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The Golden Valley Railway
University of Wales Press

The Golden Valley Railway

Regular price £12.00 £0.00 Unit price per

The Golden Valley Railway was a late and most unfortunate member of the army of local railway companies which constructed most of the branch lines in Great Britain during the Victorian age. It ran up the Golden Valley in Herefordshire, from Pontrilas through Abbeydore, Peter-church and Dorstone to Hay, on the River Wye. It was built between 1876 and 1889, and after years of struggle against hopeless deficits—and like so many local lines it was heavily over-capitalised—it was closed down in 1898. It was then rescued by the Great Western Railway, reopened in 1901 and survived as a passenger line until 1941, for goods until the 1950's. It was not lacking in grandiose ambitions ; it projected an extension to Monmouth, and saw itself as part of a through route from Bristol and South Wales to Liverpool. The heroic efforts which brought it into being were typical of the time ; and though it is now no more it gave its district many years of humble and useful service in the days before road transport was fully developed. It owed much to the landowners of this quiet corner of the border-country between England and Wales ; the Lewises, Woods, Robinsons, Cornewalls, Powells, Dews, de Wintons, and above all the Green-Prices of Knighton, whose family fortunes were mortgaged for two generations as a result of heavy investments in this and other border lines. Its history, based almost entirely upon documentary materials, tells much of railway promotion and finance, and the role of railway contractors (especially Charles Chambers) ; it also recalls something of the character of country society (the society described in the diary of Francis Kilvert, who was curate of Clyro, near Hay, in the early seventies) three quarters of a century ago.

Hardback with dust jacket, 122 pages, black & white photographs

Condition: Good with some age discolouration to DJ & EP

ISBN: 9780999006276

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Updated: 29 December 2022