Restoring Industrial Heritage
Alight here for Griffithstown!
A little neglected now, but still a fine GWR building, Griffithstown Station is on the move. Opened in 1879 by the Monmouthshire Railway and Canal Company, the station served the town that was named after local station master Henry Griffiths. It became part of the Great Western Railway just one year after its opening and continued to operate as a station until the sixties. For a short period of time the goods shed housed a railway museum but now, in 2015, the station building is to make way for a housing development. The Dean Forest Railway wants to move it and put it back to work as a station.
In the course of their work concerning this location, Torfaen Council recognised the appeal and interest of the Griffithstown station building for railway preservationists and offered it up for removal to an alternative site, rather than see it demolished. Members of the Dean Forest Railway (DFR) declared their interest, highlighting that the building would be perfectly suited to the future northward extension of their railway line.
The DFR currently operates 4.5 miles of the former Severn & Wye Railway between the mainline at Lydney Junction and the rural idyll of Parkend. The Griffithstown building would become the station destination on the line extension in the beautiful and ancient woodlands of the Forest of Dean.
Appeal for funds
The estimated cost of demolition and transporting the building into storage is approximately £6,000 and we are appealing to railway enthusiasts for donations in support of this project. A project designed to save this building for its intended use – an operating station serving local people.
We have been involved in early stage discussions with our landlord (the Forestry Commission) about possible sites for the station’s eventual rebuilding and these have proved very positive.
Historically, the building is ideal for the line as the S&W was later run as a joint LMS/GWR line and, north of Parkend, GWR buildings were used. So, a GWR building is appropriate for the setting and, aesthetically, it will merge into the forest surroundings beautifully.
In addition, in relocating the station to the Forest of Dean, we will be locating the building in a place with a similar industrial history to that of Griffithstown. The local coal and iron/steel industry were the key source of revenue for the railway in both locations.
The only remaining hurdle for us is to raise the funding needed to take the building down, label it and transport it the short distance to Gloucestershire. Please support us with a donation. We are extremely grateful for all donations, whether large or small – it all adds up.
If you wish to support us, please send your donation to:-
The Griffithstown Project
Dean Forest Railway
Note, cheques should be made payable to the DFR, but marked ‘Griffithstown Project’ on the reverse or on the submitting envelope.
Or donate online:
Thank you for your contribution.
7th September 2015 - Update
The formal notices for us to demolish have been posted outside the building, if all goes according to plan we will be dismantling sometime in October.
11th September 2015 - Update
Map showing where we would propose to rebuild the structure. The Forestry Comission have been very supportive, but we would obviously need more detailed planning with them and other bodies if we are successful in acquiring.
12th October - Update
We have now been given formal permission to rescue the building!! Torfean Council has granted us permission to demolish the structure- so we can now start the neccessary plans.
Thanks to everyone who has donated - we are now 25% of the way to our target! Please share with everyone - every penny helps!
18th December - Update
We are pleased to say we are over 75% of the way to out initial target, and it looks like we will be able to start removal in February 2016. Watch this space!
23rd May 2016 - Update
Well a little later than planned, but the demolition and rescue is on track to start 29th May, and we should have it clear in a week or so. Volunteers and cash still very welcome. Please contact the railway if you have the skills to help.
July 2016 - Update
Success! Thanks to all of you who contributed to getting this project underway. Pleased to say that the whole of Griffithstown station has been successfully dismanlted and is now back in safe staorage at the DFR - ready for it's next move! Watch this space!