“A magnificent Yorkshire railway station.”
That’s how television presenter and railway historian Tim Dunn describes Huddersfield station in tonight’s episode of The Architecture the Railways Built.
This Grade I Grecian-style gem – with one of the most stunning façades on Britain’s railway – was designed by the architect James Pigott Pritchett and built by Joseph Kaye.
The station – built between 1846 and 1850, according to Historic England – is widely considered one of Pritchett’s best neoclassical works, which also include the buildings at York Cemetery.
Membership organisation York Civic Trust says of Hudderfield station on its website: “The long neo-classical façade, reminiscent of a Palladian country house, with a portico of Corinthian columns, six wide and two deep, dominates St George’s Square, creating an impressive civic space planned as the centrepiece of the Victorian ‘new town’. [Poet] John Betjeman described the station as ‘as one of the most splendid in England’.”
The station owes its grandeur to the joint funding of the Huddersfield and Manchester Railway and Canal Company and the Manchester and Leeds Railway, according to Historic England.
See Huddersfield station in this trailer for episode nine:
It adds Josh Fitzwilliam, Lord Lieutenant, laid the station’s foundation stone on 9 October 1846. A public holiday was declared and church bells rang all day.
The station partly opened in August 1847 for the commencement of services but it didn’t complete until October 1850.
It had just one platform until 1886, when the roof over the tracks finally completed. The roof’s construction has begun in 1878 but had collapsed in 1885, killing four men.
Huddersfield has some equally beautiful neighbours on St George’s Square. They include the Grade II listed Britannia Buildings, designed by Sir William Tite, whose work also includes The Royal Exchange in the City of London – on the site of London's first building designed for trading stocks.
Improvements to your journeys
We’ve worked hard in recent years to give you a better station at Huddersfield – one that’s fitting of such an impressive building.
Meanwhile, we carried out platform extensions at seven stations along the Penistone line in Northern England to allow longer trains to run on the route.