If you have very deep pockets and fancy living in a railway station for the dead, then the Necropolis Station in Waterloo is currently up for sale.

(c) Dexters

The railway station building, around the back of Waterloo station, was built to cater to that very Victorian obsession – the dead. As London’s graveyards overflowed and cemeteries were built on the outskirts of London, the London Necropolis and National Mausoleum Company was granted permission to build a huge cemetery in Woking.

To get the dead from London to Woking, they went by train.

As Waterloo station passengers probably wouldn’t want to see the dead passing through the station, a dedicated Necropolis station was built just down the road. The cemetery and railway link opened 170 years ago on 13th November 1854.

Living London, Its Works and Its Play, Its Humour and Its Pathos, its Sights and its Scenes, Vol. III

The railway had to move in 1899 to make space for Waterloo station to expand, and they opened a new station nearby in 1902. This four-storey building provided mortuaries, stores, a boiler room, and the caretaker’s flat on the ground floor, with stairs up to the waiting train for second-class passengers – and a lift for first-class passengers.

This shows that Edwardians were quite able to build step-free railway stations, even if not for the reasons we would do so today.

However, the railway closed during WW2 shortly after the bombing of the railway tracks leading to the Necropolis station. If you zoom in (free registration needed) on this photo, you can see the remaining platform and railway tracks, and just to the north is the surviving building.

Since the railway closed, the remaining parts of the railway station building have been used as offices but have been empty for several years.

(c) Dexters

A planning application was approved to convert the building into residential flats, although, as noted by SE1, it’s still pending the formal sign-off of the Section 106 agreement. The developer has now put the building up for sale for an asking price of £4.25 million as a residential development opportunity.

Someone with deep pockets could sleep in a railway station for the dead.

However, someone with exceptionally deep pockets could even restore the old railway line, as the spur junction still exists and turn the building into their own private railway station.

The Dexters property listing with a lot more photos of the interior of the former railway station is here.

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6 comments
  1. Ian Alcock says:

    Very interesting, one small point the railway went to the the then new Brookwood cemetery, not Woking.
    A very many they tooVictorian graves, lots of large and ornate Graves . They took burial very seriously indeed, to show the status of the dead was very important!

  2. Paul says:

    Closer to Pirbright

  3. Andrew Wilson says:

    Looking on Google maps, the branch to the station is mostly there and looks to be reasonably intact. It looks like it is being used as a siding.

  4. Keith says:

    Feels like it could/should be converted into a museum, giving its interesting history.

  5. Hilary says:

    A museum is an excellent idea. Otherwise more of our history will be lost for ever. Brookwood Cemetery is a fascinating place to visit, and is still in use today. So big, you can drive round it

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