When the Station was the ‘must-go-to’ hotel

As Chesterfield Borough Council has approved plans to demolish the iconic Chesterfield Hotel – and now received plans to build offices on the site – Godfrey Holmes, in a fascinating two-parter, tells the riches-to-rags story of the town’s former Station Hotel.

WHEN railway mania set in; when canals were defunct; when railway magnates dabbled in everything from shipping to heavy engineering; every sizeable town, and certainly every city, required a “Station Hotel”: next to or just opposite a large railway station or terminus. In 1877, the growing town of Chesterfield was no different. There was land available on Brewery, Felkin and Malkin Streets, already occupied by a humbler (1860) “Railway Inn,” roughly adjacent to not one but two railway stations. And any new stopover hotel had to be state-of-the art, able to stable horses and carriages, later prepared for char-a-bancs. Only, in Chesterfield’s case, the Midland Railway never did own the Station Hotel; nor did another railway company; nor did the British Railways’ Board post nationalisation in 1948…

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