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Adlestrop station sign

836 of 1170 nominations


Adlestrop station sign

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Adlestrop station sign

Yes. I remember Adlestrop -
The name, because one afternoon
Of heat the express-train drew up there
Unwontedly. It was late June.

Adlestrop is a tiny (population approx. 80) Gloucestershire village, but its station and surrounding landscape inspired one of the best-known poems in the English language, written by Edward Thomas (1878-1917).

The full poem is inscribed on a metal plate attached to the station bench mentioned by Thomas. Adlestrop station closed in 1966 but the bench was rescued, and installed at the edge of the village. The verses are made more poignant by the fact that Thomas didn’t live to see his work published — he died in action during the first world war.

The village is saturated in literary fame. Jane Austen made several visits to Adlestrop. Her uncle was the rector, and it is believed the house and grounds of Adlestrop Park were the setting for her novel Mansfield Park.

Photo: Billy Reed


Your comments

'Adlestrop' by Edward Thomas sums up a kind of pre-war England still evoked in literature and culture. Philip Larkin's MMXIV also reflects this kind of place. Railway signage from the Victorian and Edwardian times is very evocative. Foreigners in England - and Englanders abroad - will travel by train, notice the difference (clocks; fonts) and similarities. Think of Brief Encounter for an 'old fashioned' view; Paddington for a modern one.

Tom McVeagh

I have always loved the poem. One midsummer day a few years ago, I went there and leaned on a gate to a meadow by the village. It was filled with wild flowers and the mood of the poem just flooded over me. Maybe I was only there for about 10 minutes, but I have the poem and my own memory of the place.
Ruth Hunt

There are two variations on the poem by Stuart Butler. These relate how the station signs were offered to the Swindon railway museum and later to an art school in Oxford. Both turned it down! So it is a bit of a miracle that one did survive to be in the bus shelter (are there any bus services? I suspect not).
Peter Fleming

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My nomination is the garden shed.