Description: Victoria Railway Station the Former London, Chatham and Dover Railway Station Including Train Shed
Date Listed: 5 February 1970
English Heritage Building ID: 207651
OS Grid Reference: TQ2896978973
OS Grid Coordinates: 528969, 178973
Latitude/Longitude: 51.4950, -0.1436
TQ2879SE WILTON ROAD, SW1
1900/98/54 (West side)
05-FEB-70 Victoria Railway Station, the former
London, Chatham and Dover Railway Station,
including Train Shed.
(Formerly listed as:
WILTON ROAD SW1
EASTERN PART OF VICTORIA STATION,
INCLUDING TRAIN SHED)
(Formerly listed as:
VICTORIA STATION SW1
EASTERN PART OF VICTORIA STATION,
INCLUDING TRAIN SHED)
Railway Station Terminus. 1860-62, remodelled 1909, damaged 1944 with late C20 alterations. Built for the London, Chatham and Dover Railway Company, the train shed designed by the engineer Sir John Fowler.
Original station, facing Hudson's Place, London stock brick with stucco dressings, roofs not visible. The south end was destroyed 1944. Three storeys, the first 2 bays from left now only 2 storey. Fifteen bays, arranged 2 : 3 : 5 : 5, with another 3 bays missing from left end. Second 3 bays are set forward, others set back in sequence. Ground floor has horizontal rustication in stucco with arched doors and windows with keyed heads, plain glazing. Central entrance has paired Roman Doric columns on either side with narrow arched niches between the columns. This is entrance to Royal waiting rooms, used principally for meeting visiting Royalty arriving from the Continent. The 3 and the first 5 bay sections are fronted by a modern continuous canopy of steel and ridge-and-furrow glazing. Plat band with panelled aprons to windows above. First and second floors have rusticated stucco quoins. First floor windows have stucco architraves with segmental pediments, 2 over 2-pane sashes. Window over the Royal entrance is tripartite with central pediment. Second floor windows smaller with eared architraves, again tripartite window over Royal entrance. Stucco parapet with the cornice removed, roofs not visible. Elevation to concourse has similar window treatment, but is more altered. Interiors not seen. The Booking Hall has been changed several times, the Royal rooms were not inspected.
Train shed was designed by Sir John Fowler and built in 1862. It has 2 spans of tied arched wrought iron construction, one is 38m in width and 138m in length; the other is slightly wider and 117m in length, plus additional roofing over concourse. Train shed roof is carried on 8 cast iron columns which support light arched ribs with curved wrought iron rod ties. Roof in 6 sections to ridge, with sections 4 and 5 glazed on either side along full length.
This is one of the lightest and most elegant of the major station roofs from this period.
Later station building, facing Wilton Road and Terminus Place, designed by Alfred W Blomfield and W J Ancell, with sculpture by Henry C Fehr, built 1909-10. Portland stone ashlar with some red brick facing to the concourse, and slate roofs. Edwardian Baroque Revival style. Terminus Place elevation 3 storeys and attic, with full 3 storey centrepiece and mezzanine in outer bays. 10 bay frontage arranged 1 : 2 : 5 : 2.
Ground floor has horizontal rustication with large square headed keyed openings with wide segmental arch which supports centre 3 bays of 5. Arch is rusticated and carries a cartouche. Mezzanine floor has small, square headed windows arranged 1 : 2 : 0 : 2. First floor has tall windows with eared architraves. Rusticated quoin pilasters to each section. First bay from left and bays supporting centrepiece have attached Ionic column surrounds to windows. Heavy cornice above supports parapet, broken on left by segmental pediment, and broken by supporters to centrepiece. Attic floor has rectangular window in left hand pediment and in supporting bays. 3 windows with rusticated surrounds in centre, 2 with segmental pediments behind balustrade in mansard roof on either side. Central supporters have 4 mermaid caryatids carrying broken pediments with wreaths and decorated cartouche. Centrepiece rises to blind wall inscribed SOUTHERN RAILWAY (originally SOUTH EASTERN & CHATHAM RAILWAY), roof is not visible behind.
Wilton Road elevation has ground, mezzanine, first and attic floors except for first bay on left adjoining earlier London, Chatham and Dover Railway building. Single bay has tripartite window on ground floor and wide, segmentally arched window with keyed head above. Far right hand bay also single has similar façade to one facing Terminus Place. Between is balanced composition of 11 bays arranged 2 : 1 : 5 : 1 : 2. Tripartite windows on ground floor, square mezzanine windows, tall windows with architraves on first floor. Third and ninth bays are framed by rusticated pilasters and capped by pediments at parapet level. Heavy modillion cornice. Panelled balustraded parapet ramped up behind pediments. Chimney stacks with weathered caps. Elevations to concourse has similar features in red brick with Portland stone dressings.
INTERIORS not seen, largely altered on ground floor.
History: Victoria station was built in 1860-2 by the Victoria Station and Pimlico Railway Company and half the capital for this was subscribed by the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway, with the London, Chatham and Dover Railway subscribing 1/3rd and the Great Western Railway 1/6th. The station was designed from the beginning as 2 separate stations used by different companies. The oldest part surviving is the eastern or Kent (ie the L, C & D R) side which opened on 25th August 1862, and it was this side that was used by the G W R in conjunction with the West London Extension Railway, which connected with their main line at Old Oak Common via Battersea railway bridge; and this was opened the following year (2nd March 1863). The L, C & D R station continued unchanged until after the company had amalgamated with the South Eastern Railway to form the South Eastern and Chatham Railway in 1899. The rebuilding of the L B & S C R side of the station (see below) in 1906-8 inspired the S E & C R to respond with the highly decorated new frontage designed by Alfred W Blomfield which fills the gap between the L, B & SCR building and the original departure building of the L, C & DR in Hudson's Place. This was built in 1909-10.
The L, B & S C R's half of the station had first opened on 1st October 1860 and was designed by their engineer, R Jacob Hood. By the late C19 this station had become extremely overcrowded and it was decided to build a much larger and better planned one designed by their then Chief Engineer, Sir Charles Morgan. The new section along the Buckingham Palace Road was brought into use first in 1906-7 and the old station was then demolished (the entranced canopy dated 1880 survives at Hove station). The completed new station was formally opened 1st July 1908.
The Victoria Station and Pimlico Railway Company remained nominally independent of its user companies until Grouping when both sides came within the Southern Railway. The Great Western Railway continued to have running powers into the eastern side of the station, although their last services seem to have run in 1915. The Southern Railway's first attempt at unification was to make the double arched opening through the wall between the two stations. This was done in 1924-5 and the platforms were then numbered right across the station as now. Electric traction had arrived at the L, B & S C R station in 1909 with the overhead system. This was changed to third rail in 1929 and under the SR rapidly expanded, with the Brighton service being electrified in 1933. Electrification on the Kent side also followed close on Grouping, with the local commuter services to Orpington being changed in 1925 and those to Gillingham and Maidstone in 1939; but the full length of the lines to Dover and Thanet were not completed until 1959; while Platforms 1-8 were lengthened the following year.
The Brighton side train shed and the screen wall along Buckingham Palace Road have now been rebuilt and replaced by office blocks over the tracks in the major rebuilding of 1980s and 1990s undertaken by British Rail. The Kent side of the station, however, still remains much as it was at Nationalisation in 1948, with the war damage to the original part of the L, C & D R station having never being properly reinstated, although it was given a new Booking Hall in 1951.
References: Alan A.Jackson, London's Termini, Pan Books, 1972, pps 281-321.
C.F.Dendy Marshall, The History of the Southern Railway, revised ed. Ian Allan, 1963.
Gordon Biddle, Great Railway Stations of Britain, David and Charles, 1986.
Listing NGR: TQ2897779040
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.