Listed sta­tus for Crewe sta­tion af­ter 149 years

Steam Railway (UK) - - Steam News - BY DAVID WIL­COCK

His­toric Eng­land, the govern­ment-spon­sored or­gan­i­sa­tion charged with pro­tect­ing the coun­try’s most trea­sured build­ings and struc­tures, has con­firmed Grade II-listed sta­tus on Crewe’s dis­tinc­tive cream and or­ange ter­ra­cotta brick main sta­tion build­ings, con­structed by the Lon­don & North Western Rail­way al­most 150 years ago. The two ‘mir­ror image’ build­ings which face each other on Crewe’s present­day plat­forms 5 and 6, the or­nate screen wall sep­a­rat­ing plat­forms 11 and 12, another screen wall on bay Plat­form 10, and the long re­tain­ing wall on the east­ern­most part of the sta­tion site, have all sur­vived nu­mer­ous sta­tion re­mod­elling schemes rel­a­tively in­tact. The de­sign fea­tures are at­trib­uted to LNWR Chief Civil En­gi­neer for New Works Wil­liam Baker, and form the core of the ‘new’ Crewe sta­tion. Built in 1867, it catered for much-in­creased traf­fic, re­plac­ing and sup­plant­ing an ear­lier sta­tion built by the Grand Junc­tion Rail­way, to the north of Nantwich Road bridge. His­toric Eng­land - for­merly known as English Her­itage - de­scribes the build­ings and the screen walls with their or­nate bays, ar­cades and arches as “one of the best pieces of mid-19th cen­tury plat­form ar­chi­tec­ture de­signed any­where on the LNWR net­work, and adds: “Al­though altered, the build­ings have sur­vived well, tak­ing into ac­count the ex­treme in­ten­sity of use that has taken place.” Among the most dec­o­ra­tive as­pects of the build­ings are a series of bearded faces above the arches of the eastern plat­form build­ing, known as ‘the Grey­beards’, and a gran­ite drink­ing foun­tain, in­stalled in 1863 to mark Queen Vic­to­ria’s sil­ver ju­bilee. Be­neath it is a ca­st­iron trough, which still shows the let­ter­ing ‘For ye dogs’.

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