A Brief History Of King's Cross

December 13, 2017

A Brief History Of King's Cross

If you’ve walked around King’s Cross recently, then you’ve probably noticed that it is not only the home of big creative hubs such as Google, CSM and Youtube (to name a few), but also developing as a destination full of independent boutiques and high street shops alike, all the while keeping its beautiful Victorian architecture. 

It is a place that embodies so  much of what we love about London; heritage and modernity side by side.

This Thursday to Sunday, we'll be heading over for the Canopy Christmas Market where we'll have a stall. And you know what? It is located under the restored structures of West Handyside Canopy, which during Victorian times was a covered area for unloading of fish and other perishable goods.

So we decided to take this opportunity to tell you a little bit more about King’s Cross history…

King’s Cross At The beginning Of The Industrial Revolution


Before the industrial revolution, the area of what is today King’s Cross was mostly rural. It was the place where Londoners fled to relax in Country Inns and Health Spas.

However, when in 1820 Regent’s Canal was completed, King’s Cross quickly became an essential link between the big industrial cities and consequently became the home of the Pancras Gasworks, which as a result attracted a lot of polluting industries.


The Origin of The Name

In around 1835, a huge statue of King George IV was built at the junctions of Battle Bridges in the hope to polish the image people had of the “polluted area”. The effigy was quickly demolished in 1842, being laughed at by the masses, yet the name “King’s Cross” remained intact. 


King’s Cross During The Victorian Era


With the reign of Queen Victoria came great innovations and changes to the King’s Cross area. First of all, by the mid 19th Century, the Great Northern Railway bought lands on both the south and north sides of the canal to create their temporary London terminus until 1852 when King’s Cross Station was created. 

This totally changed the face of King’s Cross, which then developed rapidly. Various valuable commodities such as grains and coal where transported there and were stored in the newly build Good Yards Complex, to the north of the Canal.

Alongside the now famous Midland Grand Hotel, a lot of residential buildings were built for railway and industrial workers. However, most of them were knocked down due to the expansion of the railway and the opening of the world first underground railway.


The New Chapter In King’s Cross History.


This past decade,  a new life has been given to the King’s Cross area. With its beautiful Victorian buildings and structures being renovated and now welcoming companies, stores and restaurants, there is a for sure a bright future ahead of King’s Cross.

Want to hear more stories? Don’t be shy and come say hi this weekend at the Canopy Market!

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