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Historic Building Details

HB Ref No:

Extent of Listing:
Former station including platform

Date of Construction:
1840 - 1859

Address :
Former LMS Railway Terminus Molesworth Street Cookstown Co Tyrone BT80 8PA


Survey 2:

Date of Listing:
09/11/1976 00:00:00

Date of De-listing:

Current Use:

Former Use
Railway Station Structures

Conservation Area:

Industrial Archaeology:





OS Map No:

IG Ref:
H8133 7830

Owner Category


Exterior Description And Setting

This long single-storey sandstone building, is a former the LMS railway terminus, built c. 1855 – 56 to designs by Charles Lanyon, which formed part of the line between Randalstown and Cookstown. The property is now in use as a restaurant. The building has two parts, the former station to the South, and former platform (now enclosed as part of the restaurant) to the North. The former station is rectangular with a projecting central entrance porch. The former platform building behind is rectangular. The symmetrical South elevation is street fronted. It has paired round-headed windows with 1/1 painted timber sash frames. All windows have cut sandstone surrounds, and are set on a carved stone sill with carved stone corbell brackets beneath. There is a projecting cut sandstone impost course at springing-line, which is continuous along the front elevation. The entrance porch has square headed 1/1 timber sash windows to the side elevations. The windows are set on plinth level. There is a painted panelled double timber door to front South elevation. The door is surmounted by an infilled roundel to porch. There are cut-stone surrounds to all openings as previous. The projecting impost course of the main elevation steps over the porch windows. There is a modern retractable shop blind addition to West of front porch, c. 2007, incorporating the smoking area. The East elevation comprises the former station block to the left, and the platform building to the right. The former station has paired round-headed windows as previous. The platform building projects slightly forward and is stepped in height. There is a large glazed opening with replacement aluminium glazing to the platform building. It is surmounted by face fixed painted timber boards. The West elevation is cement rendered with no openings to the former station block. A stepped cement rendered wall seperates the station from the platform building. The elevation of the former platform is obscured from view. The rear North elevation is partially obscured from view by the adjacent warehouse building. It comprises a series of round-headed openings which have been blocked up. There is a chamfered cut-stone plinth to the base of the elevations. The roofs are hipped with artificial slate. The former station has over sailing soffit eaves, with simple carved projecting timber brackets. The porch has a gable-ended pitched roof, with decorative carved timber brackets to the corners of the eaves. The platform building has a gable end to the West elevation, and a continuous roof light to apex of the roof roof. The original Italianate chimneys have been removed. Setting: The former LMS station is set slightly back from the main Molesworth Road. Is surrounded by a low rise snecked stone wall with painted railings. There is a tarmac car-park to the front, and a modern retail building behind. It is situated in the North East of the town centre, adjacent to an assortment of former railway buildings.


Lanyon, Charles

Historical Information

The station This building originally served as the Cookstown station for the Belfast & Ballymena Railway Company’s line from Randalstown to Cookstown, and was built in 1855-56. The engineering architect was Charles Lanyon, the contractor, William Dargan, and the line opened on 10th November 1856. The Belfast & Ballymena Railway Company became the Belfast and Northern Counties Railway in 1860, which, in 1903, was taken over by the Midland Railway, becoming the Northern Counties Committee (NCC). Following UK-wide amalgamations in 1923, the NCC be came part of the London Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS). With Nationalisation in 1948, the line passed to the British Transport Commission, and the following year, was sold to the Ulster Transport Authority (UTA), finally closing in August 1950. The station building appears remained in the ownership of the UTA and its successor Northern Ireland Railways throughout the 1950s and 60s, and may have served as a store for a time, but when surveyed in October 1970 had become ‘semi-derelict’. It appears to have remained unused until 1977, when, after being sold to a private owner, it was converted to a motor accessories store. By 1983 it had become a farm supplies shop, remaining as such until at least 1989. It was converted to a restaurant at some point after 2002. McCutcheon tells us that all of the original Belfast & Ballymena Railway Company’s stations ‘were built on similar lines – long single-storey blocks with coupled round-headed, horizontally-glazed windows, squared random rubble, dressed window openings, and ornamental, stucco quoins. At Cookstown, where the central station stood alongside the contrasting Great Northern station of 1878-9, the derelict terminus of the first branch line to be built on what later became the Northern Counties system is particularly impressive. It has a six-bay street front flanking a projecting central entrance, each bay with coupled round-headed windows, horizontally glazed, squared random snecked rubble and dressed window openings and impost course. The porched entrance has oversailing eaves and there is a single, elegant Italianate chimney. The platform behind looked across a single track to a plain-arched colonnade of squared random rubble pillars supporting a canopy, the whole forming a “little house into which the train drew up”. At Cookstown the masonry is uncovered: at the other stations it is clad in painted stucco, the main constructional details often picked out in different colours.’ The stationmaster’s house and other structures The red brick building now used as offices (HB09/13/030) originally served as the stationmaster’s house for the Cookstown terminus of the Belfast & Ballymena Railway Company’s line from Randalstown. This line opened in 1855-56, but, according to the valuations, this building was only added to the site in 1883. The line closed in 1950, and in 1956 an R. McKee is recorded as the occupant of the house, remaining there up until at least 1972. The brick building to the west of the former stationmaster’s house was constructed some time between 1895 and 1897. Its original function is uncertain, but it is likely to have acted as an outbuilding for the neighbouring stationmaster’s house itself. The valuers give no specific details as to the individual roles of the various structures within railway complexes such as this, however, the buildings belonging to the railway are listed in the valuation of 1916, (when the extent of the station was at its height), as consisting of a ‘Passenger station house, goods office and stores, lavatory and lamp room, advertising spaces, sites of oil tank and automatic machines, platforms, roofs and approaches’ as well as ‘sidings’ are also recorded as well as the ‘station master’s house, offices and yard’. References- Primary sources 1 PRONI VAL/2C/63 Second valuation, Union of Cookstown (Dublin, 1859) [This is the printed version of the second valuation. The handwritten version (which may have been more detailed and include property dimensions etc.) no longer exists. The printed volume merely provides names of tenants and leaseholders, and rateable values.] 2 PRONI VAL/2D/6/3/1-2 Valuation plan of Cookstown, 1859-82 [2 sheets] 3 PRONI VAL/12B/37/5A Annual valuation revision book, Cookstown ED, 1860-63 4 PRONI VAL/12B/37/5B Annual valuation revision book, Cookstown ED, 1864-68 5 PRONI VAL/12B/37/5C Annual valuation revision book, Cookstown ED, 1868-81 6 PRONI VAL/12B/37/5D Annual valuation revision book, Cookstown ED, 1881 7 PRONI VAL/12B/37/5E Annual valuation revision book, Cookstown ED, 1881 8 PRONI VAL/12B/37/5F Annual valuation revision book, Cookstown ED, 1882-90 9 PRONI VAL/12B/37/5G Annual valuation revision book, Cookstown ED, 1882-88 10 PRONI VAL/12B/37/5J Annual valuation revision book, Cookstown ED, 1889-94 [The reference number for this book is out of sequence in the PRONI catalogue- the dates it covers are actually earlier than VAL/12B/37/5H.] 11 PRONI VAL/12B/37/5H Annual valuation revision book, Cookstown ED, 1895-99 12 PRONI VAL/12B/37/5K Annual valuation revision book, Cookstown ED, 1889-99 13 PRONI VAL/12E/171/1/1-2 Valuation plan of Cookstown, 1892-97 [2 sheets] 14 PRONI OS/33/1/1-5 OS plan of Cookstown, 1895 [5 sheets] 15 PRONI OS/9/10/2/1-2 OS plan of Cookstown, index map, 1895 [2 sheets] 16 PRONI OS/9/10/3/1-5 OS plan of Cookstown, 1895 [5 sheets] 17 PRONI VAL/12E/171/2/1-3 Valuation plan of Cookstown, 1897-1910 [3 sheets] 18 PRONI VAL/12B/37/7A Annual valuation revision book, Cookstown ED, 1901-07 19 PRONI VAL/12B/37/7B Annual valuation revision book, Cookstown ED, 1909-15 20 PRONI OS/33/2/1-4 OS plan, 1909 & 1918 [4 sheets] 21 PRONI VAL/12B/37/7C Annual valuation revision book, Cookstown ED, 1916-29 22 PRONI VAL/3G/142/1 /1-4 Valuation plan of Cookstown, 1936-37 [4 sheets] 23 PRONI VAL/3C/7/8 First general revaluation of Northern Ireland, Cookstown Urban, 1936-57 24 PRONI VAL/3G/142/2/1-4 Valuation plan of Cookstown, 1937-51 25 PRONI VAL/4B/6/10 Second general revaluation of Northern Ireland, Cookstown Urban vol.1, 1956-72 26 PRONI VAL/4B/6/11 Second general revaluation of Northern Ireland, Cookstown Urban vol.2E, 1956-72 Secondary sources 1 McCutcheon, W.A., 'The industrial archaeology of Northern Ireland' (Belfast, HMSO, 1980), pp.172-3 2 Johnson, Stephen, ‘Johnson’s atlas & gazetteer of the railways of Ireland’, (Midland Publishing Ltd., 1997), p.103

Criteria for Listing

Architectural Interest

A. Style B. Proportion C. Ornamentation D. Plan Form I. Quality and survival of Interior K. Group value

Historic Interest

W. Northern Ireland/International Interest V. Authorship Y. Social, Cultural or Economic Importance


This is a Italaniate former railway terminus constructed as part of the London Midland and Scottish Railway. The building represents a important element of the growing prosperity of Cookstown and its railway during the mid to late nineteenth-century. The building is well composed with high quality stone masonry and detailing to the exterior. Much of the good quality interior detail has remained intact, adding to the sense of style and importance of this building. The exposed roof structure has been well-maintained and the minor amendments do not detract from character of the original fabric. The building has a strong street presence along Molesworth Street, and is a good if modest example of the work of the renowned architect Charles Lanyon. This is a well preserved former station that is an important surviving part of the extensive Victorian Irish rail network. Cookstown is unusual in that the town was initially served by two separate railway companies. This building shares a group value with adjoining buildings in general but it shares a strong group value with other railway buildings in particular.

General Comments

Date of Survey

21 October 2007