Rowthorne & Hardwick, Station Tunnel & Railway.
Now the Rowthorne Trail.
Rowthorne Station SK 476645
Rowthorne Tunnel North Portal (Glapwell Station end) SK 473656
North Air Shaft SK 4735 6540
South Air Shaft SK 4745 6505
Tunnel 929 yards long
Rowthorne Tunnel South Portal (Rowthorne) SK 4676647
Mansfield to Rowthorne Way Bill. Glynn Waite.
Bulmer’s Directory. Chesterfield and North Derbyshire. 1895.
Rowthorne is an ancient manor and village, one mile east of Ault Hucknal Church. Nearby is a station on the Doe lea extension of the Midland Railway for Rowthorne and Hardwick. There are three passenger trains daily each way, and one goods train. From Glapwell station to Rowthorne the gradient is 1 in 50, and up this steep ascent only thirteen wagons of coal can be brought at one time, and sometimes not even that number.
Rowthorne and Hardwick Station.
Built to link the colliery lines of Glapwell with those of Pleasley and then on to Teversal to transport coal and mining equipment and colliers to work, it was opened for traffic in 1883 but was never used to its full capacity during its life, it was closed early as a result, in the 1930’s with the line ending at Glapwell Colliery station. There is a tunnel to the north of the station running in to Glapwell colliery station it is 929 yards long and had two air shafts about half way along its length, in the fields along its length are two air shafts , at both ends of the tunnel were deep cuttings, at the south end little remains to suggest its existence. With the two air shafts to the tunnel it would appear then that the cutting of the tunnel would have been done using six working faces, one from each end and four others, two from each of the air shafts.
Although the capping stones have been utilised as parking bollards in the car park at the start of the trail little remains of the tunnel. The tunnel was filled in and landscaped to form part of the Rowthorn Trail some time in the 1970’s but there are still several small reminders of the railway like rotting sleepers and telegraph pole stumps and some ironware from the rails themselves.
There was an 'old wives tale' that the station was rarely used to service passengers and that it was built solely to satisfy the whim of the Duke (of Portland) who then owned Hardwick Hall, you will see however, that the station was used by the general public as the tickets suggest. The tale also said that the Duke allowed the mineral line to be constructed but on the understanding that the station was for his own personal use. This is further laid to rest as you can see from the following poster sent to me by John Platts that it was part of the Doe Lea Extension Branch line and was a station along its route. Monday September 1st 1890.
I am not aware of any photographs surviving of the station.
North portal 1949
South portal 1924
Foundations of the platform buildings.
Tunnel capping stones in Rowthorne car park.
Rail clamp on run towards Pleasley.
Rail sleepers Pleasley end.