John Dobson's Central Station (Exterior view)

View of Central Station, Newcastle, from top of the steps of Pugin's St Mary's Cathedral designed by John Dobson (1787-1865). Photograph 2006 by Jacqueline Banerjee [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL.]

According to Carol Meeks, Thomas Prosser later designed the long "stone-built façade" — 600 feet long and 40 feet high — "interrupted by a colossal porte-cochere [a porch large enough for a carriage to pass through] which projects boldly from it" (p. 59), and he substituted pilasters for Dobson's original columns. The original design and accompanying model won a Medal of Honor for Dobson in Paris (1855). The Queen Victoria officially opened the station on 29 August 1850 [JB].)

Dobson's station has an important place in the history of railway station design: Acccording to Meeks, it was one of the first to have electric lighting (78), and at the same time, it was "the last monumental one-sided station . . . and with this dinosaur, the type became extinct in England" (31). Although some contemporary critics disliked the building, Meeks praises it as "one of the Dobson's finest works and one of the most imposing stations of the period" (59-60).

Related Material


Meeks, Carol L. V. The Victorian Railroad Station: An Architectural History. New Haven: Yale UP, 1956.

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Last modified 21 July 2006