“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.

The new series is on at 8pm every Tuesday on Yesterday.

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’.”

Grandeur

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.

In 2019, we and train operators TransPennine Express and Northern Trains completed a vital upgrade to extend platform two. This would allow new, longer trains with more seats to call there.

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.

Read more:

The Architecture the Railways Built – Bristol Temple Meads

The Architecture the Railways Built – Royal Albert Bridge

The Architecture the Railways Built – Wemyss Bay

The Architecture the Railways Built: Severn Bridge Junction

The Architecture the Railways Built – Ribblehead Viaduct

The Architecture the Railways Built – Ffestiniog Railway

People and the railway: the Railway Heritage Trust

Film: the magic of the Glenfinnan Viaduct

Film: discover the Network Rail archive

People and the railway: reconnecting Scotland

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