Record Details

NHER Number:13601
Type of record:Monument
Name:Route of Thetford, Watton and Swaffham Railway (later Great Eastern)

Summary

This route ran from the Roudham Junction of the Norfolk Line (NHER 13571), and had stations at Wretham and Hockham, Stow Bedon, Watton, and Holme Hale, as well as sidings at Stow Bedon, Watton and Holme Hale. The route from Thetford to Watton opened in 1869, and the line between Watton and Swaffham opened in 1875. It was closed to passengers on 15 June 1964 and to freight on 19 April 1965. The line was important for coal, poultry, sugar beet and RAF cargo, and joined the Lynn and Dereham Line (NHER 13600) at Swaffham.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TF 9134 0278
Map Sheet:TF90SW
Parish:ASHILL, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK
GRISTON, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK
HOCKHAM, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK
HOLME HALE, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK
NORTH PICKENHAM, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK
OVINGTON, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK
ROUDHAM, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK
SAHAM TONEY, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK
SPORLE WITH PALGRAVE, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK
STOW BEDON, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK
SWAFFHAM, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK
THOMPSON, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK
WATTON, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK
WRETHAM, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK

Full description

Now closed.
Roudham Junction - Wretham and Hockham - Stow Bedon (siding) - Watton (with siding) - Holme Hale (siding) - Swaffham Junction.
Section each side of Stow Bedon station taken up, part of trackbed covered by farm buildings at Griston where there remains a crossing keepers cottage and shed.
Stow Bedon station has been totally removed.
E. Rose (NAU), 21 July 1982.

Watton station gone, but at Church Road crossing cottage and gates remain.
Rest of track as far as Saham Toney removed, bridges all gone.
E. Rose (NAU), 18 May 1983.

Roudham Junction to Stow Bedon - trackbed removed but greybrick overbridges remain.
Underbridges mostly removed.
Overgrown despite section Cranberry Roughs - Stow Bedon being marked as road on Ordnance Survey 1:50,000 map. Stow Bedon station retains only a few buildings which may not have been connected with railway.
E. Rose (NAU), 22 September 1986. (See below)

Line immediately south-east of Swaffham Junction is an overgrown cutting so small that it would be hard to believe it were a railway were it not for the overbridges.
E. Rose (NAU), May, 1988.

The section southwest of Stow Bedon mentioned above is now a footpath.
At 9350 9491 is a crossing house of two storeys, grey brick skin over clay lump, now derelict.
E. Rose (NAU), 1 June 1988

This building was demolished in 1993, the foundations being left as seats for walkers.

Two very ornate iron columns at White Hall, Carbrooke, in the form of lotus flowers, are said to have come from Watton station.
E. Rose (NLA), 16 June 1995.

Overbridge north of North Pickenham village still marked RJS 2409 14 miles 15 chains.
The embankment remains in part to the east.
E. Rose (NLA), 18 February 2002.

Holme Hale station is preserved intact, including a signal to the east. Further east, a high arched bridge over a road remains.
E. Rose (NLA), 29 January 2005.

Monument Types

  • BRIDGE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • HOUSE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • RAILWAY (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • RAILWAY TRANSPORT SITE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • Higher Level Stewardship

Sources - none

Related records - none

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