Although built for the Wellington and Manawatu Railway Company, Shannon is in form and development a Vogel class 4 station, much enlarged. Timber-framed and clad with rusticated weatherboards, it has a corrugated-iron roof and a verandah. It started life as a three-roomed lean-to structure. With the addition of a parcels/luggage room in 1902, a verandah in 1910 and new parcels/luggage room in 1936, it was transformed into a much more elaborate structure.
Built in 1893, it replaced the original WMR shelter shed erected in 1886 and subsequently moved to Paraparaumu. The WMR opened in 1885 and remained in private hands until the government bought it in 1908. Shannon, named after WMR director G. V. Shannon, was one of a number of stations on the line that served an area that developed rapidly after the railway was put through. The station was extended three times up to 1936 and was a busy staffed freight station until the 1970s. Now surplus to railway requirements, the building has been bought by the Horowhenua District Council for use by the Shannon community.
Shannon is a fine example of a modified Vogel class 4 station, only three of which now remain. It neatly illustrates the changes that happen to railway stations, while retaining much of its original form. It is the only surviving building erected by the WMR, and shows that private and public railway station design were one and the same thing at that time. Class 4 stations suffered from a poor prospect when viewed from the rear, usually the street view.
As the only surviving building from the WMR era, Shannon has very great historical significance. It continued to serve as a station after the government took over the company. The WMR was a successful private initiative and helped secure Wellington's prosperity by tapping the Horowhenua and Manawatu hinterland, and providing a vital link with regions further north.
Townscape / Landscape Value
Close to town but mostly isolated from other buildings, Shannon adds an important element to the streetscape, although the building's rear faces the street.
Plimmer Terrace (SH57), Shannon
Modified Vogel class 4 station
Unknown, for Wellington & Manawatu Railway
Landscape / Townscape Setting
On the edge of the township