Wolverhampton's Listed Buildings

Low Level Station

Wednesfield Road

Part of the passenger entrance facade.

The tracks and platforms in 2000.     

Listing: 1853-4; enlarged 1869; altered 1899 and 1993-4. Station building designed by John Fowler. For the Worcester, Oxford and Wolverhampton Railway, the Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Dudley Railway and the Shrewsbury and Birmingham Railway. [Original glazed roof over platforms] replaced after 1930 by platform verandas on cast-iron columns.

Local listing:  Gates and Gatepiers to Low Level Station.  Cast iron gates and gatepiers relocated to present site from former Electric Construction Company, Bushbury, in 1987.  Late 19th century.

The gates from the ECC works.  They did not quite fit the entrance and the blue brick wall to the left was built to make the entrance narrower.

My guess is that the gates were moved here as part of the transport museum proposal, which failed.

Comment: The historical importance of the Low Level Station needs a long article by itself. A good idea of its history can be found here. The architectural importance of the building speaks for itself and its interest is much enhanced by its being a rare, if not unique, example, of a very large classical building's being executed in blue brick. Its importance to the economic and social history of the town is also self-evident.

The photos below are by Bev Parker, showing an earlier state of decay, before the bushes started to grow.


And this photo was taken from the other end of the station in August 2001.

After the station was closed to passengers in 1972 it remained in use as a goods station but, when even that traffic ceased, the building was in danger. There have been many suggestions for its re-use.  The first was for converting the whole site into a cinema complex. The commercial viability of that project was knocked on the head by the creation of a multi-screen cinema not far away at Bentley. The developers were then left with a blue elephant on their hands.  The then borough council declared that they would use it as a transport museum.  That proposal staggered around and then fell flat on its face. Whether it ever was a viable proposition is open to doubt; that it was badly organised is beyond doubt. The only visible outcome seems to be the ECC gates and piers being moved to this site.

After further years of delay a company called Next Generation Clubs, (chiefly notable for being owned by David Lloyd, who was once a leading British tennis player) came up with the proposal for tennis courts, indoor and out, squash courts, swimming pools, cafe, restaurant and hotel.  including a transport museum and, more recently, a cinema and entertainment complex. Apart from getting planning permission amidst much fanfare, they did nothing.  Now (2003) they have managed to pass on the site to a joint venture partnership between Oswin Developments and Helical Retail.  They announced a scheme to use the site for a casino, a cinema, a bingo hall, pubs, restaurants and "up market apartments".

Although much of the site has been redeveloped in the early years of the 21st century, the station building itself remained empty. It is now occupied again (early 2013) and hopefully its future is secured.

This sign is at the pub at Codsall Station - an example of a successful re-use of old station buildings.  There is another identical sign at the Severn Valley Railway's station at Kidderminster - a wonderful example of keeping old station buildings in their original use.