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Latitude: 56.004 / 56°0'14"N
Longitude: -4.7328 / 4°43'58"W
OS Eastings: 229696
OS Northings: 682379
OS Grid: NS296823
Mapcode National: GBR 0D.TQRX
Mapcode Global: WH2M4.8CJ2
Entry Name: Princes Street East, Helensburgh Central Station Including Platforms, Canopies, Screen Walls and Gates
Listing Date: 21 March 2002
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 395959
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB48538
Building Class: Cultural
County: Argyll and Bute
Electoral Ward: Helensburgh Central
Traditional County: Dunbartonshire
James Carswell, North British Railway Company Engineering Department, 1898-9. 2-storey, 4-bay Renaissance station offices with separate range of single storey waiting rooms linked by partly glazed barrel-vaulted platform roof and leading to platforms with panelled screen walls and further fine pitch-roofed canopies. Pink sandstone ashlar to office block with base course, pilaster quoins and tiered Giant pilasters dividing bays (panelled at ground), architraved windows with stone mullions, dividing and wallhead cornices with panelled apron band and parapet; brick with sandstone ashlar dressings to rear and to single storey waiting rooms.
STATION OFFICES: 4-bay elevation to East Princes Street (grouped 2-2) with pedimented outer bays. Tall and wide door opening in bay to left of centre, outer bays at ground with panelled door with 2-pane fanlights flanked to centre by bipartite windows, and bay to right of centre with larger timber-mullioned bipartite window (originally with stone transom and mullion); regular fenestration above. Right return elevation blank at ground with 2 widely spaced single windows above. 2 bipartite windows at ground floor to left return; 1st floor window to right. Platform elevation with series of irregularly disposed panelled doors, in tall doorways with plate glass fanlights, and windows. Timber sash and case glazing with 6-pane windows to platform. End and mutual gable stacks, that to right end truncated. Decorative rainwater hopper to platform elevation.
INTERIOR: part seen. Ticket office retaining grand classical timber entablature above modern glazed counter, cornice with bracketed capitals supporting paired consoled posts and broken pediment to centre, half paterae interposed above.
CONCOURSE ROOF, PLATFORM SCREEN WALLS AND CANOPIES: barrel-vaulted roof spanning concourse of inner terminus with arched ribs springing from cornices of flanking offices/waiting rooms, and with raised central section for ventilation (louvred) given pitched roof; ends glazed in screen of arcaded, round-arched, small-pane lights. Platform canopies supported to track-side on line of decorative cast-iron columns, comprising panelled, polygonal bases with swagged coping and fluted band at foot of shaft crowned with Ionic capital, and supporting decorative filigreed iron spandrels carrying cross beams of pitch roofed, glazed canopies; outer sides carried on panelled brick screen walls with decorative corbels supporting cross beams.
VEHICULAR AND PEDESTRIAN GATEWAY: to right of principal office block. Flat-arches on metal joists with brick parapet and framed by pediment-capped piers. Decorative wrought- and cast-iron gates running on wheels, setted road surface with metal tracks.
The station was built as the terminus of the Glasgow, Dumbarton and Helensburgh Railway. Walker and Sinclair remark particularly on the 'great glazed canopy spanning effortlessly across the platforms'. The station replaces an earlier building opened in 1856, which proved impossibly small in terms of platform area and provision of waiting rooms. A report by the Board of Trade's Railway Department in May 1892 encouraged the North British Railway Company to expand, resulting in the present structure. During early stages of the construction exercise, James Bell, the in-house engineer, persuaded the Company to include a station manager's house at 1st floor above the station offices. The town hall flanks the station offices to west, the one enhancing the context of the other. The West Highland Railway was served by Helensburgh Upper Station opened in 1894, and which despite the demolition of the station building in 1980 is still operational.
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