The Settle-Carlisle Railway Conservation Area (SCRCA) Project - Introduction and Overview
The Settle-Carlisle Railway Conservation Area (SCRCA) is a 78-mile section of railway that is considered to be an area of special architectural and historical interest. In a bid to preserve the character and appearance of this unique section of railway, it was officially designated a Conservation Area in 1991. It is the longest conservation area in the United Kingdom and it covers the entire railway (and all asssociated historic structures) between Hellifield Junction (two miles south of Settle) and Carlisle Citadel station. The image gallery below gives a flavour of what the conservation area has to offer.
Tip: To view larger versions of the images in a slideshow overlay, click on the first image, then use the slideshow controls to view the rest.
The SCRCA Project
At the beginning of 2012, a very small group of volunteers launched a long-term project to:
- identify, catalogue and create a comprehensive record of key railway-related structures and sites within (or associated with) the Settle - Carlisle Railway Conservation Area; then to
- gradually research and document the history of the most 'interesting' sites and structures.
The composite images above illustrate the wide variety of site- and structure-types that are being catalogued and recorded as part of the project. They include:
- 24 railway stations (13 open / operational - see graphic, right - and 11 closed), including:
- 44 passenger platforms
- 23 main station buildings / booking offices
- 32 secondary station buildings/ waiting rooms
- 12 goods sheds
- 17 cattle docks
- 14 general loading docks
- 23 yard offices / weigh-houses
- 48 signal boxes (11 operational, 2 preserved, 35 demolished / removed)
- 398 numbered bridges, including:
- 251 underbridges
- 111 overbridges
- 22 viaducts
- 14 tunnels
- 232 former railway workers’ houses (all now in private ownership)
- 379 other lineside buildings (almost all of which are now disused and in various stages of decay), including:
- 48 lamp huts (a.k.a. "oil stores" or "naphtha stores")
- 162 platelayers' huts
- 58 fog huts (some of which were probably used / re-used as toilets)
- 111 other buildings including "stores", "coal offices", "blacksmith's shops", etc)
- 305 Mileposts
- 118 Gradient posts
- In the longer term, the scope of the project may be extended to cover hundreds (potentially thousands) of smaller structures including signals, boundary markers, signs, and other miscellaneous railway-related items plus dozens of archaeological sites connected with the railway's construction.
The task of cataloguing and recording the locations associated with the SCRCA is well underway and, despite the very small size of the project team, it is hoped that this initial phase of the project will be complete by the end of 2019.
The SCRCA Project Database
Although the task of gathering and uploading material is still ongoing, the project has already generated a significant quantity of material (information, images, etc.). One of the primary objectives of the project is to provide public access to this material wherever it is appropriate for us to do so. To this end, it is now possible to 'virtually visit' the SCRCA via the following webpages:
New material will be generated and uploaded on an occassional basis for the foreseeable future.
The two 'virtual visit' pages mentioned above focus on the main extant (standing) structures and they only show structures that have been visited on the ground or assessed remotely using cab-view footage or similar. There are also two comprehensive 'gazetteer' pages that provide access to ALL of the available (unrestricted) material. If you are interested in the more minor structures (such as mileposts, gradient posts, level crossings, sidings, etc.), structures that have been demolished and / or locations that have not yet been visited / assessed, use the 'gazetteer' pages:
All of the structures and sites associated with the SCRCA Project have been classified by 'type'. Some have been further classified by 'variant'. A list of the types and variants (with definitions) is available on the following pages:
- SCRCA structure / site 'types' with associated definitions
- SCRCA structure / site 'variants' with associated definitions
Some of the structures within the SCRCA benefit from additional official protection such as 'listing' (for structures) and 'scheduling' (for sites). A list of the various protection categories associated with the SCRCA Project is available on the SCRCA Protection Category Definitions page.
The SCRCA Project uses a wide variety of both general and specialist terminology. The latter includes terms drawn from the fields of archaeology, architecture and conservation, as well as from railway engineering and railway operations. A Glossary of terms and code-list has been created to provide brief definitions for the key terms and, where necessary, to clarify their use / meaning in the context of the SCRCA Project.
Information relating to data control, copyright and data-usage is provided on the 'SCRCA Project: Notes regarding data control, copyright and usage' page.
The SCRCA Project Team
A list of the current members of the SCRCA Project Team, with mini-biographies where available, is available on the 'SCRCA Project Team Members' page.
If you'd like to help us with any aspect of the SCRCA Project, we would very much like to hear from you. The areas where voluntary assistance would be most helpful are listed and briefly explained on the 'SCRCA Project: Getting Involved' page.
Background & context
A short briefing document has been prepared to place the SCRCA Project in context by providing:
- a brief overview of the purpose and management of Conservation Areas in general;
- the background to evaluating Conservation Area structures that may be under threat of alteration or demolition / removal;
- the historical precedent for embracing 'managed change' within the SCRCA; and
- a quick look at the implications of all this for the SCRCA Project.
This briefing document is presented on the Background & context page.
A plea for information, photographs etc
If you have any photographs, film / video, plans, drawings, or information relating to the design, construction, use, or demolition / removal of structures within the SCRCA that you are willing to share with the SCRCA Project Team, please contact us. When doing so, please briefly state the nature and content of the information / material in question, along with your terms regarding its use. (The SCRCA Project Team will respect and comply with any reasonable terms regarding the use of material supplied in connection with the SCRCA Project and we are happy to discuss and agree such terms in advance.) We are especially seeking photographs or drawings of structures that have been demolished.
= Highly recommended as an introduction to the SCRCA.
- November 2016
- August 2016
- May 2016
- February 2016
- November 2015
- August 2015
- May 2015
- February 2015
- November 2014
- August 2014
- May 2014
- February 2014
- November 2013
- August 2013
- May 2013
- February 2013
- November 2012
- August 2012
- May 2012
- February 2012
- November 2011
- August 2011
- May 2011
- February 2011
- November 2010
- August 2010
- May 2010
- February 2010
- November 2009
- Guided Walks
The SCRCA Project: Featured Structures
A random selection of structures from the Settle-Carlisle Railway Conservation Area (SCRCA) Project database are shown below. To view a larger version of an image and the relevant 'Structure Summary', click on the image or its caption.