History in Structure

St Helens Junction Station

A Grade II Listed Building in Sutton, St. Helens

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Latitude: 53.4338 / 53°26'1"N

Longitude: -2.7003 / 2°42'1"W

OS Eastings: 353571

OS Northings: 393231

OS Grid: SJ535932

Mapcode National: GBR 9XLQ.6S

Mapcode Global: WH875.HYCG

Plus Code: 9C5VC7MX+GV

Entry Name: St Helens Junction Station

Listing Date: 14 October 2016

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1437498

Also known as: SHJ

ID on this website: 101437498

Location: Sutton, St. Helens, Merseyside, WA9

County: St. Helens

Electoral Ward/Division: Sutton

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: St Helens

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Merseyside

Church of England Parish: Sutton St Nicholas

Church of England Diocese: Liverpool

Tagged with: Railway station

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Railway station, 1851, on the original Liverpool and Manchester Railway line. Red brick laid in Flemish bond with painted sandstone dressings, shallow hipped Welsh slate roof. Single-storey, linear plan. Classical style


Railway station, 1851, on the original Liverpool & Manchester Railway line. Red brick laid in Flemish bond with painted sandstone dressings, shallow hipped Welsh slate roof. Single-storey, linear plan. Classical style

EXTERIOR: originally the station had three platforms: two through lines on the SE side of the station and a bay platform on the NW side that was for local services. The track on the NW side has since been removed and replaced by a taxi and car drop-off point, but the original large sandstone platform-edge stones survive.

The station is a long, low single-storey building with a similar design to each NW and SE platform side incorporating two through walkways that separate the building into three sections. The building is lit by large windows that contain a mixture of multipaned and plate-glass sashes and fixed lights with modern metal grilles in front. All the original door and window surrounds, mullions and transoms are of painted sandstone.

The roof has an eaves cornice and tile ridge copings, and incorporates two short brick ridge stacks to the NE half of the building. The roof overhangs the building on all four sides forming a canopy that is supported to the centre of the NW and SE sides by square and panelled cast-iron columns with carved capitals and plain bases, and arched girders, forming three-bay arcaded integral shelters with recessed panels to the rear walls. A very small extension*, which is believed to have probably been a kiosk and was possibly added in the mid-C20, has been added towards the NE end of the NW shelter underneath the canopy and is not of special interest. The NW side of the building also has later rainwater goods and modern cabling.

At each end of the building are waiting rooms and former offices; that to the SW end was possibly a station master's office or bookings and parcels office originally and now contains disused toilets and a store room. It has a transomed window and a six-light mullioned and transomed window to the SE platform side (both boarded over), an original doorway with overlight (boarded over) to the NE return adjacent to the through passageway, and a large six-light mullioned and transomed window to the NW platform side (boarded over). A later small fixed-pane window with a chamfered lintel in the same style as those to the kiosk has also been inserted to the NW side and a doorway (also in the same style) inserted on the SW side leading into the toilets with a metal gate.

At the NE end of the building are two waiting rooms (one for ladies and one general waiting room, now subdivided internally) denoted by the presence of the ridge stacks above; that to the far NE end has two six-light mullioned and transomed windows to the SE platform side, an entrance doorway with an overlight and a replaced door and a sash window to the NE end return. A further sash window with a wedge lintel exists to the NW platform side where a small section of walling has been rebuilt. The adjacent waiting room has a doorway on the SE platform side with a modern glazed door and an external roller shutter flanked by two six-light mullioned and transomed windows. Two further windows in the same style exist to the NW platform side.

INTERIOR: internally the two large waiting rooms at the NE end have moulded cornicing and moulded window architraves. The waiting room immediately to the NE of the integral shelters has been subdivided by the insertion of a brick dividing wall with kiosk window and door to create a ticket office, but it retains timber bench seating with panelled high backs and shaped end panels in the two corners flanking a chimneybreast and along part of the NW and SE walls, and a fireplace with a painted-brick surround (the fireplace opening has been boarded over). The former waiting room at the far NE end of the building has been partitioned for use as a former parcel room, toilet, and storage room, and a doorway inserted to connect into the ticket office. It retains its chimneybreast, but the fireplace has been removed, and one of the windows looking onto the SE platform has been boarded over internally. The interior of the former station master's office/booking office (now disused toilets and a store room) was not inspected. However, the entrance to the toilets is visible behind a metal gate and has a quarry-tile floor and glazed-tile walls.

* Pursuant to s.1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 ('the Act') it is declared that this aforementioned feature is not of special architectural or historic interest.


The Liverpool and Manchester Railway (later subsumed into the Grand Junction Railway and then London and North Western Railway - LNWR in 1846) was opened on 15 September 1830. One year previously locomotive trials had been held on a two-mile level stretch of line between Rainhill and Sutton to decide which engine would operate on the new passenger railway line, which was the earliest inter-city passenger railway and earliest fully steam-powered railway line in the world. A prize of £500 was offered for the winning steam locomotive and the five competing engines taking part in the trials ran the equivalent of 70 miles up and down the line. The trials were eventually won by George and Robert Stephenson's 'Rocket' on 8 October 1829.

Sutton's main station was known as St Helens Junction and opened in 1833 at the junction of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway and the St Helens and Runcorn Gap Railway. As passenger numbers grew a larger station with suitable platforms was required. The present station building and platforms were constructed in 1851.

Reasons for Listing

St Helens Junction Station, constructed in 1851, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Historic interest: it is an important example of a second generation intermediate station representing the expansion of the railways during the mid-C19 and the growing need for improved facilities due to rapidly increasing passenger numbers;
* Architectural interest: its simple and elegant classical design displays a careful attention to architectural detailing and reflects the level of investment being put into the railways at this time, even for smaller stations;
* Degree of survival: it is relatively unaltered and retains numerous original features, including external window and door surrounds, sash windows, a fireplace and bench seating in one of the original waiting rooms, moulded cornicing, and moulded window architraves;
* Group value: it has strong group value with the other listed stations, bridges and structures on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway line that together form a significant group of C19 railway structures on the earliest inter-city passenger railway and earliest fully steam-powered railway line in the world.

External Links

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