This is the new location for material previously presented on http://www.railwaymapsanddocuments. 

This is a personal, or hobby, website devoted to my interest in British railway history. It is based around a collection of railway related documents that I’ve accumulated over the years. I find this material fascinating as a record of how some of Britain’s railways were planned, built and modified. Interwoven with the civil engineering information is a social history and human story. I’ve put the material on line for the benefit of others with a shared passion in this aspect of our railway heritage. Some are direct transcripts of old railway documents whilst others are articles I’ve written myself, purely for the fun of it. These are based on a sort of DIY home historical research.


The plans for the Manchester and Southampton Railway which were associated with the Parliamentary application of 1846 are no longer featured but if you would like information relating to them please contact me. I have an original set of the 60 plans for the line from Cheltenham to Southampton along with the Book of Reference which, for the land that the company would have had to purchase, gives details of all the land ownership and occupancy. Parliamentary approval was not gained but some decades later the Midland and South Western Railway was built to a similar route south of Cirencester.

The company that hosted has now withdrawn from the sector forcing this relocation – so for those similarly interested in these historic documents my apologies for the inconvenience.


7 thoughts on “

    • I have the full set of route plans (Cheltenham to Southampton) and the book of reference for the 1847 Parliamentary application if that is any use. The book of reference gives the land ownership and tenancy status of all the plots of land along the route that the railway would need to purchase so as to build the line.

      These plans and book of reference would also be held at each of the county archives the line went through, and at the House of Lords. I have found the staff at the latter’s reading room in Westminster very helpful when researching other documents.

      I live near Chorley in Lancashire – just in case you are in this vicinity.




  1. My ancestor, George Daglish, was a son of Robert Daglish who was a pioneer of locomotive building in Lancashire.
    Christopher Morris’s nephew married a descendant of George Daglish.
    Thanks for an interesting read.


    • Thanks for your feed back. Do you live in the Wigan area? The “History Shop” [i.e. museum archive] in Wigan has the old news papers which make interesting reading about some of these folks, e.g. their obituaries.




  2. Thanks for the detailed info on Nailsworth railway employees. Very interesting as I live locally and walk that line often.


  3. Hello Chris, lovely reading the piece on Wigan Dispensary, great detail and I love the notes on the Matrons!

    I am carrying out some family research on my relative a medical student who was studying at Edinburgh University in 1823. There were two students there at that time of that name. One was the honourable Dr James Stuart who served Wigan so well the other is recorded as a student who disappears after 1823 and I am struggling to find suitable records to confirm which is my James Stuart.

    We have visited the HistoryShop briefly but as there is no record of any family links with Edinburgh this link with Wigan is looking a bit unlikely. I would like some advice on where to go to help us resolve some of the mystery of our family link to either gentleman.



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