Thursday, January 27, 2011

The First Works Expansion

As I have often remarked, Wolverton's planned development suffered because it was a pioneer venture. Nobody could have forecast the phenomenal and almost overnight success of the railways and the directors were properly cautious about their original building program. However, expansion soon became necessary. The plan below, from about 1845, shows the new engine sheds to the right hand side of the line. This eventually became part of the "Triangle Building", now converted into flats. The original engine shed is also marked for modification and development. These are shaded red.

You can see in plan form Bury Street on the left and the three short northern streets: Garnett Street, Cooke Street and Walker Street. Gas Street is to the south of the Engine Shed but by this time the Gas Works had been moved to the south east of the station. You can also see the beginnings of Creed Street, Ledsam Street, and Glyn Square and four of the villas to the south. The long narrow building beside the canal was the Reading Room, which also doubled as a Wesleyan Chapel.

Another interesting feature of this plan is the narrowing of the canal under the bridge. The original bridge was probably one of those hump-backed bridges with a very narrow span. The present bridge is built much higher with a wider span. The original road level was probably much lower than it is today.

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