Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway

Bolton Abbey station

Bolton Abbey station is the current terminus of the Railway. It has been completely rebuilt and extended from the original design which was built entirely of wood, and did survive after the line closed, but had completely rotten away. The building of the new station was a project in itself. Photos will be added here shortly - see the old Bolton Abbey 1 and Bolton Abbey 2 galleries for pictures.


(c) YDRMT Collection
Bolton Abbey stationmaster's house, sometime around, if not before, the turn of the century. Note the buildings in the background at the righthand side - a weighbridge and an office?
(c) YDRMT Collection.
(c) YDRMT Collection
Station staff pose on the Down platform at Bolton Abbey somewhere around the turn of the century.
(c) YDRMT Collection.
(c) F.W.Smith collection
Royalty at Bolton Abbey in 1907 - The Royal train arrived from the Ilkley direction and the prince was photographed having just crossed over the board crossing from one platform to the other. Note the water column, horseboxes by the cattle dock, the goods shed with an open door revealing wagons inside and what looks like a clerestory coach alongside the shed.
(c) F.W.Smith collection.
(c) Bolton Abbey Estate
Policemen line the station for the royal visit - heading for Bolton Abbey estate and hunting.
(c) Bolton Abbey Estate.
(c) YDRMT collection
The King's horse being unloaded at Bolton Abbey station.
(c) YDRMT collection.
(c) YDRMT collection
The King mounts his horse outside the station before travelling to the estate.
(c) YDRMT collection.
(c) Douglas Thompson - F.W.Smith collection
Bolton Abbey looking towards Skipton in the mid-1930s. Note the large wooden water tower and water columns in use.
(c) Douglas Thompson - F.W.Smith collection.
(c) Ilkley Gazette
An air raid shelter was built into the side of the embankment during the war, and was even prepared for royal use.
(c) Ilkley Gazette.

Bolton Abbey during WWII


An air raid shelter was provided at Bolton Abbey for King George VI for when he visited the Duke of Devonshire at Bolton Hall. This was equipped with telephone communication, and although was never used, it exists to this day. (There are plans to open this up once more and allow accecss).

During 1940 and 1941 the Army moved in, transforming the station and goods yard (which were closed to all other traffic) into an ammunition dump. The site was guarded and ringed with barbed wire. Extra buildings (such as the brick ablutions block and nissen huts) were erected, accommodation for officers was provided in camping coaches and a check point was set up on the drive.

During this time the goods shed was camouflaged and used for storing small arms ammunition. Artillery shells were stored on the ground (although covered up) alongside the back sidings.

In 1941 the army left and the station was reopened, the goods shed becoming a biscuit storage and delivery centre, which saw road vehicles painted up as "Biscuit Delivery Pool" making deliveries.

(c) YDRMT collection
A postwar photo of the station, showing that it has become somewhat rundown looking at the fencing. The lights on the platform still retain blackouts, but the loco would appear (from the larger original) to have a BR number. The great water tower is still in existence here, but hadn't much longer.
(c) YDRMT collection.
(c) F.W.Smith
Class D49 4-4-0 No. 62775 'The Tynedale' leaving Bolton Abbey Summer c.1952 with a Skipton to York via Ilkley and Otley, Harrogate Summer Saturdays only train. This service only ran for 1952 and 1953.
(c) F.W.Smith.
(c) F.W.Smith
Bolton Abbey Down starting signal with Up main home signal above (c.1951).
(c) F.W.Smith.
(c) YDRMT collection
Bolton Abbey station in its heyday, showing how neat the station is kept, and how ornate the footbridge is by comparison to others on the line.
(c) YDRMT collection.
(c) Peter Sunderland
April or May 1958. Class 4 2-6-4T No. 42093 of Manningham shed stops at Bolton Abbey with a Bradford Forster Square to Skipton train. The porter collecting the tickets is a District Relief Porter standing in for the regular Leading Porter/Signalman, Fred Scott. Note the oil platform lamps and the roller by the seat which was used for rolling the plaform surface which was composed of fine stone chippings.
(c) Peter Sunderland, F.W.Smith collection.
(c) YDRMT collection
(c) YDRMT collection
The signalman (Dick Fawcett) sits on the steps of Bolton Abbey signalbox.
(c) YDRMT collection.
On a platform trolley outside the booking office.
(c) YDRMT collection.
(c) YDRMT collection
Station staff spending a couple of minutes sitting outside the Booking Hall during a quiet period.
(c) YDRMT collection.
(c) Peter Sunderland
Sunday 19th June 1960. A Class 108 2-car Derby-built DMU leaving Bolton Abbey for Leeds. All the DMUs turned back at Bolton Abbey on Summer Sundays. The signalman is myself F.W.(Bill) Smith. The rotting boards at the base of the signalbox indicate where the platform had been cut back during the early 1950s. The wooden goods shed was also demolished about the same time. The small signal on the right controlled the exit from the two carriage sidings which ran behind the down platform and which formally extended into the now-disused quarry.
(c) Peter Sunderland, F.W.Smith collection.
(c) F.W.Smith
Bolton Abbey signalbox and station one Sunday in July 1962. The station platform used to extend to just beyond the signalbox (note the rotting planking below platform level). (It still retains its Midland Railway nameboard, recognisable by its curved ends. This platform was originally wood, but it had deteriorated to such an extent that it was replaced with concrete edging in the 1950s.)
(c) F.W.Smith.
(c) YDRMT collection
This photograph presumably shows the signalbox in its 'switched out' condition. Latterly it was used only to allow trains to cross over before reversing back to Ilkley, unless the block section required shortening. Of interest the cast iron Midland Railway lamp post still stands.
(c) YDRMT collection.
(c) F.W.Smith
Bolton Abbey signalbox and camping coach taken in July 1962.
(c) F.W.Smith.
(c) F.W.Smith
View of Bolton Abbey station taken one Sunday in July 1962. Note the ex-LNER articulated coaches in the siding. The brick building behind the station was used by the army as an ablution block during their occupation in 1940. The sidings on which the coaches stand originally continued into Hambleton Quarry (closed 1921).
(c) F.W.Smith.
(c) F.W.Smith
Bolton Abbey station in 1964.
(c) F.W.Smith.
(c) F.W.Smith
Bolton Abbey station looking east in 1964.
Signalbox closed: November 1964.
Station closed: 20th March 1965.
Track lifted: April-June 1966.
(c) F.W.Smith.
(c) YDRMT collection
1964 and a DMU with school children disembarking is seen at Bolton Abbey.
YDRMT collection.
(c) F.W.Smith
Camping Coach No. 133 at Bolton Abbey 6th September 1964 (out of use). The coach was ex-GER, built at Stratford Works in 1912 and converted to a camping coach in May 1952. The coach was later sold for 1 to a local P-Way inspector (except for the bogies) and during 1965 was fired. The bogies were later cut up for scrap.
(c) F.W.Smith.
(c) YDRMT collection
Bolton Abbey station seen from the Embsay end, with a DMU having just arrived. The signal is presumably caught in the process of being put back to danger, judging by the angle of the arm.
(c) YDRMT collection.
(c) F.W.Smith
Bolton Abbey signalbox on Sunday 6th September 1964 on the last day it was open for passenger trains. The platform had once continued in front of the box, hence the rotting boards below platform level. Livery is blue and white of the North Eastern Region. The box was closed on 12/11/64. Note camping coach behind the box which was by this time disused.
(c) F.W.Smith.
(c) F.W.Smith
Sunday 11th October 1964. Ivatt 2-6-0 No. 43051 of 55F Manningham shed. Loading cut up sidings into mineral wagons. See opposite for the Train Register entry.
(c) F.W.Smith.
(c) F.W.Smith & YDRMT Collection
The entry for Sunday 11th October 1964 from the final Train Register for Bolton Abbey signalbox. Scans from this can be found on the website in our Digital Archive.
(c) F.W.Smith & YDRMT Collection.

Closure of the signalbox

(c) F.W.Smith & YDRMT Collection
Thursday 12th November, 1964


More photos will be displayed here shortly

Top Photogalleries

Yorkshire Dales Railway Museum Trust (Holdings) Limited
Registered Charity No. 1116386
Bolton Abbey Station, Bolton Abbey, Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23 6AF
General Enquiries: 01756 710614 - Talking Timetables & Fax: 01756 795189
enquiries AT embsayboltonabbeyrailway DOT org.uk webmaster AT embsayboltonabbeyrailway DOT org.uk
Yorkshire Tourist Board

Disclaimer - website (c) YDRMT 2009 -