Victorians and the Railway

Yate Railway Station (1903)Yate Railway Station (1903)

From 1844, new railway lines built around Yate and Chipping Sodbury enabled local people to transport their goods further. The coming of the railway brought new businesses, organisations and residents to Yate. The parish changed dramatically.

An isolated community

Before the 1840s, local industrial production was small. The only available transport was a horse drawn tramway connecting Yate to the Bristol Channel. In the mid 1800s, the Bristol and Gloucester Railway Company, built railway lines around Yate.

The new railways brought with them a growth in mining and quarrying. Yate collieries had their own tracks, connecting them to the main railway network. Locals used the railway to transport: - coal, lime, building stone, livestock and later Celestine.

The Railway Village

The railway encouraged growth in Yate. Station Road was developed with new shops and businesses The population doubled between 1840 and 1860. New residents came to Yate, who built impressive new houses such as the Gathorne Hill family at Poole Court.

Stanshawes Court Reborn

The most splendid Victorian building was the new Stanshawes Court In 1874, Robert Nathaniel Hooper, also known as “Squire Hooper”, rebuilt the mansion, adding formal gardens and tennis courts.

The Hooper family were prominent figures in local society! Squire Hooper was a Justice of the Peace while his stepdaughter, Miss Lucy Busfield, taught in Yate National School (C of E School) on Church Rd

A Vital Link

Locals used the trains to go on holiday and day trips. The station was also busy during the World Wars transporting goods, passengers and soldiers to and from Yate.

Closure and Re-opening

Competition from road travel and greater car ownership proved too much for Yate Railway Station. Passenger numbers fell and businesses started to rely on road haulage. The railway station closed to passengers in January 1966, struck off by Dr. Beeching.

The station re-opened in May 1989. Road travel was once again responsible, the congestion of Bristol’s roads, combined with local support, caused the re-opening.

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Photos or Film from Yate's Past - If you own something of interest then contact Yate Heritage Centre.

Yate Heritage Centre, Church Road, Yate, Bristol BS37 5BG. Tel: 01454 862200

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