Railway Station. Before 1848, only aristocratic or wealthy classes could visit Harrogate, but the opening in that year of railway lines to Brunswick and Starbeck stations enabled great numbers of the general public to visit the town in search of health and leisure. Visitors had to travel to central Harrogate by horse-drawn carriage or donkey cart, but in 1862 the North Eastern Railway Company constructed a link line with a new station in the developing area of central Harrogate. Designed by company architect Thomas Prosser, who had also designed York Railway Station, the new station was the first public building in Harrogate to be built of brick. In 1896, an improvement programme provided extended platforms and a beautiful glazed entrance canopy, by which time the station boasted eight platforms. At this time, the often exclusive nature of Harrogate’s visitors entitled the Station Master the rare honour of wearing a silk top hat. In 1965 the Victorian station building was replaced by the present structure designed by Harold Taylor as part of a tower block development. This plaque was presented by Northern Rail in 2012 to mark the 150th anniversary of the opening of central Harrogate’s Railway Station. British Monarchs who have passed through it have included King George V, Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth II.