St Pancras station has been voted one of London’s favourite landmarks and has a rich and colourful history
St Pancras train station was designed by William Barlow in 1863 with construction commencing in 1866. The famous Barlow train shed arch spans 240 feet and is over 100 feet high at its apex. On its completion in 1868 it became the largest enclosed space in the world.
One of the most recognisable features of St Pancras station today, the red brick Grade 1 listed Gothic front facade was created as part of a competition in 1865 and became the Midland Great Hotel designed by Sir Gilbert Scott and built between 1868 to 1876.
In 1935 the Midland Grand Hotel was closed and the building became railway offices, and known as the St Pancras Chambers.
The station performed an important role during both world wars, acting as a meeting place for troops, a departure point for soldiers off to war, and to help transport children out of London to the safety of the countryside.
During WWII the station was hit during the Blitz on London. Despite the devastation, London Midland and Scottish Railway engineers soon had the platforms working again.
The greatest threat to the station came in 1966 with plans to amalgamate King’s Cross and St Pancras. However public opinion had been sharpened by the demolition of Euston in 1962. Sir John Betjeman took up the cause to protect the station and in 1967 the Government listed the station and hotel as Grade 1.
St Pancras Station and St Pancras Chambers are popular locations for film and television productions, appearing in Harry Potter, Batman Begins and the Spice Girls’ first music video.
The St Pancras Chambers will be restored into a 5 star Marriot hotel with luxury private apartments on the upper levels.
St Pancras remains one of the greatest Victorian buildings in London, with impressive Victorian Gothic architecture. A replica of the famous St. Pancras station clock has been constructed and hangs high above the station platform once more.
I am frequent visitor to St Pancras. Living out in the County of Northamptonshire, the Midland Mainline [now to be known as the Eastmidland Line] brings me into St Pancras from which I then take the tube to work. So I have actually seen all the changes that has been going on there since they started work. And now finally its all done…well not actually all done. The shops need to be occupied. I know that Marks and Spencer, W H Smith, The Body Shop and some other shops are there. I suppose they have got 90% of the project done, and the rest is just odds and ends to tie up.
Below I have some pictures I took with my digicamera.