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Wolverhampton Low Level station entrance
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Wolverhampton Low Level Station

1854 - 1981

Wolverhampton Low Level Station was opened 1854 by the Oxford, Worcester & Wolverhampton Railway later to fall under the auspices of the GWR. Unlike its LNWR High Level neighbour it was closed to passengers in 1972 but continued to function as a parcels depot until 1981. Once an important stop on the London-Birkenhead line and linked with Snow Hill Station in Birmingham which itself succumbed to closure in 1972, the old station cuts a sorry figure in the rapidly regenerating heart of Wolverhampton. However, the station buildings were listed in 1986 and during my visit the area was cordoned off with contractors on site, although I am not sure exactly as to the nature of their work. The grand, and listed, Low Level Station buildings can be seen above viewed from the Sun Street entrance, September 2003.

 
Wolverhampton Low and High Level stations
Wolverhampton Low Level station view from Wednesfield Road
 

As can be discerned from the present-day map, the old station site is now an odd time-capsule in an island of redeveloped roads. The views above were taken from Wednesfield Road looking down to the station. Above-left you can see the High Level Station to the right of the shot.

 
Wolverhampton Low Level station buildings
Wolverhampton Low Level station buildings from Sun Street
 

Above-left we have moved around the site to Sun Street to look at the other end of the station - note the cannopy over the platform remains in tact in the centre of the shot. Above-right are some of the station buildings as viewed from Sun Street further along to the left from the preceding shot.

 
Wolverhampton Low Level station rusting and arson-hit coach
Wolverhampton Low Level station entrance from Sun Street
 

Above-left we are still in Sun Street with the station buildings behind the bushes in the foreground - I was intrigued to find an old coach rusting away in the undergrowth. Above-right is the entrance to the station, leading to the area seen in the main photo at the top of this page, from Sun Street - the notice on the top-right of the gate still reads "Low-Level Station".

 
Wolverhampton Low Level station from Sun Street
Wolverhampton Low Level station forecourt
 

Since my original visit to the site in September 2003, much has been happening at the ex-GWR Low Level station and I have received numerous emails informing me of the various goings-on. Therfore, I thought it was about time I revisited and above-left we are viewing the site from Sun Street and can see that much clearance has taken place since the last visit to the site. It is now being developed as the 'Station Plaza' shop/bar complex and, although the Northbound platform and station buildings appear to be being preserved, the rest of the site appears to be being dismantled and bulldozed. Above-right we have walked from Sun Street onto the station forecourt which has changed little, thus far, in the redevelopment.

 
Wolverhampton Low Level station platform
Wolverhampton Low Level station platform
 

Above-left and right we are moving along the forecourt to enter the site of the platforms: here we see some of the original station buildings awaiting conversion into shops and bars (we certainly need more shops and bars: a railway station might have been a more unique idea?).

 
Wolverhampton Low Level station platform
Wolverhampton Low Level station platform
 

Above-left we are walking towards the Northbound platform and can see that the supporting cannopy structure on the platform is still in situ, as is the footbridge. Above-right we are standing on the platform looking North. Caretainly, being in a stripped-down state displays nicely the intricate iron-work of the cannopy-supports and rivetting.

 
Wolverhampton Low Level station cannopy and platform
Wolverhampton Low Level station connection with High Level station
 

Above-left we are again looking North and get a closer look at the rivetting and iron-work. Unfortunately, I don't know whether or not the cannopy is being retained but, unless it is in a seriously dangerous state, it would be a shame to remove it as it would make a great feature for any development. Above-right we see the covered passage, lined with salt-glazed tiles - commonly used by the GWR, that runs parrallel to the station forecourt buildings (to the right) and leads to an entrance to the High Level station above.

 
Wolverhampton Low Level station connection with High Level station
 

Above we see the tunnel leading under the ex-LNWR tracks above, to the High Level station. Allegedly, this tunnel was known in days gone by as 'the Brothel' due to various nefarious activities undertaken here during the hours of darkness! It does provide for a rather shabby, gloomy entrance to the High Level station site but it is good that it escaped the redevelopment of the station above as so many subterranean tunnels have failed to do so over the past 30 years.

 

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