yellowbear

18 Jul 2018 69 views
 
supporter of
atom rss 1.0 rss 2.0
web browser google del.icio.us digg technorati
| lost password
birth date
cancel
photoblog image A trip to Londinium 3

A trip to Londinium 3

Apart from the pleasure of the company of the aforementioned trio, my main incentive to visit the city was to behold the magnificence of St Pancras station. The most magnificent of Victorian buildings

 

In 1865, a competition was held to design the front façade of the station including a new hotel. George Gilbert Scott, the most celebrated gothic architect of his day, won the competition even though his design was larger than the rules allowed. Construction of the hotel started in 1868 however the economic downturn of the late 1860s meant that the hotel, named the Midland Grand, was only completed in 1876. Striking and self confident, the station and hotel completely dominated its Great Northern neighbours.

The station's decline

In 1923 St Pancras was transferred to the management of the London Midland & Scottish Railway; the LMS focused its activities on Euston, and so began the decline of St Pancras over the next 60 years. In 1935 the Midland Grand was closed as a hotel due to falling bookings and profit, blamed on the lack of en suite facilities in the bedrooms. It was used instead as office accommodation for railway staff and renamed St Pancras Chambers.

During WWII, the station played an important role for troops departing for war and children being evacuated from London. Although the station was hit hard during the blitz, there was only superficial damage and the station was quickly up and running.

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, the decline of St Pancras continued and British Railways tried to close and demolish the station a number of times. John Betjeman spearheaded a campaign to save the station and hotel, and in November 1967 was successful in getting the buildings declared Grade 1 listed just days before demolition was due to begin.

Although the buildings were saved, their decline was allowed to continue; the hotel building was mothballed in 1985 and the train shed roof fell into a state of serious disrepair.....to be continued

A trip to Londinium 3

Apart from the pleasure of the company of the aforementioned trio, my main incentive to visit the city was to behold the magnificence of St Pancras station. The most magnificent of Victorian buildings

 

In 1865, a competition was held to design the front façade of the station including a new hotel. George Gilbert Scott, the most celebrated gothic architect of his day, won the competition even though his design was larger than the rules allowed. Construction of the hotel started in 1868 however the economic downturn of the late 1860s meant that the hotel, named the Midland Grand, was only completed in 1876. Striking and self confident, the station and hotel completely dominated its Great Northern neighbours.

The station's decline

In 1923 St Pancras was transferred to the management of the London Midland & Scottish Railway; the LMS focused its activities on Euston, and so began the decline of St Pancras over the next 60 years. In 1935 the Midland Grand was closed as a hotel due to falling bookings and profit, blamed on the lack of en suite facilities in the bedrooms. It was used instead as office accommodation for railway staff and renamed St Pancras Chambers.

During WWII, the station played an important role for troops departing for war and children being evacuated from London. Although the station was hit hard during the blitz, there was only superficial damage and the station was quickly up and running.

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, the decline of St Pancras continued and British Railways tried to close and demolish the station a number of times. John Betjeman spearheaded a campaign to save the station and hotel, and in November 1967 was successful in getting the buildings declared Grade 1 listed just days before demolition was due to begin.

Although the buildings were saved, their decline was allowed to continue; the hotel building was mothballed in 1985 and the train shed roof fell into a state of serious disrepair.....to be continued

comments (16)

Gorgeous...
Bill Phillips: agreed.......
  • sherri
  • Little Rock, Arkansas, USA
  • 18 Jul 2018, 01:47
wow, i'm glad someone saw fit to save such a historical structure

i'm looking forward to finding out just how that happened

my favorite architectural element is the alternating color of material in the archways of the windows and doors

you managed to get a wonderful amount of the structure into your frame
Bill Phillips: It was a close run thing and it was nearly lost. The wide angle lens came into its own although there is a bit of distortion
I know from recent visits how wonderful is the restoration, my daughter stayed in the hotel there a couple of times, she was very impressed.
Bill Phillips: I gather it is very expensive to stay in the original part
I like this angle - it shows off the facade nicely. Thank you for the history lesson...
Bill Phillips: It is a gem I am pleased you enjoyed the history ...part two tomorrow
  • Martine
  • France
  • 18 Jul 2018, 04:40
Quelle magnifique gare, j'aime l'architecture et les couleurs.
Bill Phillips: It is , perhaps the best of all the London Stations
  • Chris
  • Not Nowhere
  • 18 Jul 2018, 06:20
This takes my breath away, always does. The fact that BR were contemplating demolition as recently at 1967 sends a chill down my spine..
Bill Phillips: It just about sums up the sixties
  • Lisl
  • England
  • 18 Jul 2018, 06:45
Three cheer for Betjeman
Bill Phillips: I quite agree Lisl
  • Alan
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 18 Jul 2018, 07:02
It is a sight to behold and well done to John Betjeman for his efforts to save this. I wish that I'd had time to pop out from the bowels of the station and see this view for myself.
Bill Phillips: The thought that it was nearly demolished is just too awful!
No wonder you wanted to see this, Bill. I don't suppose they make them like this anymore??!!
Bill Phillips: No but at least they still are able to restore them
  • gutteridge
  • Somewhere in deep space
  • 18 Jul 2018, 08:08
A pleasing photograph of this icon station and hotel. Did you have to straighten the verticals Bill?
Bill Phillips: Is it that obvious Chad.....actually it is
Looks like a photograph of a picture post card
Bill Phillips: as do you comrade
  • Astrid
  • Netherlands
  • 18 Jul 2018, 08:55
This is a famous building, heard of it many times, this is the first time I se it, Bill. A wonderful angle to show this fabulous architecture.
Bill Phillips: I was just awestruck grin It is a wonderful facade
  • Louis
  • South Africa
  • 18 Jul 2018, 09:19
Impressive buildings. Two items in your text caught my attention:

1) Outside the competition rules

2) lack of en suite facilities in the bedrooms (award winning design??)
Bill Phillips: Clearly the judges saw what a great building it would be regardless of the size

Many hotels in the UK lacked an ensuite that today we regard as a fundamental requirement. I remember staying in the Strand Palace hotel in London in 1963 with my parents and my room had no ensuite. At the time this didn't strike me as odd at all
I've always thought what a beautiful buildng this is, thanks for people like John Betjeman who managed to save it for the nation, I have yet to visit it since the changes inside took place, but I will leave you to explain those to our good friends overseas.
Bill Phillips: This was the first time I laid eyes on it and it is simply beautiful!
  • Ayush Basu
  • Venlo, Netherlands
  • 18 Jul 2018, 19:44
nicely filled up the frame, Bill. and the London cab looks nice too in front.
Bill Phillips: I am quite glad there was a cab there
PEI's heritage buildings are from this age and style.

Leave a comment

must fill in
[stop comment form]
show
for this photo I'm in a any and all comments icon ShMood©
camera PENTAX K-3 II
exposure mode aperture priority
shutterspeed 1/800s
aperture f/8.0
sensitivity ISO200
focal length 10.0mm
A walk in the woodsA walk in the wo...
A trip to Londinium 4A trip to Londin...
A trip to Londinium 2A trip to Londin...

Warning