Waterloo Station, Bradshaw’s Hand Book (No.96)

posted in: Bradshaw in London, Home | 8

Bradshaw says  ‘Opposite [St John’s Church] are the vast premises forming the London Terminus of the South West Railway.’ The original thinking was to create a rail link between Southampton and London for trade, and the first station opened at Nine Elms in London in 1838. However, rail travel rapidly became very popular and so the company (the London and South Western Railway) decided to extend the line close to the end of the new Waterloo Bridge, built 1811-17. The line opened in 1848 and because it crossed marshy ground it was raised on arches, a viaduct. The station faced York Road.

Waterloo Bridge Station
Waterloo Bridge Station, 1840s (www.blackcablondon.net)
Waterloo Station, 1881
“DISTRICT(1888) p141 – Waterloo Station (plan)” by Image extracted from page 149 of The District Railway Guide to London, with coloured maps, plans, etc, by A. Boot and Sons (pub.). Original held and digitised by the British Library. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:DISTRICT(1888)_p141_-_Waterloo_Station_(plan).jpg#mediaviewer/File:DISTRICT(1888)_p141_-_Waterloo_Station_(plan).jpg

By the end of the 1900s the station was both delapidated and confusing and it was decided to rebuild. However, WWI intervened and the new station was only opened in 1922 by Queen Mary (full coverage here). Only the roof over platforms 18-21 and supporting walls and columns remain from the first station, although the line of the viaduct is still clear.

15-2-22 Waterloo Road LR-20 15-2-22 Waterloo Road LR-40

Original roof over platforms 18-21
Original roof over platforms 18-21
INside Waterloo Station
Inside Waterloo Station
Detail inside Waterloo Station
Detail inside Waterloo Station

Underneath the station there are apparently large vaults (photographs here).

The London Necropolis Railway opened in 1854, running between Waterloo Station and Brookwood Cemetery. London cemeteries were overcrowded and the authorities used the new railways to take burials out of the town, to a newly built cemetery in Surrey. The trains ran on the existing London and South West Railway tracks but there was a special station at Waterloo, with private waiting rooms for the mourners. 121 Westminster Bridge Road for the London Necropolis RailwayWaterloo Station needed to expand and so in 1902 the terminus was moved to Westminster Bridge. 


The remains of the Necropolis Railway Station today, at 121 Westminster Bridge Road
The remains of the Necropolis Railway Station today, 121 Westminster Bridge Road


You may be interested in
A walk in Lambeth and Southwark
Tales from the Terminalsexcellent series of posts about Waterloo Station
The London Necropolis Company

8 Responses

  1. Spike

    Great article but the remains of the Necropolis Railway Station are in Westminster Bridge Road, not Waterloo Bridge Road as you stated under the photograph.

    • Candy Blackham

      Thank for correction! I have updated. I am starting to think about walking London again, with Bradshaw or possibly some of his fellow Victorians who also wrote guidebooks.

  2. Sandra

    Dear Candy, Thank you, this is my first visit to your blog and it is terrific. Sandra

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