have prominent shouldered surrounds with a delicate concave moulding and a keystone. The windows also have a reprise and a chamfered sill supported by small corbels at each end. The fenestration is regular throughout the building, except the surrounds to the first-floor windows are not shouldered or keyed as they are directly under the eaves. The booking hall has a ridge stack on a brick base with oversailing brick courses. To the left is a recessed single-storey, flat-roofed projection which is not included in the listing.

The station master’s house to the right of the booking hall has two storeys and two bays; the quoins that divide the bays indicate where the house originally ended. The left bay has a window on each floor, and the right bay has a first-floor window whilst the ground floor is blind. The house has two wide stacks rising through the lower part of the west pitch. Against the right return is a lean-to providing WCs which has two plank and batten doors and is lit on the right return by a single-light window. The south elevation of the house consisting of the later extension has a ground-floor window and door, and a first-floor window set slightly to the right. The original house is set at right angles to this, the west elevation having two bays with a four-panelled door in the left hand bay. A lean-to porch with timber valencing provides shelter for both entrances. The south end of the house, which overlooks the platform, has one bay lit on both floors.

To the right of this is the platform side of the booking hall which has the same frontage as that on the north side, except the roof extends beyond the eaves to form a small canopy supported by three decorative brackets with pierced spandrels. To the right is the C21 WC extension.

INTERIOR: the booking hall and station master’s house have both retained a high proportion of original fixtures, fittings and joinery which is of a particularly good quality in the booking hall. This has a deep skirting board with a moulded top edge and wide vertical panelling to dado height, incorporating benches in two of the corners, the ledges of which have been replaced. There is an opening in a moulded frame in the party wall with the ticket office and, to the left of this, a two-part door. The upper part has been removed but the lower panelled section retains its outer ledge supported by consoles. The booking hall has an elaborate plaster cornice embellished with egg-and-dart, a picture rail and a round-arched cast-iron fireplace. The windows in this room, the ticket office and the ladies waiting room all have prominent moulded internal window frames. The latter two rooms have plaster cornices of different designs and back-to-back fireplaces which have been boarded over but are thought to survive.

The station master’s house retains skirting boards with a roll moulding, picture rails and decorative plaster cornices in the reception rooms. These also have cast-iron fireplaces and grates, one in a classical design, and the other with a round-arched opening. The curving stairs, which ascend from the wide entrance hall, have stick balusters, a closed string and a square newel post with compressed ball finial. Directly to the left of the stair is the door leading through to the booking hall. The bedrooms have four panelled doors and decorative cast-iron fireplaces with grates and stone hearths.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: the outbuilding to the west of the house has a pitched roof, moulded timber eaves cornice and a brick plinth. The centrally placed door of vertical planks is flanked by two-over-two pane sash windows, all under cambered brick arches. The right return has a large double-leaf door with strap hinges which may indicate that the outbuilding has changed its use from a scullery and larder.


Rayne Railway Station was opened in 1869 by the Great Eastern Railway as part of the Bishops Stortford to Braintree line. Work on this line had begun in 1864 and it finally opened for passenger use in 1869. 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 and 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 gault brick.

Rayne Station is an example of the GER 1865 type consisting of a station master’s house and small booking hall. The station master’s house had two ground-floor rooms (a kitchen and parlour) on either side of a spacious entrance hall from which a curving staircase led to a landing and three bedrooms. The booking hall was accessed via a door under the stairs. There was a lean-to lavatory against the house and in the garden was an outbuilding containing a scullery and larder. The small booking hall building contained three rooms: a large public area combining the functions of booking hall and general waiting room, a ladies’ waiting room and the booking office. On the platform side, the roof was extended beyond the eaves to form a small canopy. WCs were built as an external addition to the booking hall, one of which had a door leading directly into the ladies’ waiting room. There were a number of other standardised features, notably the panelled platform walls.

The first edition Ordnance Survey map of 1875 shows a small station at Rayne with one railway track and platform. The station master’s house and attached booking hall has a projection on the east side housing the WCs, and there is an outbuilding in the garden to the west. By the publication of the second edition OS map of 1897 the station had been expanded to include a lamp room to the east of the booking hall, a goods yard and goods shed to the north-east, and a signal box on the south side of the track. This reflects the new use of the passenger line for freight traffic which was prompted by the sudden demand for agricultural produce in London and the new industries that were starting in Braintree. The third edition OS map of 1922 shows a two-storey extension had been built onto the west side of the station master’s house, creating an L-shaped plan. Cattle pens are also shown to the east of the lamp room. The line was used extensively during World War Two but soon afterwards in 1952 it closed as a passenger service, and by 1972 it had also closed for freight traffic. The track has since been taken up and the signal box, goods shed, cattle pens and lamp room have been removed. An extension has been built onto the east side of the booking hall to provide WC facilities, and one of the bedrooms on the station master’s house has been converted into bathroom. The panelled platform wall that extends from the house to the west and from the booking hall to the east appears to have been rebuilt.

The booking hall has been used as a café since 2009, and in 2014 a carriage was opened by the Friends of the Flitch Way which tells the story of the station.

Reasons for Listing

Rayne Railway Station, built in 1869, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* 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. Their neatly proportioned designs have a distinctive use of red and gault brick, as exemplified at Rayne;
* Rarity: it is a well-preserved and rare survival of the GER 1865 type that compares favourably to the only two other listed examples;
* Interior: it retains the original plan form, and a high proportion of the good quality joinery, plasterwork and fireplaces;
* Degree of survival: its original function remains clearly legible due to the retention of such features as the fitted benches in the booking hall and the opening in the wall to the ticket office.

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