Site Name: Bishopsgate Goods Station (Goodsyard)
Shoreditch High Street
Sub Brit site visit 1967, 1969, February 1982 & September 1995
[Source: Nick Catford]
An Act of Parliament passed in 1836 authorised the building of the Eastern Counties Railway between London and Great Yarmouth. The London section of the line opened in June 1839 from a temporary terminus at Mile End to a temporary station at Romford. The following summer it was extended to a permanent terminus at Shoreditch which opened on 1st July 1840. The railway was also extended into East Anglia, reaching Colchester in March 1843. Shoreditch Station was renamed Bishopsgate on the 27th July 1846.
The company never reached its Great Yarmouth destination; the Eastern Counties merged with other lines to form the Great Eastern Railway in 1862. Initially the Great Eastern used Fenchurch Street as its City terminus but this lacked the capacity to deal with increasing suburban traffic so a new city site was selected adjacent to the North London Railway's Broad Street Station facing on to Liverpool Street. In order to reach the new terminus a new line diverged on the north side of the viaduct into Bishopsgate curving round under Bishopsgate and into the new terminus at Liverpool Street.
To accommodate Bishopsgate's passengers, new low level platforms were constructed at Bishopsgate, one underneath the existing station and the other on the south side of the old terminus. Bishopsgate Low Level as it was known opened on 4th November 1872
When platforms 1 to 10 at Liverpool Street station (West Side and Main
Line) were brought into use on 2nd February 1874, Bishopsgate became
redundant as a passenger terminus. The station was closed on 1st November
1875 although some trains continued to use it until 1879, at the same
Low Level Station was renamed Bishopsgate.
Photo:The main entrance on Shoreditch High Street
Work immediately started on rebuilding and extending Bishopsgate as a massive goods station to supplement the earlier Brick Lane Goods Station (later renamed Spitalfields Goods Station); and together they were to become one of the largest in London handling the majority of the goods traffic to and from the east of England. The new station was available for goods traffic from 1881. Over the years many alterations and additions to the building were made with little evidence remaining of its former use as a passenger station.
The goods station (or goodsyards as it was often known) was on three levels, two having road access and served by railway tracks with the third upper level warehouse.
The street-level offices and rest rooms were located in the arches carrying the upper rail level and warehouse structures.
Plan of the upper (top) and lower rail levels. Click here for a high resolution version of this plan. This plan is very large (2.3M) and download will be very slow without broadband.
Photo:One of the two Hydraulic Accumulators seen in 1995
Photo by Nick Catford
There were two road approaches to the station one ascending from Wheler Street, alongside but outside the station, to reach the main entrance over the street-level entrance on Shoreditch High Street; the other ramp ran up adjacent to the street-level entrance, rising to pass round the station premises on the north side and reaching rail level near the west end of the goods shed; this also served the goods yard to the east.
For next page click here
[Source: Nick Catford]