Photographs 2006 by the author. You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.
View of Central Station, Newcastle, from the top of the steps of A. W. N. Pugin's St Mary's Cathedral.
Designed by John Dobson (1787-1865), the station was officially opened by Queen Victoria on 29 August 1850. The original design, and accompanying model, won a Medal of Honor for Dobson in Paris in 1855. According to Carol Meeks, Thomas Prosser later designed the long "stone-built façade" — 600 feet long and 40 feet high — "interrupted by a colossal porte-cochere [a porch large enough for a carriage to pass through] which projects boldly from it" (p. 59). He also substituted pilasters for Dobson's original columns.
Left: Trainshed. Right: Columns and ceiling, entrance lobby. [Click on theses images to enlarge them.]
Dobson's station has an important place in the history of railway station design. Again acccording to Meeks, it was one of the first to have electric lighting (78), and at the same time, it was "the last monumental one-sided station . . . and with this dinosaur, the type became extinct in England" (31). Although some contemporary critics disliked the building, Meeks praises it as "one of the Dobson's finest works and one of the most imposing stations of the period" (59-60).
A contemporary engraving of the station exterior.
Meeks, Carol L. V. The Victorian Railroad Station: An Architectural History. New Haven: Yale UP, 1956.
Last modified 8 January 2017