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Donyatt Halt

British Heritage Railways, Donyatt Halt, Somerset

Located on the last broad gauge line in the Taunton Area

Located between Chard and Ilminster in Somerset, Donyatt Halt has been rebuilt after 46 years of neglect and is now a landmark on The Stop Line Way (Sustrans National Cycle Route 33)

Brief History

The rebuilt Donyatt Halt on 17th June 2010, obstacles which form part of the 1940 Taunton Stop Line can be seen on the bank to the right of the picture.

Getting there

By car/taxi - Donyatt Halt can be accessed by road but there is no car parking facility. To get there from the A303, take the A358 towards Chard at Southfields Roundabout and turn left in Donyatt Village, the former station is about ¼ mile outside the village.

By foot/cycle - The best way to get there, walk or cycle along the Stop Line Way between Chard and Ilminster, download this leaflet for additional information about the heritage of the area covered by the project and further links to examine.

Map

The map below shows the location of Donyatt Halt and the stations either side on the former Chard branch, click on any of the markers to see the station name. Perry’s Cider is also shown, use the zoom and pan tools to explore the map.

Review

Donyatt Halt is best visited as part of a walk or cycle ride along the Stop Line Way. There’s not enough to see for a special journey to the site alone unless you are studying the history represented there, the restoration is good but there is no track and therefore no trains.

However, anyone interested in railway or military heritage who visits the area should go and have a look at the restored halt and remains of the stop line.

If you are travelling by car or cycle then I recommend a visit to Perry’s Cider at nearby Dowlish Wake, follow the link below for more details.

Attractions and Facilities

Download the leaflet for details of the heritage attractions on the Stop Line Way, there are no facilities at Donyatt Halt. Good food is available nearby at The George Inn in Donyatt village (see link below).

Doreen Ash statue at Donyatt Halt, SomersetOn the platform there is a wodden statue of Doreen Ash who was evacuated to Donyatt during the Second World War.

The statue was sculpted by Ian Edwards of Chard who’s Grandfather was evacuated to Donyatt at the same time as Doreen Ash.

More of Doreen’s story can be found on the timber waiting shelter on the platform.

Perry’s Cider is just four miles away in the picturesque village of Dowlish Wake and is well worth a visit. Indeed, some of their customers travel long distances to buy the Farmhouse Cider which is made on the premises.

The cider mills and visitor centre still occupies the original family farm. Visitors can sample the atmosphere of old West Country life and the traditions of the working cider farm. The 16th Century thatched cider barn houses a large collection of cider making and farming equipment of yesteryear which is on view all year round. There is also a new tea room and farm shop opened in 2008 where visitors can sample any of their ciders free.

Donyatt Halt
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Donyatt Halt, Somerset after closure

The original Donyatt Halt shortly after closure.

Fast forward 40 years and work was progressing on the walking and cycle route between Chard and Ilminster, part of Sustrans (Sustainable Transport) National Cycle Route 33 which runs from Bristol to Seaton. Part of the route, particularly this stretch follows the 1940 Taunton Stop Line so it has been named ‘The Stop Line Way’.

From 2005 to 2009, a group of volunteers from Ilminster, Donyatt, Knowle St Giles and Chard joined together to design a heritage project linking their communities along part of The Stop Line Way. In 2008, the Heritage Lottery Fund awarded them a grant. One of the heritage projects on the route is the restoration of Donyatt Halt to how it was when open, there was not much left of the original as seen in the pictures below.

Donyatt Halt, Somerset on 14 Feb 2009

The remains of the original platform edge timbers after removal of the undergrowth on 14th February 2009.

In 2009 Donyatt Halt was fully restored to as new condition, sadly, vandals have made their mark on more than one occasion (look carefully at the top picture). Some were caught and have been sentenced with community service.

StopLineWay_web_leaflet_final.pdf

Donyatt Halt at a Glance

Type: Restored Halt

Gauge: No track

First opened: 1928

Closed: 1962

Rebuilt: 2009

 

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Donyatt
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Chard
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Map | Getting there | Attractions and Facilities | Brief History | Review | Links

Donyatt Halt, Somerset in 1962

The original Donyatt Halt shortly before closure with a GWR 0-6-0PT entering the station.

Donyatt Halt, Somerset in 2007

Donyatt Halt in 2007 with the path open but before restoration work had been commenced.

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