Friday, 21 February 2014

Beauty in abandonment - an Urban Wander around Princes Risborough

Princes Risborough is one of those places that I must have driven past signs to for tens of years but never managed to visit. This was all addressed earlier this week when, on thinking I might have a day out in Aylesbury, I instead took a deviation from my planned route and thought I'd have a look at Princes Risborough. The town itself is attractive enough, with a fairly traditional high street and market place, but regular readers will know that I'm generally on the lookout for something less obvious, and more off the beaten track. So, after have the obligatory coffee and cake, which seems to feature heavily in my recent wanders, inspired by my continued readings about Psychogeography I headed slightly out of the town towards the railway station where my thirst for abandonment, dereliction and decay was well and truly quenched in what felt like classic British Edgelands.

The first couple of pictures are of an area just in front of the station in the midst of demolition, although looking at the rampant undergrowth it would seem that demolition started some time ago but never quite finished. There was no sign of any activity when I was there. Curious why just this one small part of the building should be left standing - I wonder what it used to be?

Demolition, near Princes Risborough station
Demolition, near Princes Risborough station 

Demolition, near Princes Risborough station
Demolition, near Princes Risborough station 

As I approached the station I caught sight of an old, signal box, presumably used to control the signals as the line splits into three on leaving the station. It was hard to tell from this distance whether the box was in use, but I suspected not.

North Signal Box, Princes Risborough
North Signal Box, Princes Risborough 

North Signal Box, Princes Risborough
 North Signal Box, Princes Risborough

Demolition, near Princes Risborough station
Demolition, near Princes Risborough station 

Demolition, near Princes Risborough station
Demolition, near Princes Risborough station 

As I walked along the main road, parallel to the railway tracks, a gap in the houses and an old wire fence afforded me a better look at the signal box. Not only did it reveal that it was boarded up, but also that it was called the North Signal Box, so I would assume there's a South Signal Box somewhere the other side of the station, once, or maybe still, controlling the passing of trains in the other direction.

North Signal Box, Princes Risborough
North Signal Box, Princes Risborough 

North Signal Box, Princes Risborough
North Signal Box, Princes Risborough 

North Signal Box, Princes Risborough
North Signal Box, Princes Risborough 

Passing under two railway bridges, both of which seemed to be in use, I turned into what looked like an incredibly spacious business park. Whilst there were some high tech, newer looking buildings this small collection of low lying, abandoned ones caught my eye.

Abandoned buildings, Regent Park, Princes Risborough
Abandoned buildings, Regent Park, Princes Risborough 

Abandoned buildings, Regent Park, Princes Risborough
Abandoned buildings, Regent Park, Princes Risborough  

Just behind the abandoned buildings, a huge area of undeveloped land opened up as far as the old signal box, which can just about be seen in the distance.

Looking back towards the North Signal Box, Princes Risborough
Looking back towards the North Signal Box, Princes Risborough 

Between the business park and the main road there is a railway bridge for the third and western most line coming out of Princes Risborough. The map in the town suggested that this route was now a cycle path to Thame, but at this stage the cycle path had not quite started and in fact the track bed still had rails intact, which I later found out that the preserved railway at Chinnor hoped to use to be able to connect Chinnor back to Princes Risborough.

Disused(?) railway bridge, Regent Park, Princes Risborough
Disused(?) railway bridge, Regent Park, Princes Risborough

    

1 comment:

  1. Hi
    There is loads of information available about Risborough and the surrounding area on the new website WWW.risborough.org. The Heritage Society (found under the community tab) can provide loads of information about the signal boxes and the old buildings on Regents Park that were originally part of the BRE Government Timber Research facility. The website also has history and planning pages which will also help answer your questions. Did you know one of our building was used to store gold bullion during the war? Please take a look at this not for profit website I am sure you will find it interesting.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...