Some Early Lines
Miniature Railways – Trentham Gardens
© Copyright Kevin Rushton and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
2012 Miniature Train Rides
Meet The Trentham Fern our resident diesel engine which runs along the lakeside on a light gauge railway. Look out for special appearances from Trentham Fern’s friend the steam train. Both engines are sit-astride miniature passenger trains.
It’s £2 (in addition to garden admission) for a round-trip setting off from the Lakeside Activity Area, where the Miss Elizabeth sets sail from too.
History: Miniature Railway, Trentham Gardens.
Date: 1975 – 1980 (c.)
Description: The miniature railway carried passengers to the outdoor swimming pool.
Trentham Hall was built in the 1630s for the Dukes of Sutherland. The Caroline house was replaced in the early eighteenth century by one in a Classical style. Capability Brown and Henry Holland worked on the landscape and hall between 1768 and 1778.
The house was redesigned in an Italianate style in the nineteenth century by Sir Charles Barry, who also laid out Italian gardens to the front of the hall.
Trentham Hall was abandoned by the family as a permanent residence in 1905. In 1910 the Duke of Sutherland offered the hall to the County of Staffordshire and the Borough of Stoke-on-Trent. The offer was refused and the building was demolished, apart from the west front and stable block. The tower was re-erected on the Sandon Hall Estate.
The grounds were opened to the public, and today have been developed as an exhibition, conference and leisure centre.
Trentham Gardens, Staffordshire, formerly the estate of the Dukes of Sutherland, has been a favourite with visitors since the Victorian era. A 2ft. gauge miniature railway opened in 1935, with petrol-powered steam outline locomotives. Its popularity in the 1950s can be seen in this photograph.
Trentham Gardens Loco
Builder: E.E. Baguley, Burton No.: 2085
Weight: 4 tons Year: 1935 Livery: Red Tractive effort: 60 hp
Golspie is a steam-outlined, but originally petrol-engined 0-4-0 built by E.E. Baguley in 1935. Delivered new to the Duke of Sutherland’s Trentham Gardens, it became one of three similar locos on the mile-long line.
In 1938, Golspie received a new 3-speed gearbox and the original Baguley petrol engine was replaced by a Perkins 4.270 diesel engine of around 60 hp. The railway regrettably closed at the end of the summer season in 1988 and was largely moved to Alton Towers, although the first loco Brora travelled north to Dunrobin Castle in the Highlands. Golspie, by now named The Trentham Express, was never used at Alton and was stored in the open, being stripped of a few spares, but otherwise it remained a very original machine. The loco arrived at Amerton on 9th May 2000. Here it is pictured in the shed awaiting attention and being examined by Barry Bull of Chasewater Railway Museum. The staff at Amerton Railway are more than capable of restoring the loco to its former glory as can be seen in the picture of another elderly steam outline loco ‘Dreadnought’.
Builder: E.E. Baguley Ltd, Burton No.: 3024 Weight: 3 1/2 tons Year: 1939
Livery: Blue Tractive effort: 18 hp
This steam outline locomotive was ordered by Mr. R.J. Lakin and delivered new to Wilson’s Pleasure Railway, Allhallows-on-Sea, Kent in 1939. Originally fitted with a Ford petrol engine of 24 hp, it was named No. 1 Dreadnought. The loco is an 0-4-0 with a 2-speed gearbox driving the front axle via chains and with traditional coupling rods to the rear axle. Just after the war the loco moved to the pier at Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex, where in 1952 it was re-engined with a Lister FR2, and later still with a Lister SR3.
The loco was purchased and moved to Amerton on 13th September 1991, and since this time has been rebuilt to something approaching original condition, but still retaining its modern Lister SR3 engine. The loco is fully air-braked, and as such is suitable for passenger train operation.
Early in 2000 the original gearbox was overhauled, it being in remarkable condition other than general wear. She re-entered traffic in April 2000.
Enjoy Trentham Gardens all year round
Whether you’re looking for a garden with peace and quiet, or fun and action you will find it here at Trentham.
The new-look gardens have matured into some of the finest in Britain, to be called by Alan Titchmarsh – no less – as “one of the UK’s must-see gardens“.
In September 2010, the Gardens won one of the most prestigious European gardening awards, for the “Restoration, Enhancement or Development of a Historic Park or Garden”.
The contemporary revival of the famous Italian Gardens was led by renowned designer and multi-Chelsea gold-medal winner Tom Stuart-Smith.
To the east of the Italian Gardens are the Rivers of Grass and the adjacent Floral Labyrinth. Both these schemes were designed by eminent Dutch plantsman, and Chelsea gold-medal winner, Piet Oudolf.
The show gardens offer further inspiration to gardeners on a more domestic scale.
But Trentham is so much more than just a garden… bring your family to enjoy the great outdoors, the playground, barefoot walk, maze, boat and train rides.
Trentham Gardens is open everyday except Christmas day.
Hot Autumn colours simmer as light softly hits the planting amongst the 70 flower beds in the Italian Gardens whilst the swathes of coloured grasses in the Rivers of Grass, make a staggering impact.
During the winter months, beautiful seed heads with strong structure and texture are like glistenening frosty jewels. This stunning planting is left standing proud until mid January.
In spring the garden bursts to life with a fabulous bedding display in the Upper Parterre, a wondrous sea of gold, comprising 60 thousand daffodils in the Marie Curie Field of Hope, and a dazzling display of bluebells in the woodlands.
Early summer sees the tall bearded iris display perform with over 120 different cultivars providing a kaleidoscope of colour. The heady scent of the 90 metre long David Austin Rose Border will draw you towards our Trellis Walk.Miss Elizabeth
Miss Elizabeth is a pleasure boat that travels the length of Trentham Lake, within Trentham Gardens in North Staffordshire. © Copyright Phil Eptlett and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.