Arson attack at Mangotsfield Station

The burnt-out structure and motorbike

Picture by Michael Bell

A folly built as part of an arts project at the old Mangotsfield Station, next to the Bristol & Bath Railway Path, has been destroyed in an arson attack.

Avon Fire & Rescue Service said that they were called to the site just before 1am on Saturday 22nd April and found the structure and a motorbike alight.

They extinguished the flames and said that the cause of the incident was deliberate.

Sustrans is the charity which looks after the Railway Path. A spokesperson told The Week In: “We were saddened to hear about the fire at Mangotsfield Folly, and that the temporary structure has been damaged as a result.

“The year-long arts project that brought the folly to the station platform has recently come to an end. It encouraged many people to visit this historic space, celebrating the surrounding area, greenery and wildlife that has settled in since the railway line was developed into a popular and well-loved active travel route.

“The structure will be removed shortly, and we’re in discussions with the architects and arts curator about what can be put in its place as a lasting legacy of the project.

“We hope to share more about the positive impact this project has had in the coming months.”

The folly as it was

The project was funded by Arts Council England and Emersons Green Town Council.

The station was once a stop on the Midland Railway route between Bristol and Birmingham. It closed in 1966 when services to Bath ended, and the railway line through it closed in 1969.