SideTracked - Strawberry Hill
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This cache belongs to the SideTracked series. It is not designed to take you to a magical place with a breath taking view. It's a distraction for the weary traveller, but anyone else can go and find it too. More Information can be found at the SideTracked Website
About Strawberry Hill Station
The most important item of news in the issue of the Richmond and Twickenham Times on the 6th of December 1873 was that reporting on the opening of a new station at Strawberry Hill. The writer added that ‘it promises to be as attractive a little railway station as we could well wish to see’.
The nearest main line was that from London to Windsor via Richmond and Twickenham and this was owned by the London and South Western Railway Company. In 1859, the Company sought powers to build an extension or loop from the main line at Twickenham into Kingston and the necessary private Act of Parliament was passed on 1st of August 1859. This loop was to be known as the Kingston Bridge Line. However, there was enormous opposition by the burghers of Kingston to the building of a railway into the town and so, at first, permission was only given for a line from Twickenham terminating at Hampton Wick. The financial interests of the small clique of opponents were soon overcome and a further act in 1860 allowed the railway over the river and into Kingston.
At about the same time, another company was formed and took the name of the Thames Valley Railway Company, its object being to link Shepperton with Twickenham. With major works already in hand between Twickenham and Hampton, it seemed only logical for the London and South Western Railway to take an interest in the Thames Valley Railway and, in 1862, an amalgamation was agreed whereby the shareholders of the smaller company were suitably compensated. The London and South Western Railway constructed and operated the Thames Valley Railway.
The Thames Valley Line was opened to traffic on the 1st of November 1864 when the first trains travelled the nine and a half miles from Shepperton to Twickenham Station. Ordnance Survey maps at this time shows the
absence of any station at Strawberry Hill and, of course, passengers from Shepperton journeyed through the junction with the Kingston Bridge Line and alighted at Twickenham Station.
Strawberry Hill Station was opened on the 1st of December 1873. Why wasn’t it thought necessary to build a station at first? Unfortunately, it will probably never be possible for an authoritative answer to be given, for the one certain source of information - the directors’ minutes of the London and South Western Railway for the relevant decade - was destroyed during the Blitz on London by a fire at Waterloo Station.
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum