The lost Cambs village railway station that was used for only four years before becoming a house
The village of Cherry Hinton, just southeast of Cambridge, is loved today as a peaceful and pretty place. Many of those wanting to leave the hustle and bustle of city life come to live or spend a day in peacefulness at the The Red Lion or Robin Hood Pub and Grill.
Some might even pass the village briefly on the train as they enter Cambridge, hardly noticing it flash past their window. But less than 200 years ago, passengers with their bags ready to go would have waited at a platform in the tiny village ready to board a train coming from Fulbourn into the city.
If you visit Cherry Hinton today, you might struggle to find the old Railway Station. That’s mainly because it is now a home, showing little resemblance to what it once was.
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During great railway expansions across Cambridgeshire that intended to link all of the towns and villages together, Cherry Hinton Railway Station opened on October 9, 1851, along with the Newmarket Railway’s extension from Six Mile Bottom to Cambridge.
The station in the small village helped villagers easily get to the city without needing to walk three miles and also gave them greater access to other towns and villages across the county. However, it wasn’t to last.
The Newmarket Railway was absorbed by the Eastern Counties Railway on March 30, 1854, just three years after Cherry Hinton opened, and just over a month later, the new station closed on May 1, 1854.
Despite the station closing, the line still remains in use today and passengers pass the village as those in 1851 would have, but there are no stops available anymore.
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The old Cherry Hinton station house, which is the only proof the station ever existed, still stands on the corner of High Street and Railway Street but is now a home called The Gatehouse. It formerly served as a level crossing gatehouse to the gate keeper who manually opened and closed the level crossing gates for the railway line.
Most surprisingly, in 1997 and again in 2013 Cambridgeshire County Council proposed reopening the station as part of an infrastructure plan to deal with projected population growth up to 2050. But it was not to be as residents didn’t seem to support the idea.
So next time you’re on the train to Cambridge and pass the small picturesque village of Cherry Hinton, look out for the old Gatehouse and the unlucky station that just wasn’t meant to be.