Barrow Hill Roundhouse
Barrow Hill Roundhouse is the last surviving railway roundhouse in the United Kingdom with an operational turntable. Built in 1870, it was threatened with demolition in 1991 when the site was closed by British Rail. It was saved by a group of dedicated volunteers who have transformed it into a premier railway venue.
The Roundhouse is open to the general public every weekend except during the Christmas and New Year holiday period. It is also the venue for several major events every year and attracts over 30,000 visitors annually. Further details of forthcoming events can be found at www.barrowhill.org. As well as the turntable and unique sheer legs (lifting gear), it has a changing display of steam and diesel locomotives and other rolling stock, a collection of artefacts and memorabilia, and an operational signal box and short running line. The Roundhouse was awarded Museum Accreditation by the Museums Libraries and Archives Council in 2010. Barrow Hill Roundhouse is also home to the Deltic Preservation Society.
The site is connected to the national railway network and this has encouraged several commercial rail companies to base their activities at Barrow Hill, generating over 40 jobs and making a valuable contribution to the local economy. Clients include Network Rail, DRS, Freightliner, GBRF, Colas, BARS, West Coast Railways, VSOE (operators of the Orient Express), Harry Needle Railroad Company, NewRail (railway research facility affiliated to Newcastle University), Rampart and Intertrain.
With good rail and road connections, a large car park and on-site catering, the Roundhouse is a popular choice for railway industry demonstrations and product launches. It is also an interesting and different venue for corporate away days.
“The Roundhouse is an intrinsic part of the industrial and social history of Chesterfield and continues to play an important part in the Chesterfield story,” says Mervyn Allcock, General Manager at Barrow Hill Roundhouse. “We are very proud to be a Chesterfield Champion and support the promotion of Chesterfield!”