History in Structure

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Railway subway MDL1/31, Lady Ann Road Subway

A Grade II Listed Building in Batley, Kirklees

We don't have any photos of this building yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »


Latitude: 53.7141 / 53°42'50"N

Longitude: -1.6238 / 1°37'25"W

OS Eastings: 424924

OS Northings: 424253

OS Grid: SE249242

Mapcode National: GBR KT3H.7B

Mapcode Global: WHC9R.1X02

Entry Name: Railway subway MDL1/31, Lady Ann Road Subway

Listing Date: 23 March 2018

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1452197

Location: Kirklees, WF17

County: Kirklees

Electoral Ward/Division: Batley East

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Batley

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Yorkshire


Subway for the Leeds, Dewsbury & Manchester Railway line. Mid-1840s, by Thomas Grainger. Modified at the west end between 1851 and 1892.


Railway subway for the Leeds, Dewsbury & Manchester Railway line. Mid-1840s, by Thomas Grainger. Modifications to west wing walls and portal between 1851 and 1892.

MATERIALS: quarry-faced sandstone.

DESCRIPTION: the subway is constructed of squared and coursed quarry-faced sandstone, and incorporates a change in ground level, descending from east to west. The faces are differently detailed.

The eastern face has a semi-circular arch of stepped, rusticated quarry-faced voussoirs with tooled margins. It springs from a quarry-faced impost band with chamfered top and bottom edges. The triangular parapet comprising a pair of large stone slabs is set upon a finely-tooled concave-moulded string course. The abutments are slightly raked and there are straight and curving short wing walls to either side with finely-tooled square-plan coping; the walls run into the embankment but appear to terminate in short piers.

The western face is higher and slopes down to the left. The semi-circular arch is of ashlar construction with stepped voussoirs, between slightly battered abutments. The straight and curving wing walls are constructed of squared and coursed quarry-faced sandstone, those to the right incorporating particularly large stone blocks.


In contrast to the main trunk lines of the late 1830s that were constructed by single railway companies the route from Stalybridge to Leeds had fragmented origins and was the work of three different railway companies: the Huddersfield & Manchester Railway, Leeds, Dewsbury & Manchester Railway, and the Manchester & Leeds Railway.

The Huddersfield & Manchester Railway was authorised in 1845 and followed the route of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal for much of its length, including a railway tunnel through the Pennine hills set alongside the earlier Standedge Canal Company tunnel of 1811; in 1846 the railway company also acquired the canal. Joseph Locke and Alfred Stanistreet Jee were appointed to survey and design the new line, the two engineers having already worked together on a major project linking Manchester and Sheffield. Jee became the lead engineer for the Huddersfield line, which passed through challenging terrain, assisted by resident engineers that included his brother Moreland Jee (until 1848) and Herbert F Mackworth. Construction of the line was divided into various contracts, with many contractors being only responsible for a single cutting, viaduct or tunnel portal. The largest contract for the Standedge Tunnel between Diggle and Marsden was let to a single contractor, Thomas Nicholson in 1847. The tunnel's completion in 1849 marked the opening of the line.

The Leeds end of the route, which was also authorised in 1845, was constructed by the Leeds, Dewsbury & Manchester Railway. The engineer was Thomas Grainger who had previously largely worked in Scotland, and the line was completed in 1849.

A short three-mile section of the route between Heaton Lodge Junction and Thornhill Junction near Mirfield was developed by the Manchester & Leeds Railway and was constructed between 1837 and 1840, with George Stephenson as the chief engineer. The structures on this line were designed by Thomas Gooch under the oversight of Stephenson. In 1847 the railway company changed its name to the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway.

In 1847 the Huddersfield & Manchester Railway and the Leeds, Dewsbury & Manchester Railway were acquired by the London & North Western Railway (LNWR) so that the company could access the city of Leeds and the textile towns of West Yorkshire. This pitted them as rivals to the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway, although at points on the route the two companies had to work together. By 1851 the London & North Western Railway had an overall mileage of railway track of 800 miles and it became the most prominent railway company in the country and the largest joint-stock concern in the world in the late C19. Although the LNWR had a general manager, Captain Mark Huish, the lines of the Stalybridge to Leeds route still managed their own affairs. LNWR later carried out expansion works, including the widening of tracks and bridges, the construction of additional tunnels, and station alterations. In 1923 the line became part of the London Midland & Scottish Railway, and subsequently part of the nationalised British Railways in 1948. The line, its structures and track are currently (2018) owned by Network Rail, and the passenger services operated by TransPennine Express and Northern Rail.

Lady Ann Road subway is thought to have been designed by Thomas Grainger and to date to the construction of the Leeds, Dewsbury & Manchester Railway between 1845 and 1847. The Howley Brook is culverted beneath the subway footpath. The subway is shown on the first edition 1:10,560 OS map surveyed between 1847 and 1851 and published in 1854; the curving eastern entry is clearly visible approached by a track from the east, and the western portal is clearly visible where the beck emerges on the western side of the railway. Attached wing walls are also depicted at both ends of the tunnel with the most southerly on the western side depicted as straight. This depiction coupled with inspection of the structure itself is evidence that the subway was constructed as a single build and has not been subsequently extended in either direction as described in the Baxter's report. The second edition 1:10,560 OS map surveyed between 1888 and 1892 and published in 1895, clearly shows that the more southerly of the western side wing wall has been modified to produce the curving form present today and might have also led to a slight modification of the western portal.

Reasons for Listing

Lady Ann Road Subway (MDL1/31) constructed in the mid-1840s by Thomas Grainger for the Leeds, Dewsbury & Manchester Railway, modified slightly at the west end in the mid to later-C19, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Historic interest:

* an original 1840s railway subway, constructed during the heroic age of railway building on what is now one of the main railway lines in northern England;

* designed by the notable Scottish railway engineer Thomas Grainger, who worked extensively in England and Scotland.

Architectural interest:

* a stone-built subway that demonstrates craftsmanship in its construction and detailing including stepped voussoirs with tooled margins and a finely tooled string course;

* the modified west end has been executed with minimal impact on the interest of the original structure, and does not detract from its overall interest.

Group value:

* with the other listed structures designed by Grainger on the Leeds, Dewsbury & Manchester Railway line.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

BritishListedBuildings.co.uk is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact BritishListedBuildings.co.uk for any queries related to any individual listed building, planning permission related to listed buildings or the listing process itself.

British Listed Buildings is a Good Stuff website.