The Roundhouse

The North Midland Railway line (later the Midland Railway) opened in 1840, ending the region’s isolation and enabling the Staveley Forge to develop into the Staveley Coal and Iron Company, one of the largest iron and coal works in the world.

By the 1860’s, the company owned over 60 miles of internal railways and an agreement was reached with the Midland Railway to supply motive power to the works for 100 years. This development meant that a larger engine shed was needed and construction of a roundhouse began in July 1869.


Restored in recent years, the Barrow Hill Roundhouse Railway Centre is a unique example of 19th century railway architecture and is the last surviving operational roundhouse engine shed in Great Britain.

Throughout each year, galas feature working steam and diesel locomotives and train rides are available on special event days. The Roundhouse is also a venue for performances by top name artistes and hosts the annual Rail Ale Festival.

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