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Oakhill Manor Railway 1987

Oakhill Manor Railway 1987

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View from the main road. This was the entrance to the car park. Note the station building.

Oakhill Manor in Somerset was a little country estate that first opened to the public in the 1970s. The manor house contained an extensive collection of models assembled over the years by owner Walter Harper.

In 1978 a 10 1/4" gauge miniature railway was opened to provide a transport link between the car park and the manor house itself. The track was 1100 yards long and also featured a halfway station/passing loop as well as a short branch line leading up to the stables.

Plans to install balloon loops at either end never came to fruition, despite all the earthworks being completed at one end. The route itself incorporated major civil engineering including deep rock cuttings blasted out by dynamite, a couple of tunnels and a spiral where the track crossed over itself via a large bridge.

The manor and railway both closed to the public in 1986 due to falling visitor numbers. The track and some of the rolling stock was left in-situ whilst the steam locos (some in dismantled condition) were moved to nearby barns where they sat for several years before being sold. The track is presumably still there today, albeit today heavily overgrown.

These photos were taken in 1987 only a year after the line had closed and were taken with the full permission of Mr Harper who accompanied me around the layout.

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