Record Details

NHER Number:13600
Type of record:Monument
Name:Route of Lynn and Dereham Railway (later Great Eastern)

Summary

This railway line operated between King's Lynn and Dereham. There were stations at King's Lynn, Middleton (called Middleton Towers), East Winch, Narborough and Pentney (one station served both villages), Swaffham, Sporle, Dunham, Fransham, Wendling, West Bilney and Dereham. The railway opened to Narborough in 1846, Sporle in 1847 and finally reached Dereham in 1848. It closed in 1968 except for sand trains to Middleton quarries. Most of the line has been removed but many of the stations remain now converted into houses. There are several good examples of under and over bridges.

Images

  • Middleton Towers railway station.  © Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service

Location

Grid Reference:TF 80880 14692
Map Sheet:TF81SW
Parish:DEREHAM, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK
EAST WINCH, WEST NORFOLK, NORFOLK
FRANSHAM, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK
GRESSENHALL, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK
KING’S LYNN, WEST NORFOLK, NORFOLK
LITTLE DUNHAM, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK
MIDDLETON, WEST NORFOLK, NORFOLK
NARBOROUGH, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK
PENTNEY, WEST NORFOLK, NORFOLK
SPORLE WITH PALGRAVE, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK
SWAFFHAM, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK
WENDLING, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK

Full description

Opened to Narborough 1846, to Sporle 1847, to Dereham 1848. Closed 1968 except for sand trains to Middleton.
King's Lynn - Middleton (Towers) - East Winch - Narborough and Pentney - granary sidings - Swaffham (sidings) - Dunham - Fransham - Wendling (siding) - Dereham Junctions.
Used in part for new road.
Good brick arch remains over road at Sporle
Dunham station virtually complete, May 1978.
Wendling small station house survives.
The line has been taken up west of Swaffham but cutting and bridges survive; a good example of a tall arched brick underbridge is at [1].
There was originally a station at (West) Bilney and another at Sporle.
Narborough station remains 1980, good iron canopies, several carstone crossing houses in vicinity but line gone.
East Winch station remains in part with signal box boarded up; line lifted.
Middleton Towers station is intact as line is still used by sand trains to this point.

1986.
Fransham Station under restoration. Great Eastern Railway carriage of 1860 found in use as shed at Mundford moved here.
See (S1).
E. Rose (NAU), 22 August 1986.

Context 1. At [2].
Good underbridge with cast iron balustrades, makers plaque London dated 1891. Restored and preserved as part of Swaega's Way footpath. Several good underbridges along this line.
E. Rose (NAU), May 1988.

March 1993. Visit. Context 2 at [3], Little Dunham.
Very fine three arched black brick overbridge; width is presumably due to skew crossing.
E. Rose (NLA), 7 March 1993.

Good overbridge across drive to Mill Farm, Great Fransham, is of usual Staffordshire blues (or 'black brick') but the actual arch is internally of red brick.
E. Rose (NLA), 7 September 1994.

Piers of bridge over River Nar between Pentney and Narborough remain; formed of purple brick, they suggest the superstructure was of steel. To south, no trace of railway remains.
E. Rose (NLA), 10 July 1995.

Part of the line between Fransham and Little Dunham has been flooded as a reservoir. Though the date of opening is given as 1848, Rev. Armstrong commented in his diary for 17 September 1855 his surprise that one could already go by train from Dereham to Lynn. Pentney Station is being restored as a house. The 1st Dereham terminus of this line was on the west side of London Road (Lynn Hill) and the line was not connected to the main station until 1851. Is this the reason for the clergyman's surprise? Does the name Lynn Hill predate this station? (for the road does not go to Lynn).

Monument Types

  • RAILWAY (Post Medieval to Modern - 1846 AD to 2050 AD)
  • RAILWAY TRANSPORT SITE (Post Medieval to Modern - 1846 AD to 2050 AD)
  • RAILWAY CARRIAGE (Post Medieval to Modern - 1860 AD to 2050 AD)
  • BRIDGE (Post Medieval to Modern - 1891 AD to 2050 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • Higher Level Stewardship

Sources and further reading

---Publication: Jenkins, S.. 1993. Lynn and Dereham Railway.
---Newspaper Article: 1987. Eastern Daily Press. 16 February.
---Newspaper Article: 1998. Eastern Daily Press. 17 April.
---Secondary File: Secondary file.
<S1>Newspaper Article: 1986. Eastern Daily Press. 20 August.

Related records

51301Related to: King's Lynn Railway Station, Blackfriars Road (Building)
13582Related to: Route of Leziate Quarry Tramway (Monument)

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