The station building at Dent – England’s highest mainline railway station – has been purchased by the Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line (FoSCL).
Standing at 1,200 ft above sea level, and situated on the western slopes of the Pennines and within the Yorkshire Dales National Park, Dent station is regarded as one of the jewels in the crown on the Settle-Carlisle Line, a few miles north of the famous Ribblehead Viaduct.
Purchased in 2006 by Robin Hughes, a railway enthusiast and property developer and restored in authentic Midland Railway style, it is now self-contained holiday accommodation. The restoration has secured many accolades, including a National Railway Heritage Award and the RICS award for tourism and leisure, and has hosted some 2,000 guests over the past 14 years.
Paul Brown, chairman of the Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line (FoSCL), said: “This is a tremendous opportunity for FoSCL to take ownership of England’s highest station to preserve and maintain it, for all to appreciate. It is a great addition to the heritage property portfolio held by the voluntary bodies supporting the Settle-Carlisle Line and is made possible through the generosity of our members and former members who have bequeathed legacies to safeguard the future of one Britain’s most famously remote and historic railway buildings.”
After 14 years as ‘station master’, Robin Hughes was inundated with viewings when the station went on the market in late June post-Covid lockdown. “We had 20 viewings over two weekends, and the Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line came forward with a proposal to be the future custodian, thanks to funding from donations and legacy gifts from former members,” said Robin.
“I am absolutely delighted – they are the natural owner of such fine railway heritage.”