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History (GWSR.COM) Hunting Butts tunnel often gets overlooked but it is the shorter of the two tunnels on the Honeybourne Line. It has track laid through it and it is used to store rolling stock although the Cheltenham end of the tunnel is fenced off with a robust steel palisade. Hunting Butts tunnel is just 97 yards long and was originally envisaged as a deep cutting. However, this would have severed the gallops then used by the new racecourse so, perhaps with an eye on future revenue afforded by the racecourse the GWR agreed to build the tunnel and it was completed in the Autumn of 1904. Cheltenham Race Course station was completed in 1912; six years after the line had opened throughout. The Honeybourne Line was effectively closed in 1976 following a freight train derailment on what is now known as 'Chicken Curve' north of Winchcombe, probably because of movement in the embankment. This is a problem that has beset this location since the 1920s and in January 2011 finally collapsed, severing the line. No through trains traversed the route after that date and it was officially closed later November 1976. In 2010 the trackbed was replaced and is now used to store rolling stock. Pics Thanks for looking
After almost four years, I've revisited this nice Oldie. Not much has changed - apart from the fact that sadly all handrails of the staircases were destroyed in the meantime. This time I also took a look into the former stables, that I didn't notice on my first visit. The hunting lodge was built in the 18th century. End of the 19th century, the castle was connected to the drinking water network, but already in 1900 it was in parts demolished due to disrepair. Later, a castle-like hotel was built at the same place. The surviving elements of the previous castle were integrated in the new building. Finally the hotel was closed in 1980 due to large structural damage. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 Finally, as a comparison, two photos of the staircase from my first visit in 2011. 28 29
The castle was built as a hunting lodge in the late 17th century. From the 19th century it was also used as a guest house until 1919, later it was a warrior rest home, and finally a holiday home. In 1998 the castle was sold to a private person, but this woman did nothing against the further decay of the building. Parts of the castle burned in 2006. Thereupon the south wing collapsed in the following years. My first visit was in 2011, the photos are from my re-visit in May this year. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29