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Chesham Underground Station including water tower to south and signal box to south-east

A Grade II Listed Building in Chesham, Buckinghamshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.7051 / 51°42'18"N

Longitude: -0.6111 / 0°36'40"W

OS Eastings: 496068

OS Northings: 201617

OS Grid: SP960016

Mapcode National: GBR F5W.2B5

Mapcode Global: VHFS9.CD8Q

Entry Name: Chesham Underground Station including water tower to south and signal box to south-east

Listing Date: 20 July 2011

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1401704

Location: Chesham, Chiltern, Buckinghamshire, HP5

County: Buckinghamshire

District: Chiltern

Civil Parish: Chesham

Built-Up Area: Chesham

Traditional County: Buckinghamshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Buckinghamshire

Church of England Parish: Great Chesham

Church of England Diocese: Oxford

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Chesham

Summary

Underground railway station, opened 1889.

Description

Underground railway station, opened 1889.

MATERIALS: Entrance building of stock brick with Welsh slate roof; platform canopy with cast-iron columns and timber valancing.

PLAN: L-shaped entrance building with booking hall in short return section to north and offices, waiting room and toilets in longer arm to south. Single canopied platform.

EXTERIOR: Entrance building's short fa├žade to station forecourt has two cross-casement windows with moulded stone heads and cills, flanking central doorway set beneath an off-centre canopy supported on two timber posts with curved braces (the middle post has been removed). Low hipped roof with two brick stacks. Single platform with four-bay canopy, the latter comprising a ridge-and-furrow roof supported on cast-iron columns and decorative openwork spandrel-brackets.

INTERIORS: Booking hall has original fireplace, cornice and matchboard panelling, vertical to dado height and horizontal above. Waiting room has modern tiles below dado but original boarding and cornice above. Original boarded partitions in gents' toilets.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: Square brick water tower to south, treated as a Classical composition with keystone relieving arches and dentil course, surmounted by a large iron tank. Timber signal box on brick base opposite platform, with curved eaves brackets and hipped slate roof.

History

The Metropolitan Railway was the world's first underground line, opened in 1863 to ease surface traffic congestion and provide a passenger link between London's main northern railway termini at Paddington, Euston and Kings Cross. From the late 1860s the Metropolitan began to expand gradually through the northern suburbs and into the countryside beyond, where the company reaped large profits from the development of commuter housing. Harrow was reached in 1880 and Rickmansworth in 1885, with the extension to Chesham opening in July 1889; in 1892, however, the line was further extended from Chalfont to Amersham and Aylesbury, leaving the four-mile Chesham section as a shuttle-operated branch line which still operates, although a direct service to Central London is now planned. The booking hall interior was partly remodelled in the 1980s with the introduction of the Underground Ticketing System, but otherwise the buildings have seen little alteration. Measured from Charing Cross, Chesham is the most distant from central London of all the stations on the Underground network.

Reasons for Listing

Chesham Station, built for the Metropolitan Railway in 1889, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: the most complete surviving example of a late-C19 rural Metropolitan station;
* Historic interest: a vivid reminder of the Metropolitan Railway's early expansion into London's rural hinterland.
* Ensemble value: the station building, signal box and water tower form an unusually coherent and intact group.

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