The Stockton & Darlington Railway’s Railway Tavern was built in 1826-7 to serve business customers using the adjacent railway depot at the terminus of the Darlington branch line. It is one of the earliest railway taverns in the country and therefore in the world. It has also been in continous use since 1827 (albeit without a licence until 1829) and has many surviving features from that time.

Some years ago, a member of the Friends of the Stockton & Darlington Railway, Brendan Boyle, carried out research into this building and submitted it to Historic England in the hope that they would list this rare survival of the Georgian railway. Historic England decided that it should not be listed. Brendan and many others in the railway heritage world were spitting nails. How could this not be listed, when other later railway taverns elsewhere had been listed?

When Brendan was diagnosed with a terminal illness in 2021, he carried out further research and left it with the Friends of the S&DR to be used to carry on the good fight. The good fight has now been won. The Railway Tavern in Darlington is now listed Grade II. Thank you Eric Branse-Instone of Historic England for helping to right a wrong. Thank you Brendan for providing the information that made this possible. Thank you to the Friends of the Stockton & Darlington Railway for continuing the battle to conserve and protect the remains of the railway that got the world on track. Thank you to successive landlords and landladies from 1827-2023  for protecting this national treasure.

You can read an article written by Brendan and published after his death here.