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Historic England Research Records

The Cuckoos Nest

Hob Uid: 1381019
Location :
Cheshire West And Chester
Cheshire West And Chester
Pulford
Grid Ref : SJ3825060300
Summary : A private Victorian railway terminus and repair yard complex built by John Douglas, architect of Chester, for the Duke of Westminster at one of his estates at an existing estate yard which had been developed between 1837-1860. The complex includes a superintendent's house to north, a timber-working range, and a barn, smithy and workshop range adjoining to the south with a further office range with adjoining walls to the east. The precise date for the construction of the railway complex varies between sources, with the earliest being 1884-1886 and the latest 1894-5 (the latter based on materials from the Grosvenor Estate Archives). It is a rare survival of a scale of operation planned by only the most ambitious and wealthy estates in the late 19th century, and undertaken by an architect of national reputation. The complex was designed to service a private railway line, built mainly to transport goods from the Chester-Wrexham road to the Duke's main residence at Eaton Hall as well as to/from the adjacent brick and tile works and a timber yard at Belgrave. There were also engine sheds at Belgrave.
More information : A private Victorian railway terminus and repair yard complex built by John Douglas, architect of Chester, for the Duke of Westminster. The complex includes a superintendent's house to north, a timber-working range, and a barn, smithy and workshop range adjoining to the south with a further office range with adjoining walls to the east. The Listed description states that it was constructed between 1884-1886. It is a rare survival of a scale of operation planned by only the most ambitious and wealthy estates in the late 19th century, and undertaken by an architect of national reputation. The complex was designed to service a private railway line to transport goods from the Chester-Wrexham road to the Duke's main residence at Eaton Hall. (1)

Material in the Grosvenor Estate archive indicates that the narrow gauge branch line was built in 1894-5. The line was constructed to transport goods (and guests) to the Hall; and to/from the tile/Brickworks adjacent to The Cuckoo's Nest and at Belgrave. The estate yard on which the complex was sited was developed between 1837-1860. The estate map of 1841 shows only one building at The Cuckoos nest; a field book dated 1864 mentions a brickyard and works and timber yard in this area. A later estate map of 1865 shows a nearby station at Balderton. (2-3)

The F.Wilde Collection contains photographs of an engine shed at Belgrave about half a mile north of the Cuckoo's Nest. There are also plates showing a carriage shed at Eaton Hall and a Wagon Shed at Balderton Sidings (4)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : District of Chester 17-JUL-1998
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Source Number : 2
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : Grosvenor Eaton Estate Archive, including accounts books EV390, EV391, EV406 and estate maps dated 1866 and 1898; Tithe map of 1837; sale catalogue dated 1919, lot 50.
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Source Number : 3
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : PastScape feedback 17-OCT-2009
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Source Number : 4
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : F. Wilde Collection
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Built 1884-1894
Monument End Date : 1886
Monument Start Date : 1884
Monument Type : Railway Station, Railway Engineering Workshop, Blacksmiths Workshop, Barn, Railway Office, Wood Workers Workshop, House
Evidence : Extant Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 469662
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SJ 36 SE 24
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :