The Robert Stephenson Trust promotes the greatest engineer of the nineteenth century with the aim of making today's generation aware of his work and humanity to insire a new generation of engineers through his achievements.

These pages give news of the Stephensons, their associates, works and activities.
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A short biography of Robert Stephenson can be seen here

Posted By Robert. Stephenson
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Liverpool and Manchester Railway - View near Liverpool, looking towards Manchester.
Liverpool and Manchester Railway - View near Liverpool, looking towards Manchester.

About this event

After last year's success, when the Smeaton lecture sold out weeks in advance and attracted nearly 300 delegates, this key annual event is back for its 2016 edition.

This year’s topic will look at the design and construction of the Liverpool to Manchester railway.

Opened on 15-16 September 1830, the Liverpool to Manchester Railway is the first main-line and intercity railway in the world. As such it was a prototype project, and remains of global interest, most famously for the establishment of steam locomotive traction as a prime mover, paving the way for a transport revolution that transformed the world over the next 50 years. The Railway was a showcase for British engineering establishing a demand for British engineering expertise all over the world.

The lecture will describe the planning, procurement, design, management and construction of this pioneering engineering work and its initial operation. It will consider the project in the context of the state of civil engineering in the 1820s and its significance today.

The line involved many major engineering works: tunnels and deep cuttings through sandstone, long crossings of deep bogs, inclines considered too steep for locomotive working, and majestic bridges and viaducts. The total quantity of excavation for the railway was about 3m. cubic yards.

The station at Liverpool Road, Manchester is the oldest passenger station in the world and sufficient of its 63 bridges and infrastructure survive to justify its inscription as an ASCE International Civil Engineering landmark in 2016.

Posted By Robert. Stephenson

Repost from Edge Hill Station
Here we see the same replica of the Rocket in front of St. George’s Hall, at the start of the 2011 Gay Pride march. St. George’s Hall stands opposite Lime Street station, and was built in order to accomodate the triennial music festivals that were then held in Liverpool, and also host dinners, concerts and meetings. A company to build such a building was established in 1836, with shares available for £25. By January 1837 £23,350 (£1.76 million in today’s prices) had been raised. The foundation stone was laid on 28th June 1838, to commemorate the coronation of Queen Victoria. An 1839 competition to design the hall was won by 25-year-old London architect Harvey Lonsdale Elmes: Elemes also won a separate competition to design assize courts in Liverpool, and suggested that one building could serve both functions. Construction started in 1841: in 1847, Elmes, who was dying of consumption, delegated responsibility for the project to corporation surveyor John Weightman and structural engineer Robert Rawlinson. In 1851, Charles Robert Cockerell took over as architect, and was mainly responsible for designing the interiors. St. George’s Hall opened to public in 1854, though the concert hall was not opened for another two years. Following a major restoration, the building was reopened by Prince Charles on 23rd April 2007.

Rocket at St. George’s Hall

Posted By Robert. Stephenson

Edge Hill Station is the oldest passenger railway station in the World. Some say when Stephenson's Rocket left Edge Hill for Manchester on the 15th September 1830 it marked the beginning of the modern world.

The Edge Hill Archive attempts to tell the story of a place that has global significance but where ordinary people also live their lives.  Contained within the ten different categories are many stories, anecdotes, objects, artefacts, documents and photographs that together create a ‘living’ archive of Edge Hill’s people and place, both historic and current. 

When Metal decided to renovate the station buildings at Edge Hill Station in Liverpool - the world’s oldest passenger railway station, still in use - we were keen to ensure that the pioneering spirit and history of innovation found in the story of the buildings remained an active part in the legacy we were aspiring to create.  Our continuing creative programme regularly invites artists and local community members to make theatre, music and visual arts that reflect the history of the buildings and the surrounding area, a history that resonates in the architecture and atmosphere of the place. 

Edge Hill is situated at the heart of Liverpool, between Kensington, Wavertree, Toxteth and the city centre. The area has had a significant role to play in the city’s development, as well as in world history as a centre of transport and industry.  The station was a key part of the business venture that was to see the first railway built specifically for passengers rather than cargo, namely the Liverpool to Manchester Railway.  When the line opened in 1830 George Stephenson’s ‘Rocket’ left Crown Street Station and passed through Edge Hill carrying the Prime Minister of the day, the Duke of Wellington, on board.  For the first time passengers could travel at speed between two major cities and return on the same day.  It was a day when the world became a smaller place, the first global news story broke, and the rise of an industry began that would change the world.

The story of Edge Hill Station, the building, is one of many stories that grow out of the wider area and its changing fortunes across the years.  Our project has captured some of these stories here and our project includes a display inside the buildings at Edge Hill Station itself.  With the help of a Heritage Lottery Grant, and the many people who have submitted stories and objects to the archive, we have been able to create this archive and we hope that you find something interesting within it.

Please get in touch if you have a story or memory to add to the archive:

Metal at Edge Hill Station, Tunnel Road, Liverpool, L7 6ND




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