Bishop’s Waltham’s commercial status warranted the construction of the Bishop’s Waltham Branch Line railway to the town from Botley in 1862. There were distinctive steam railcars on the line for passenger services, although the majority of traffic was goods, with bricks exported from the town and coal arriving for the gasworks. There were special services to allow farmers to bring their cattle to market at Bishop’s Waltham, with trains made of a mix of cattle trucks and carriages. The line was closed to passenger traffic in 1932, but goods services remained until finally stopping in the 1960s. Bishop’s Waltham station was a distinctive brick/half-timbered design with numerous architectural details produced in terracotta by the local brickworks, which stood on the site of today’s main roundabout.
Next stop: Return to St. George’s Square at the bottom of the High Street