The station at Bishopsbourne was opened on the 1st July 1889 by the South Eastern Railway Company. Although the Elham Valley Line had been open for 2 years, there were a number of delays acquiring permission and land for the stations north of Barham - due to objections of local landowners.
The owner of Bourne Park, Mathew Bell, in particular was most concerned that the view from his bedroom window should not be compromised and discussions had been on-going for some twenty years prior. Agreement was eventually reached however to cover part of the track running across his land in a 300 yard tunnel.
As the three stations on the section of the line North of Barham were expected to generate less traffic than those further south, they were provided with cheaper buildings bought from an outside contractor. The single-storey building at Bishopsbourne was corrugated iron over a timber frame and the SER provided a standard waiting shelter and signal box.
Passenger traffic at the station was always light, however it was well used for local farm goods and in 1931 the line was made single track rather than double and the platform was taken out of use. Passengers could, however, still ask the guard to stop and at night the station was unlit.
During the early part of the Second World War, on October 25th 1940, the line was taken over by the military and although passenger tickets were still issued, it was understood that travel was at the passengers’ own risk.
On June 20th 1941 the station received, arguably, its most famous visitor when Winston Churchill arrived to inspect the “Boche-Buster” rail mounted gun, which was hidden in the nearby Bourne Park tunnel.
Although goods services resumed on the line from 19th February 1945, this was the day the station closed and the remainder of the line closed completely on 20th June 1947.
The station and surrounding grounds are now in private hands and there is no public access, but the building has been restored to 1920’s standard.
This cache is part of the Sidetracked series – for more information see http://www.sidetrackedseries.info.
Sources: http://www.disused-stations.org.uk - many thanks to Nick Catford for permission to use his article on Bishopsbourne Station. Oh - and Wikipedia. And Google.