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Oxford Inscriptions: Rewley Road LMS Station


This metal plaque is set into the pavement in Frideswide Square, outside the Saïd Business School. It remembers the old station building modelled on the Crystal Palace that was built in 1851. This building had to be removed in 1999 to make way for the Saïd Business School, and was re-erected at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre in Quainton.

Rewley Road plaque

[This inscription goes around the four edges, starting at the bottom left and running upwards]:

A STATION WAS ERECTED ON THIS SITE IN 1851 BY THE BUCKINGHAMSHIRE RAILWAY TO COINCIDE WITH THE 
GREAT EXHIBITION OF 1851, USING THE SAME CAST IRON COMPONENTS 

THIS STATION WAS DISMANTLED AND RE-ERECTED AT QUAINTON ROAD STATION, BUCKINGHAMSHIRE BY THE
QUAINTON RAILWAY SOCIETY AS A WORKING MUSEUM IN DECEMBER 2000

The central section of the plaque:

1851–1879
Buckinghamshire Railway
with London and North
Western Railway Company

Engraving of Rewley Road Station

1879–1922
London and North
Western Railway Company

[A tall image of the station’s arches
fills this central section]

1922–1948
London Midland
Railway Company

1851 – 2000

1948–1969
British Railways

Oxford now only has one station, namely the former Great Western Railway (GWR) station on high ground off the Botley Road, but in the nineteenth century a rival company ran a different railway with a separate station to the east. Until 1922 this second company was known as the London & North Western Railway Company (which had absorbed the Buckinghamshire Railway),, but it was then taken over by the the London, Midland & Scottish Railway (LMS) which operated here from 1922 to 1948.

The rival company built its station in 1851 on the site of Rewley Abbey. Gardner's Directory for 1852 describes the station thus:

The London and North Western Railway Station, also in the Botley-road, is another neat structure, of wood and iron with a glazed roof, in the style of the palace of the Great Exhibition in Hyde Park. The length of this station is 110 feet, and its breadth is about 50. This line was opened to Oxford from Bletchley, where it joins the main line, on the 16th of May 1851; but it was opened to Islip in October 1850. The distance from Oxford to Bletchley is 31½ miles. From Winslow, there is a branch to Buckingham, Brackley, and Banbury. Mr. Alfred Blott is the present station master.

The most important service run from this station was the Varsity Line, which ran from here to Cambridge via Bletchley.

British Rail took over the Rewley Road station in 1948 and closed it to passengers on 1 October 1951, putting the main building to commercial use. The goods yard, however, remained until 5 April 1984.

In its latter days it was used as a tyre-fitting business by Regional Tyre Services Ltd.

  • Disused Stations Site Record: Oxford Rewley Road. This report includes a photograph of the LMS station in 1940 when it was still in operation in Oxford, and one taken in December 1967 and another in July 1994 when it was a tyre-fitting business.

Below is the restored Rewley Road station building at its new home at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre in Quainton, © Stephanie Jenkins

Rewley Road Station at Quainton

Wikipedia: Oxford Rewley Road Railway Station

Oxford Today, 22 August 2017: “Oxford's bit of the Crystal Palace


Great Western Railway station (GWR)

The rival GWR station and railway lines survived, and Oxford station is now on its site in a modern building. The postcard below (postmarked 25 August 1908) shows an earlier station building.

GWR station

Stephanie Jenkins