Battersea Park Railway Station

Overview

Heritage Category:
Listed Building
Grade:
II
List Entry Number:
1357652
Date first listed:
07-Apr-1983
Date of most recent amendment:
14-Oct-2020
Statutory Address:
Battersea Park Road, London, SW8 4BH

Map

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Location

Statutory Address:
Battersea Park Road, London, SW8 4BH

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County:
Greater London Authority
District:
Wandsworth (London Borough)
Parish:
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:
TQ2875977000

Summary

Railway station. 1866-1867 by Charles Henry Driver for the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway (LBSCR). The canopy over the western island platform (Numbers Four and Five) was removed, probably in 1979. The station frontage and booking hall were restored in 1986 following a fire.

Reasons for Designation

Battersea Park Railway Station, built in 1866-1867 by Charles Henry Driver for the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway (LBSCR) is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* as a well-surviving example of a suburban station of the 1860s with a good-quality ticket hall interior;

* for distinctive and original decorative ironwork to the canopy of Platform One and at the head of the stairs to platforms Two and Three;

* for the rare survival of the projecting timber Platform One with its cast-iron superstructure. Historical interest:

* as a station by Charles Henry Driver, a notable Victorian railway architect and expert in the architectural use of ironwork.

Group value:

* with the adjoining Grade II-listed railway bridge from the same period.

History

Battersea Park Railway Station opened in 1867. It was built by the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway (LBSCR) to designs by the architect Charles Henry Driver and probably constructed by the firm of Jackson and Shaw. It was one of a pair of new stations, both designed by Driver, built close to each other along Battersea Park Road, to service the high-level lines out of Victoria Station built by the engineer, Sir Charles Fox, for the LBSCR, and the London, Chatham and Dover Railway (LCDR). The second station ‘York Road (LCDR)’, a hundred yards further east, was demolished in 1923. As the LBSCR station, originally known as ‘York Road (LBSCR)’, was sited at the junction of two lines which cross Battersea Park Road on bridges, the frontage of the station was squeezed in between the two bridges with waiting rooms and other accommodation placed under the high-level platforms.

In 1906 a signal box spanning the central track at the north end of the platforms was added and the canopy to Platforms Two and Three replaced. The signal box was demolished in 1979. The original canopy over the island platform (Platforms Four and Five) was also removed, probably at the same time. The station front and booking hall were restored in 1986 following a fire in the booking office in 1984. In 2009 electronic ticket gates were installed.

The station has had a number of name changes. In 1870 it became York Road and Battersea Park, then Battersea Park and York Road in 1877. The present name dates from 1885.

Charles Henry Driver (1832-1900) was an architect who, his obituary says 'was largely employed by engineers', some of whom were the leading figures of the C19 such as Sir Joseph Bazalgette with whom Driver worked on the Abbey Mills and Crossness Pumping Stations and the Victoria Embankment. Driver started his career as a draughtsman in the office of Frank Foster, Engineer to the Commissioners of Sewers, London and came to specialise in ironwork construction. His involvement with railway buildings began in 1852 when he was employed by Liddell and Gordon for work on the Midland Railway, designing stations on the Leicester to Hitchin Line which opened in 1857. From 1860 he worked freelance for the LBSCR and was involved in the designs for their terminus at London Bridge as well as working on the company’s South London line linking Victoria with London Bridge, including Denmark Hill and Peckham Rye stations. In 1866 he also provided designs for the Three Bridges to Tunbridge Wells Central Line stations. Driver's reputation was international. In the 1870s he designed an impressive market building which was constructed in Manchester and shipped to Santiago, Chile, one of the major prefabricated buildings of the late-C19. He also designed the Estacao da Luz railway station in Sao Paulo, Brazil, completed in 1901 after his death.

Details

Railway station. 1866-1867 by Charles Henry Driver for the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway (LBSCR). The canopy over the western island platform (Numbers Four and Five) was removed, probably in 1979. The station frontage and booking hall were restored in 1986 following a fire.

MATERIALS: the main station building is of pale yellow gault brick laid in Flemish bond with red brick and Portland stone dressings and banding. The roofs are slate covered, although it was originally pantiled and crowned by iron cresting. The adjoining railway embankments and platform retaining walls are of yellow stock brick. Platform buildings have timber cladding and Platforms One, and Two and Three, have cast-iron canopy supports. The canopies have steel and timber superstructure. The cantilevered Platform One has timber decking atop a cast-iron and steel superstructure.

PLAN: the station is located between two railway embankments to the south of the station which meet to become a single embankment supporting the platforms. The station frontage building and double-height ticket hall and (originally) the General Waiting Room to the north are located at street level with a flight of stairs rising from the waiting room up to a timber cross-gallery at mezzanine level (passing through one of the vaults of the embankment) from which three staircases rise to the platform level atop the embankment. The cantilevered Platform One on the east side of the station is now disused (2020). A corresponding cantilevered platform on the west side of the embankment was removed at an unknown date. There are also two island platforms (the surfaces of Platforms Two* and Three* to the east, attached to the back of the main station buildings, and Platforms Four* and Five* to the west are not of special interest).

The frontage building has a wedge-shaped plan and is of three storeys with accommodation on the upper floors with the double-height ticket area separated from the waiting area to the north, with its pitched glazed roof, by a colonnade. On either side of the main building the arches of the converging railway embankments contain additional spaces*. Those on the west side* originally included a telegraph office* (still accessible from a door inside the passage to the west of the front building), lamp room*, porter’s room*, parcels office* and First Class Waiting Room*. A former coal room* below the cross-gallery is accessed via a door to the north of the ticket hall. On the east side of the ticket hall is a modernised staff room* (formerly the Ladies’ Waiting Room) and WC’s*.

EXTERIOR:

MAIN STATION BUILDING

The south elevation of the Italianate station building (the only fully expressed external elevation because of the building's location between the embankments) is symmetrical, of five bays and giving onto Battersea Park Road. Stone platbands divide the ground and first floors and first and second floors. The overhanging eaves are supported by a stone cornice with dog-tooth decoration and paired brackets backed with red brick corbelling (this detail continues on the other three elevations). On the ground floor a blind arcade of five recessed round-arched openings (the outer ones containing the two entrances) spring from broad, stepped, pilasters with foliate stone capitals. The arches have red brick relieving arches and stone hood-moulds, keystones with incised floral decoration rising to the platband, and oversize elaborate carved stops. Fenestration is of four-over-four horned timber sashes with stone sills and cast-iron spear-headed railings. The entrances have fanlights with plain vertical glazing bars and double two-panel doors with brass lions-head doorknobs. The first floor has recessed square timber windows with wide flared stone surrounds with incised keystones and hood-mouldings with foliate stops. The second floor has two-over-two timber sash windows in recessed round-arched openings with red brick relieving arches and stone hood-mouldings with foliate stops. The arches spring from a continuous stone cornice with foliate decoration. The elevation is adjoined at both ends by the yellow stock brick abutments of the two railway bridges. The western bridge is separately listed at Grade II (National Heritage List for England 1065548).

The east and west elevations of the frontage building are blind, above the adjoining railway embankments, while the top floor of the north elevation has five window openings with red brick segmental arches and one-over-one timber sash windows although two of the openings have been partially infilled to create emergency exits. The building has five stock brick chimneys and a hipped slate roof.

Below the cantilevered eastern platform, the first arch of the eastern embankment is infilled with buff-coloured brickwork with a stone hood-mould and gault brick relieving arch. The arch has three polychromatic round-arched windows flanked by arched red brick niches. The central window arch has decorative ironwork.

PLATFORMS AND PLATFORM STRUCTURES

Number One platform is cantilevered out from the embankment on a superstructure of lattice girders supported by a mixture of cast-iron columns (some with brackets and, probably, replacement steel shafts) and replacement RSJ’s. The stairs and the cross gallery have timber superstructure. The platform retains its original timber decking set on a red brick plinth with timber joists with shaped ends. The timber-framed waiting room has a slightly pitched roof and is clad in weatherboarding with timber sash windows. Its canopy is supported on slender cast-iron columns dating from 1866-1867. These have flared bases and octagonal capitals with brackets with foliate decoration in the spandrels. The canopy has a saw-tooth valance. The waiting room is adjoined at its north end, where it extends to cover the access stairs, by a vertically-boarded timber fence which extends along most of the platform length. Beyond this is a modern steel and timber fence*. The far northern end of the platform*, where it extends over a railway bridge across Prince of Wales Drive and where the timber supports give way to later steel RSJ's is not of special interest.

Platforms Two and Three have a shallow-pitched glazed canopy with flat-roofed glazed awnings either side with scooped valances. The steel superstructure of the canopy is supported on cast-iron columns with brackets with plain circles in the spandrels dating from around 1905-1906. Under the canopy are a weatherboarded waiting room, to the south, and station guard’s shelter to the north. These have timber sash windows. The head of the access stair has a timber balustrade and gates with richly decorated cast-iron panels and brackets, and fleur-de-lis topped railings, probably of 1866-1867 date. The newels have urn-shaped finials.

All other platform structures* including lamp posts*, shelters*,reproduction timber bench seating*, indicator boards* and other signage*, and all the structures* on Platforms Four and Five (which originally also had a canopy, removed probably in 1979) are modern.

INTERIOR:

MAIN STATION BUILDING

The ground floor ticket area of the main building is a large double-height space with an enclosed stair lobby, giving access to the upper floors, in the south-west corner. A single-height ticket office* (probably dating to the 1986 refurbishment) runs along the rest of the south wall. The entrances to the station are located on either side of the frontage building. The ticket area has a ceiling with a cornice and plaster mouldings and a pair of ornate decorative cast-iron ceiling roses/ventilation grilles. These have large metal light fittings, each with six glass globes. The waiting area has a pitched, timber-framed, glazed roof. The floor has a chequer-board pattern of terrazzo tiles, probably also dating from 1986. The upper level of the hall has a series of blind segmental-arched square windows with moulded surrounds and keystones above a wide cornice. On the west side are a series of blind round arches with moulded surrounds (some of these were probably originally open to give access to the First Class Waiting Room and other rooms under the embankment). The east side has the same treatment but with a large undecorated arch at the north end. The north wall has pairs of plain blind arches flanking the arched entrance to the stairs to the platforms. The stairs have a fan-shaped flight projecting into the hall with ornate foliate cast-iron balusters and a wooden handrail. The arcade which divides the space is of three round arches supported on cast-iron columns (coupled in the central arches), set on plinths, with flared bases with fluting and mouldings, and foliate capitals. In the spandrels of the arches are high-relief, vaguely Roman, female heads set in circular moulded surrounds. Modern ticket barriers* were installed between the arches in 2009.

The upper part of the frontage building is reached via a Georgian-style open-string cantilevered stair with stick balusters and mahogany handrail. The stair and first floor are limited to the first two bays of the frontage and only the second floor occupies the full width of the building. On the first floor is a small triangular room in the south-west corner. All the upper floor rooms have been modernised with the only original feature, other than the stairs, being a late-C19 arched register grate in the end room of the second floor.

CROSS GALLERY AND STAIRS

The cross gallery and stairs are of timber construction with matchboard panelling (set in timber frames) and ceilings. The gallery has timber floors. The stairs have timber handrails and modern anti-slip surfaces. There are three sets of stairs up to the platforms. The eastern stairs to Platform One have arched glazing on the eastern side, as did the eastern end of the gallery but these are now infilled with boarding. The western stair has plain brick walls with a rendered lower section. Originally there was also a stair down to the alley on the east side of the embankment but this has been removed as has the corresponding stair from the demolished western platform.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES

Adjoining the abutment of the eastern bridge, along Battersea Park Road, is a gault brick arch and a short section of stock brick walling. The round arch has a stone hood-mould and keystone with a cast-iron finial and a timber door. The walling has a plinth and moulded stone capping topped by modern spiked railings.

* Pursuant to s1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’) it is declared that these aforementioned features are not of special architectural or historic interest.

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
206984
Legacy System:
LBS

Sources

Books and journals
Cherry, B, Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: London 2: South, (1994), 673
Saint, Andrew (General Editor), Survey of London: Battersea, Volume 49: Public, Commercial and Cultural, (2013), 317-321
Websites
London Reconnections, A Look at Battersea Park Station (2014), accessed 21 April 2020 from https://www.londonreconnections.com/2014/battersea-park-station/
Other
CgMs Consulting, Archaeological Desk Based Assessment: Battersea Park Railway Station (October 2004)

Legal

This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 08 Jun 2000
Reference: IOE01/00798/19
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Christopher Strevens. Source Historic England Archive
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