by John | May 16, 2016 |

Campsea Ashe : A History of the Station


The station located in Campsea Ashe, which is interestingly named after a village two miles away; Wickham Market, has a fascinating history and played an important role in the prosperity of the local towns in East Anglia. Read on for a brief history of the railway station at Campsea Ashe.

The station began operating from 1 June 1859 with branch lines inland to Framlingham and Snape (operating as a goods only service) and also out towards the coast at Aldeburgh and Southwold. The bustling railway line which, at its peak, had over 20 people working at the station, was dual track each with its own platform. The station had numerous facilities for passengers including a ticket office, waiting room with bookstall and the nearby Talbot Hotel. The line had a significant impact on the economic growth of towns in the surrounding area; with ample provision for loading goods and livestock the East Anglia area was becoming increasingly well connected.

Like many other railway lines in the UK the Campsea Ashe line was put to use as part of the war effort during both World Wars, helping armies to recover, coastal defence and providing the air force with supplies. As with many railways in the post war era the Campsea Ashe line began to decline. During the 1960s the various branch lines were closed but the line remained to serve the Leiston and Sizewell nuclear power stations.

One of the most curious aspects surrounding the station is its name irregularity. Why is the station called Wickham Market when it’s located in Campsea Ashe? A question asked by locals and visitors alike, past and present. The Wickham Market name is believed to stem from the fact that engineers had to build the route to avoid both the climb up to the high ground on which Wickham Market lies and the surrounding River Deben flood plain to the north and east of the town. The engineers chose to run the line through Campsea Ashe to escape these geographical issues but kept the Wickham Market name due to its higher status as it was a significant industrial centre at the time.

The line still runs today and Wickham Market station is served by Abellio Greater Anglia, operating services between Ipswich and Lowestoft or Saxmundham. In the last few years Station House Community Connections, a new form of charitable, community organisation is fundraising to transform the current Station House into a new facility to support communities in East Suffolk introducing new, modern features such as a cafe, bookshop and computer room with wifi access.

Tempted to have a break in Suffolk to explore Campsea Ashe? If you’re looking for a romantic getaway Kakapo Lodge might be perfect place for you. If you’re planning a family get together Quill Farm Barn would be ideal. For more lovely properties in the area click here.

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