Record Details

NHER Number:13590
Type of record:Monument
Name:Route of West Norfolk Junction Railway (Heacham Junction to Wells)


The West Norfolk Junction Railway ran from Heacham Junction with the Lynn and Hunstanton Railway (NHER 13591) to Wells, with stations at Sedgeford, Docking, Stanhoe, Burnham Market and Holkham. It was opened on 17 August 1866, and passenger services ended on 2 June 1952. The line was severed in 1953 by a flood, but freight work continued between Heacham and Burnham until 1964. There was a siding at Peterstone Brickworks and Docking, and a goods yard at Burnham Market. The route of the railway and the location of bridges, cuttings and embankments are clearly visible on maps and aerial photographs.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TF 79681 40815
Map Sheet:TF74SE

Full description

Opened 1866; Wells-Burnham closed 1952 to 1953 (after flooding).
Burnham-Heacham open for goods until 1964.
Wells Junction, Holkham, Peterstone Brickworks siding, Burnham Market (goods yard), Stanhoe, Docking (siding), Sedgeford, Heacham Junction.
Part of trackbed used as road; rest well preserved. There was a spur at Sedgeford to the airfield. Sedgeford station remains as a house. West of it trackbed used as bus repair depot. To east as farm road, but towards Docking it is overgrown. Docking station in ruins (see below for goods shed). Stanhoe station remains in good order.
E. Rose (NAU), 6 to 7 June 1979.

Context 1 at 8341 4198 Burnham Market: Goods shed.
Yellow and red brick with round headed windows.
Used as store.
Station also is in good condition, see NHER 42666.
E. Rose (NAU) 1978.

Context 2 at 7675 3781 Docking: Goods Shed.
Large, red brick with black brick plinth and window arches.
Sunken brick panels on sides.
Round headed windows along sides and over doors at west end.
More ornate arrangement at east end.
Now derelict.
Demolished before 1992.
Visited E. Rose (NAU) 7 June 1979.

According to (S1) the south curve at Wells was never used and never had rails laid on it.

12 July 1994. NLA aerial photography.
Cropmark can be seen showing the line of the dismantled railway.
Additional cropmarks of associated features are visible (ie. field boundaries).
H. Clare (NLA), 22 February 2001.

19 July 1996. NLA air photography.
Photographs show cropmark of dismantled railway line and associated features and structures, to the east of Burnham Market.
Context 1 goods shed visible on some shots taken.
S. Massey (NLA), 30 April 2001.

2000. Field Observation and Desk-based Assessment.
Visited and considered as part of archaeological assessment of Holkham Estate.
Good condition, still in use over much of its length in the survey area as farm track. Elsewhere it remains as overgrown embankment.
See report (S2) for further details.
P. Watkins (HES), 28 April 2015.

November 2002. Norfolk 2002. Norfolk NMP.
Remains of the West Norfolk Junction Railway (later Great Eastern) can be seen on RAF 1946 and floodlight (1953) aerial photographs (S3) and (S4) and on BKS 1957 (S5) and OS 1970 (S6) images. The section on map sheet TF94SW runs from Wells to just into the parish of Holkham (to the West). Initially in Wells there are two sections one runs from NGR TF9209 4327 (coming from Wells station), the other from NGR TF9244 4308 (the Wells to Wymondham line), these meet and join at NGR TF9220 4307 and then proceed to TF9000 4414). This line is no longer in use by the 1957 aerial photographs, but the route it took and the location of bridges, cuttings and embankments are clearly visible on these and the later OS images. (It still appears to be in use on the early RAF aerial photographs). The railway is mapped on the 2nd edition OS map (S7) and this shows the bridges, cuttings, embankment and junction. Sections of this stretch of railway are also shown on the OS 1:10000 map (S8).
H. Clare (NMP), 20 November 2002.

November 2002. Norfolk NMP.
Line of West Norfolk Railway running through Burnham Market mapped from TF 8500 4249 to TF 8196 4000. The embanked areas were mapped from the 1946 RAF aerial photographs (S3) and (S4). These correspond with those marked on the 2nd ed map (1902-7, 25") (S5).
S. Massey (NMP), 22 November 2002.

The signal box at Stanhoe is not the original, but a later import.
Docking station has been restored to form a house.
Burnham Market goods shed has been converted to flats.
Information from [1].
E. Rose (NLA), 4 February 2003.

Designed as feeder for successful Lynn & Hunstanton Railway (had opened 3 October 1862). Act obtained 23 June 1864 and opened 1866 with simple stations. Earl of Leicester opposed railway. Financial difficulties might have been eased by extending to Blakeney, then a significant port, and Cromer. Act of 8 June 1874 permiited amalgamation as Hunstanton & West Norfolk Junction Railway. Closed to passengers on 2 June 1952. Flood damage on 31 January 1953 eliminated the line between Wells and Holkham. Heacham to Barnham remained open for freight until December 1964.
Information from (S9).
R. Fillery-Travis (NLA), 23 May 2007

Monument Types

  • FIELD BOUNDARY (Unknown date)
  • BANK (EARTHWORK) (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • EMBANKMENT (19th Century to Mid 20th Century - 1866 AD? to 1964 AD?)
  • GOODS SHED (19th Century to Mid 20th Century - 1866 AD? to 1964 AD?)
  • RAILWAY (19th Century to Mid 20th Century - 1866 AD? to 1964 AD?)
  • RAILWAY STATION (19th Century to Mid 20th Century - 1866 AD? to 1964 AD?)
  • RAILWAY TRANSPORT SITE (19th Century to Mid 20th Century - 1866 AD? to 1964 AD?)
  • SIGNAL BOX (19th Century to Mid 20th Century - 1866 AD? to 1964 AD?)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status


Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: TF8643 F-J.
---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1995. TF9143/AN - AV; TF9244/M.
---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1996. TF8442/AV - AX.
---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1996. TF8342/ABC - ABH; TF8442/AY - ABC.
---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1994. TF 8342AL - AU.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TF 84 SW 24.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Newspaper Article: Lynn News. 1994. Runaway train came down the track at Heacham. 23 August.
---Newspaper Article: Lynn News. 1999. [Photograph of train between Sedgeford and Docking in the winter of 1954-1955]. 23 February.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2002. Frightening memories of stormy night. 12 April.
<S1>Article in Serial: Tuddenham, E.. March 1965. A Journey to Wells-next-the-Sea.. Railway World. pp 82-7.
<S2>Unpublished Contractor Report: Penn, K. 2000. The Holkham Estate, Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk. Archaeological Survey (Final Report). Norfolk Archaeological Unit. 532.
<S3>Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1571 3023-4 07-JUN-1946 (Norfolk SMR TF 8442A, 8443A).
<S3A>Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1701 4094-5 27-AUG-1946 (Norfolk SMR TF 9143B,A).
<S4>Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1571 4275-6 07-JUN-1946 (Norfolk SMR TF 8141B, 8341A).
<S4A>Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1953. RAF 58/1010 0070 05-FEB-1953 (Norfolk SMR Floodlight TF 9043A).
<S5>Map: Ordnance Survey. 1902-7. OS 25" 2nd edition map (1902-7), sheets II.13-16, VII.1-16.
<S5A>Vertical Aerial Photograph: BKS. 1957. BKS 517044-6, 060-4, 072-77 19-APR-1957.
<S6A>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1970. OS/70008 119 19-MAR-1970 (SMR TF 9043B).
<S7A>Map: Ordnance Survey. OS 25 - 2nd edition (1902-7) - Sheets VIII.2, VIII.3, VIII.6, VIII.7.
<S8A>Map: Ordnance Survey. 2000. OS 1:10000 (revised 2000).
<S9>Publication: Great Eastern Journal. 2002. The West Norfolk Junction Railway. January.

Related records

42666Parent of: Railway Inn, Old Burnham Market Station (Building)

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