Record Details

NHER Number:13571
Type of record:Monument
Name:Norfolk Railway (Yarmouth, Norwich and Brandon)

Summary

This line opened in 1844 as the Norwich and Yarmouth Railway; but from 1845 was the Norwich and Brandon Railway before the combined line became the Norfolk Railway, later the Eastern Counties, and then part of the Great Eastern. It is still in use today and runs from Yarmouth Vauxhall through Norwich Thorpe, Wymondham, Attleborough, Snetterton before ending in Brandon. A disastrous and early accident on this line took place by the river bridge at Whitlingham station. The railway line is important because it had Cook and Wheastone telegraph from its opening and was thus the first block system in Britain. Additionally, the Trowse swing bridge was one of the first in the world and was reconstructed in 1905 before being rebuilt in 1987 as the first overhead-electric swing bridge.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TM 1379 9626
Map Sheet:TM19NW
Parish:ATTLEBOROUGH, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK
BESTHORPE, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK
BIXLEY, SOUTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK
BRIDGHAM, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK
BRUNDALL, BROADLAND, NORFOLK
CANTLEY, BROADLAND, NORFOLK
FREETHORPE, BROADLAND, NORFOLK
HALVERGATE, BROADLAND, NORFOLK
HETHERSETT, SOUTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK
KESWICK, SOUTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK
KETTERINGHAM, SOUTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK
KILVERSTONE, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK
POSTWICK WITH WITTON, BROADLAND, NORFOLK
QUIDENHAM, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK
REEDHAM, BROADLAND, NORFOLK
ROUDHAM, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK
STRUMPSHAW, BROADLAND, NORFOLK
THORPE ST ANDREW, BROADLAND, NORFOLK
TROWSE WITH NEWTON, SOUTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK
WEETING WITH BROOMHILL, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK

Full description

Opened 1844 to Norwich as the Norwich and Yarmouth Railway; Opened 1845 Norwich onwards as Norwich and Brandon Railway, the combined line became the Norfolk Railway, later the Eastern Counties and then part of the Great Eastern. Still in use.

Yarmouth Vauxhall (with extensive sidings of later date), Breydon Junction, Berney Arms-Reedham (with goods sidings)- Cantley (with sugar beet sidings with own engines)- Buckenham- Brundall Junction, Brundall, Brundall Gardens (opened later), Thorpe (later Whitlingham)- Wensum Junction, Norwich Thorpe, Swing Bridge Junction, Swing Bridge, Trowse station and yard- Trowse Lower Junction, Hethersett, Wymondham, Spooner Row, Attleborough (with goods sidings), Eccles Road, Snetterton Heath Pits Siding, Harling Road, Roudham Junction, (spur to Bury St. Edmunds and Thetford Railway, now abandoned), Thetford, Two Mile Bottom Siding, Brandon (station in Norfolk), (short stretch in Suffolk), Brandon Mill Sidings (crosses boundary). There was a short-lived Spink's Lane Halt near Hethersett.
For the railway town on Kilverstone Heath see NHER 5010.

Norfolk Industrial Archaeology Survey on fiche of Thorpe Station yards.

The Attleborough yards were sidings for cider, laid out in 1896 and used horse power until 1950s. They were a personal interest of Claud Hamilton.

The disastrous and early accident on this line took place by the river bridge at Whitlingham station.

Milestones near Vauxhall are marked NR presumably for Norfolk Railway though one would assume GER date.

At Reedham is a three-storeyed vaguely Tudor-style building, perhaps a station house but perhaps designed to give a view of road traffic on the bridge.
E. Rose (NLA) 7 May 1974.

Thetford station is listed grade II, 1845 extended 1889. One section, presumably the older, is of flint with Dutch gables. The other sections are of brick; a cast iron platform canopy with spandrels in the form of wheels runs across both builds.
E. Rose (NLA) June 1999.

Wymondham Station is similarly listed, it is now partly a museum and restaurant; so is the adjacent goods warehouse of brick with queenpost roof, dated to 1884. However the Mid Norfolk Railway Trust say the goods shed is the original 1844 building, at right angles to the track for horse shunting, later converted.
They also note at the rear of the adjacent Railway Public House a row of coal drops, rare in Norfolk.
The bridge by the station replaces three level crossings.

Trowse swing bridge was one of the first in the world. It was reconstructed 1905, and rebuilt in 1987 as the first overhead-electric swing bridge. See reference (S2) and Norfolk Industrial Archaeology Survey fiche.
E. Rose (NLA) 14 January 1997.
Press cutting in file.

This route was still being used as a route to London in 1861 when Reverend Armstrong worried about missing the connection from Dereham to Wymondham to catch the London train from Norwich, see his diary for 7 February.
E. Rose (NLA) 3 September 1997.

Beside the combined railway and river bridge at Lakenham Cock Inn there is a tiny flint and brick cottage right beside the line. Could there have been a level crossing here in the 1840s? Two larger red brick houses slightly further back could be later railworkers houses, but these must postdate the present bridge.
E. Rose (NLA) 23 November 1998.

This line had Cook and Wheastone telegraph from its opening and thus was the first block system in Britain.
E. Rose (NLA) 20 January 2000.

The underbridge at TL 8492 8718 has a plaque Joseph Westwood 1896 Engineer.
E. Rose (NLA) 24 July 2001.

Trowse station survives almost intact though disused; flint and white brick with gables roofs descending in height, it is a rare survival of the original structures. There were extensive cattle docks here. The road bridge to the southwest was rebuilt in the 1880s.
E. Rose (NLA) 26 March 2004.

Monument Types

  • RAILWAY (19th Century to 21st Century - 1844 AD? to 2100 AD)
  • RAILWAY TRANSPORT SITE (19th Century to 21st Century - 1844 AD? to 2100 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • SHINE
  • SHINE

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: TG2307 P; TG2408 C,AWX.
---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1998. TG2407/ACB - ACJ.
---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1994. TG 5008A; TG 5108AD; TG 4807D - J; TG 4403A, E, F, S, T, V.
---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1995. TG 2407ACK - ACM, ACQ - ACR.
---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1997. TG 3008A - C.
---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1999. TG 2808AD - AG.
---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1998. TG 2307Z - AC.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1996. Echoes of Roman times. 16 March.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1984. Railway bridge may have to go. 27 November.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1983. [Photograph of the work undertaken at Brundall Station in 1925]. 28 March.
---Publication: Hutchinson, S.. 2003. Berney Arms Remembered.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Fiche: Exists.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1984. Bridge may reopen today. 30 August.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1986. Celebration of rail footbridge. 5 May.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1988. [Photograph of the Two Mile Bottom Signal Box]. 1 January.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1994. 1844 - all aboard the steam revolution. 29 April.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1994. [Photograph of Spooner Row railway station]. 25 March.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1998. [Letter to the editor on the Reedham Junction Box sign]. 23 January.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2016. Waiting room to tell history of station. 8 January.
<S2>Monograph: Labrun, E.A.. 1994. Civil Engineering Heritage, East and Central England. pp 123-5.

Related records

61433Parent of: Derelict remains of railway cottages (Monument)
26116Parent of: No 10 Hardy Road, Ebenezer (Building)
48620Parent of: Nos 15, 16 and 17 Railway Cottages, Cemetery Lane (Building)
26114Parent of: Nos 2 and 4 Hardy Road (Building)
26092Parent of: Odd Nos 63 to 79 Cozens Road (Building)
41226Parent of: Old Goods Shed, Cemetery Lane (Building)
26117Parent of: Railway Cottages, consecutive nos 1 to 5 Hardy Road (Building)
26118Parent of: Railway Cottages, Consecutive nos 6 to 11 Hardy Road (Building)
53252Parent of: Site of possible World War Two railblock on the Norfolk Railway (Monument)
51969Parent of: Site of World War Two rail block (Monument)
53255Parent of: Site of World War Two railblock on the Norfolk Railway (Monument)
46395Parent of: Thetford Railway Station, Station Road (Building)
52496Parent of: World War Two railblock on the Norfolk Railway (Monument)
52497Parent of: World War Two railblock on the Norfolk Railway (Monument)
53251Parent of: World War Two railblock on the Norfolk Railway (Monument)
45620Parent of: Wymondham Railway Station (Main Building) and north platform, Cemetery Lane (Building)
62115Related to: 19th and 20th century tramway associated with Fison's fertiliser factory (NHER 6531) (Monument)

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