Seaham, County Durham
Seaham Hall Dene Railway Station
22 Jun 2023
Seaham, County Durham
This is a
Current status is
Designer (if known):
Listed Grade II
Seaham Hall Dene Railway Station was opened in 1875 as the private gateway to the estate of the much despised Lord Londonderry.
It was originally on his own railway. The Londonderry, Seaham and Sunderland Railway linked a number of collieries and lines around this part of County Durham to the docks at Sunderland due to capacity constraints at Seaham. The lines were primarily for coal, but passengers were ferried between Seaham Harbour and Hendon from 1855. The line continued and the station was constructed here in 1875.
Ownership of the line continued to be private until 1900. The North Eastern Railway utilised a separate line which originally omitted Seaham (routing via Seaton instead). The Londonderry Railway sold its Seaham to Sunderland route in 1900, but the Londonderry estate were permitted to retain this station as private - similar to the arrangements in the Highlands of Scotland with many stations accessed only by the landed families at this time. The NER took on the route and built an extension to West Hartlepool thereon.
Thanks to his significant influence in the region, the Marquess retained a certain amount of power over the line. He was permitted "to stop other than express trains within reasonable limits", which was used around four times between 1900 and 1923.
Upon the 1923 grouping, the LNER requested the arrangement cease. The station closed on the 1st March 1925. It has since been converted into a private residence.
Listing Description (if available)
The Ordnance Survey maps above illustrate the proximity between the line and Seaham Hall both before and after construction. The 2nd map from 1861 shows the site some 17 years before construction. Seaham Hall and Hall Farm were in situ, though you might notice the main lane forms a different route through the estate. As per the 1890s map it was later resited to the north of Hall Farm to avoid the centre of the grounds, though part of the road still remains on the the east and west sides.
The 1919 map shows the station only a few years before access was rescinded by the LNER. By this time it was also the main passenger route up the Durham Coast Line which included West Hartlepool. The Lord may have made us of the footpath along Seaham Dene to reach the estate.
The station from the other side of the level crossing in 2023.
The station house and signal box from the south in the 1950s. Original source unknown.