Templecombe had two stations: LSWR (Upper) and the S&DJR (Lower), connected by a spur; both closed along with their yards in March 1966. The mainline station, re-opened in October 1983 following pressure from Templecombe Station Promotion Group The station has won many awards over the years.
In 1185 Templecombe was granted to the Knights Templar who established a Preceptory. A regional centre for the order where new members were trained for the Crusades. Later granted to the Knights of St. John (Hospitallers) their Commandery was later dissolved by King Henry VIII.
A panel painting discovered in an outhouse in 1945, it depicts a head which uncannily resembles the Turin Shroud. Carbon dated as C1280, speculation links it with the Templars. It is on display in St. Mary’s Church; in recent years it has spent time in Italy and Wells Cathedral.
Gartell Light Railway
‘Smell the Steam!’
Step back in time to a more leisurely age and ride through the beautiful Blackmore Vale countryside along the route of the old Somerset & Dorset Railway. Our delightful trains are operated in exactly the same way as their full-size counterparts, with every train movement safely governed by an interesting array of semaphore and colour-light signal boxes. It is therefore no exaggeration to say that the Gartell Light Railway is a working museum of traditional railway practice with its steam engines, signal boxes and ‘old fashioned’ signals!
On our popular open days we operate our trains to a frequent timetable and trains leave our main station at Common Lane every 20 minutes through the day. We have a further 3 stations, Pinesway Junction, Park Lane and Tower View, where each train stops at the platform and performs and interesting manoeuvre where the engine ‘runs-round’ its train before departing in the opposite direction. Another unique feature of our busy timetable is that 2 trains regularly depart, side by side, for different destinations before one descends the gradient and passes under a bridge as the other one passes overhead!
The Gartell Light Railway is a 20 minute walk (1.1 miles along the partially paved A357) from Templecombe Railway Station.