Thursday, November 29, 2012

Railway Land Purchases

These plans here give some detail about the growth of the railway and Wolverton Town itself in the first 25 years.

The section marked AA was the original purchase, essentially just the line itself because there was no firm intention to build workshops at Wolverton. 27 acres in 1837, one year before the completion of the railway.

Section B was an 8 acre parcel which was for the workshop and some housing. The B is not accurately placed on this map as it is really the part north of the Stratford Road.

Section C, south of the Stratford Road was a 13 acre parcel used for the second station and housing. This land accommodated the "Little Streets."

No more land was made available by the Trust until 1858 when the strip that you would recognise as Church Street and the Stratford Road was purchased. Building started here in 1860. At the same time more land was purchased north of the Stratford Road for workshop expansion. It was about this time that some of the early northern cottages were demolished to connect the workshops.

At the end of 1866 the Company purchased another field which was to become Buckingham Street, Aylesbury Street, The Square, Radcliffe Street, Bedford Street and Oxford Street.

I am intrigued by the little yellow square at the western end of the new railway works land which is designated "Foreman's House". I have looked through the 1871 Census but can find no reference there, so I wonder if it was ever built?


Anonymous said...


Is there any evidence of a police station being built prior to 1856?


Bryan Dunleavy said...

I don't know for sure but I would seriously doubt it. There were quite a lot of policemen in Wolverton in the 1840s and early 1850s but they were railway policemen whose job it was to patrol the line, switch points and signal trains. For this reason it's hard to pick out from the census who might have been the local Bobby. There must have been at least one. Certainly there was one on hand when Hugh Miller visited in 1845. I imagine they lived in one of the houses in the old Little Streets. perhaps a lock up was built onto the back of one of the houses.
Thanks for the intriguing question.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bryan

As a follow up to my original question, there were no Bucks County Police until at least 1856 and therefore all police activity was by the Constables from the railway company. Although I accept that Constables regulated the movement of trains, indead one was arrested in June 1847 for causing a collision and brought before the Coroner. He has been arrested by the railway police inspector. I know for certain that the railway company built the police station at Crewe and it was staffed by railway police officers who patrolled the railway town. I am trying to establish whther this was the case in Wolverton. Another report in Wolverton from 1855 is of an arrest by a Constable for theft of coal from the railway, Constable Mason was the officer and the prisoner was brought before the Justice, the Rev. Barton.

From past experince the railway constable of this period were also engaged in general police duties for, in the case of Wolverton in the late 1840's and early 1850's who else was there?

I am a member of the British Transport Police History Group and hoping to obtain sufficient information to write an article about policing Wolverton, also I live not far from Wolverton. Any help would be appreciated.

What is the story around Hugh Miller?

Steve Beamon (