The Railway Gate Houses Lincoln Flats

The York and North Midlands Railway (Y. & N.M.R.) Selby to Market Weighton line, which was constructed as a single-track railway line, opened on the 8th August 1848 and cost £156,000 to build. This rural branch line was built for its strategic rather than financial value. The North Eastern Railway took over the line on the 31st July 1854. The two railway gate houses at Lincoln Flats stood on the waste ground opposite the Yellowtop Country Park site and were owned by the York and North Midlands Railway Company.

The houses stood just 5 yards from the railway line at what was named the Turn Pike and from William Watson’s 1848 plan of the houses in Seaton Ross were originally occupied by John Woodcock (Railway Platelayer) and his family.

The houses continued to be occupied by employees of the Y. & N.M.R well into the 20th century. The employees ranged from platelayers to gangers and labourers.

The plan is from the 1901 ordnance survey map showing the position of the gate houses at Lincoln Flats, The census of 1901 shows that Cornelius Guest, his wife Eliza and their five children lived in one of the houses with Henry Teal and his wife Mary living in the second house. The railway crossing gates at Lincoln Flats were hand operated.

The Beeching cuts during the 1960 ‘s brought about the closure of the Selby to Market Weighton railway line and with the closure brought about the demolition of the gate houses in the late 1960’s.

The Beeching cuts were to prove a devastating blow for many villages, though the effects were slow to be recognised.

The deserted stations were converted to private dwellings, gate houses and signal boxes demolished, and the now silent tracks have reverted to nature and become artificial greenways for walkers, riders and cyclists.

All that now remains is the empty ground on which the gate houses stood a reminder to us of the end of the age of the rural railway line.

Malcolm Young

sharing Seaton Ross's history