Historian praises 'Burnley Barracks' station

Burnley Barracks in its heyday

As it is today, below

First published in News Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter

A LEADING travel writer has extolled the virtues of ‘Burnley Barracks’ as part of a national tour of some of Britain’s tiniest railway stations.

But adventure-hungry Dixe Wills was left disappointed when he realised that very little evi- dence remains of the former garrison of the East Lancashire Regiment.

Mr Wills had been travelling the length and breadth of the country, detailing the tales behind halts and request stop stations for his new book, Tiny Stations.

Burnley Barracks was the only station in East Lancashire to be covered by Mr Wills, who has been featured in The Guardian and Countryfile magazine and is the author of two previous efforts, Tiny Campsites and Tiny Islands.

He said: “I was keen to find out how much of the former military establishment was still there, for it began life not as a mere garrison of run-of-the-mill infantry but as a splendid cavalry barracks.”

But after the London-based writer arrived in town via Burnley Manchester Road station, and cycled across town, his hopes of spotting the ‘barracks’ faded.

Mr Wills added: “My search for the barracks was not entirely fruitless, though the remnants of them hardly make for an exciting day out.”

The station opened in September 1848, as Burnley Westgate, but closed a year later. It reopened as Burnley Barracks in 1851. Before the turn of the next century, military activities at the barracks had been wound down and the 1950s and 1960s would see many of the Victorian terraces pulled down.

Mr Wills wrote: “Even its most ardent admirers would find it difficult to describe Burnley Barracks station as aesthetically pleasing. It is dominated by a road bridge that flies low across its sole platform, the riveted girders on its belly as attractive as the beach-exposed paunch of a middle-aged man.”

His book is available through AA publications.

Comments (2)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

7:54pm Tue 1 Apr 14

charliegarth says...

One can only ponder and shudder at what this guy might say as "criticism" if these comments are considered "praise" for Burnley Barracks station: “Even its most ardent admirers would find it difficult to describe Burnley Barracks station as aesthetically pleasing. It is dominated by a road bridge that flies low across its sole platform, the riveted girders on its belly as attractive as the beach-exposed paunch of a middle-aged man.”
One can only ponder and shudder at what this guy might say as "criticism" if these comments are considered "praise" for Burnley Barracks station: “Even its most ardent admirers would find it difficult to describe Burnley Barracks station as aesthetically pleasing. It is dominated by a road bridge that flies low across its sole platform, the riveted girders on its belly as attractive as the beach-exposed paunch of a middle-aged man.” charliegarth
  • Score: -1

9:01am Wed 2 Apr 14

Random Username says...

There is still a bit of evidence of the old barracks. Cavalry Street rail bridge, one of two "roads to nowhere" that used to connect to the old Padiham Road, the other being the old Barracks Road bridge that met Padiham Road at Gannow Top, destroyed by the M65. If you look at aerial photos you can still see the north corner of the Barrack's yard which is visible as a stone wall as viewed from Westway. A bit of the southwest wall is also visible behind the new builds on Accrington Road down from the General Havelock pub (itself another clue) and the east corner is visible from the back street between properties in Clare Street and Accrington Road. Not much, but the evidence is there if you read your townscape.
There is still a bit of evidence of the old barracks. Cavalry Street rail bridge, one of two "roads to nowhere" that used to connect to the old Padiham Road, the other being the old Barracks Road bridge that met Padiham Road at Gannow Top, destroyed by the M65. If you look at aerial photos you can still see the north corner of the Barrack's yard which is visible as a stone wall as viewed from Westway. A bit of the southwest wall is also visible behind the new builds on Accrington Road down from the General Havelock pub (itself another clue) and the east corner is visible from the back street between properties in Clare Street and Accrington Road. Not much, but the evidence is there if you read your townscape. Random Username
  • Score: 2

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree