Battle Railway Station

Undertaking sympathetic repairs to a Victorian gothic railway station – the most significant restoration since its construction – Southeastern Ltd and Redec Ltd enlisted the expertise of Kent- and London-based architects Clague. Working with Rother District Council and EAR Sheppard, extensive structural surveys were conducted, and previous, unsympathetic repairs to the Grade II listed station were rectified. The challenging restoration took place while the station remained open to passengers and local materials were sourced wherever possible, including Wealden clay tiles.

Battle Railway Station, built 1852, was designed by William Tress, architect to the South Eastern Railway in the gothic style with pointed gables, buttresses and decorative window tracery.

Clague Architects, subcontracted by Redec for its client Southeastern Ltd, was enlisted to work collaboratively with Redec, Rother District Council (RDC) and structural engineers EAR Sheppard, to take on the most significant restoration since the station’s construction.

The restoration was not without its challenges. With the then structurally unsound nature of the building, extensive surveys for both interior and exterior were conducted, revealing a need to mitigate and remove previous unsympathetic repairs to the 19th century site.

Working closely with RDC, we obtained consent to replace and rebuild the deteriorating

chimney in brick rather than re-render the existing one to match the existing chimney, and to replace the narrow UVPC guttering with wider, painted aluminum profiles. These sections were preferred in order to accommodate rainfall and steepness of the roof, leading to a vast reduction in damp, thereby increasing the lifespan of the repairs.

The most challenging aspect of this project was the need to keep that station open to serve passengers and trains. The expertise and organisation of Redec, with whom we have worked very closely, meant this could happen. The scaffolding took a long time to erect, because Redec could only operate during ‘power down’ times.

The scale of conservation on this project, along with the planning conditions we had to meet regarding the materials we could use resulted in

a thorough and sympathetic restoration of Battle’s railway station, and we are very pleased to have been involved. “The scale of conservation on this project, along with the planning conditions we had to meet regarding the materials we could use resulted in a thorough and sympathetic restoration of Battle’s railway station, and we are very pleased to have been involved.”