Object of the month

December 2023

Drawings of St Philip’s Marsh Engine Shed

December’s object of the month is a fantastic new donation, a set of original drawings from the construction of St Philip’s Marsh Engine Shed in Bristol. These beautifully drawn and painted plans date from 1900 to 1908 when the project to build the engine shed was under development. They were produced by the Drawing Office at Swindon Works, using Chief Mechanical Engineer G.J Churchward’s standard design for engine sheds. The plans show full elevations of the engine shed, roof sections and an extremely detailed drawing of the two impressive 65 foot turntables that were sited in the centre of the shed.


Drawing of St Philip’s Marsh engine shed 1906

The building of St Philip’s Marsh Shed began in February 1909. Percy Culverhouse was the engineer in charge of the project, overseeing the work of Coles of Plymouth who were the contracted building company. At this time Percy Culverhouse was working his way up through the ranks of the GWR’s engineering department and he eventually became Chief Architect for the GWR in 1929. He was responsible for work to the most significant company buildings including alterations at Bristol Temple Meads Station and extensions to the Royal Hotel at Paddington.

Details of Sliding Door 1906

Fireplace details, 1900

St Philip’s Marsh Shed (or depot) opened in July 1910. It could accommodate 36 tender engines and 28 tank engines. 28 tracks extended from each of the two turntables with pits below, ranging in length from 40 foot to 100 foot, from which work could be carried out underneath the engines. There were offices, mess rooms and stores in the shed, as well as a lifting shop. The yard outside included a 58 foot coal stage and a 144,750 gallon water tank.

These impressive set of 75 drawings will become part of STEAM’s plans and archive collection and available to view on request.


St Philip’s Marsh turntable 1909


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