The Garden Guide

Book: London and Its Environs, 1927
Chapter: 18 Bloomsbury and Districts to the North

Euston Road and St Pancras

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EUSTON ROAD, which forms the north boundary of Bloomsbury, extends from Great Portland St. Station on the south-west to King's Cross on the north-east, and is perhaps characterized mainly by the monumental sculptors' yards at one end and the great railway termini at the other. It forms part of the 'New Road' laid out in 1754-56 to connect Islington with Paddington; the long strips of garden in front of the houses recall an ancient condition in the leases. Near Euston Square Station is Unity House, the headquarters of the National Union of Railwaymen, and, at the south-west corner of Endsleigh Gardens, is the London School of Tropical Medicine (founded 1899). A little farther east rises Friends' House, the headquarters of the Society of Friends, which contains documents relating to William Penn and the foundation of Pennsylvania. From Euston Square, in front, with Marochetti's statue of George Stephenson (1803-59), an approach leads north to Euston Station, the oldest railway terminus in London (1837), passing first beneath the Euston Hotel, and then under a gigantic stone archway designed by Hardwick as the entrance to the station-yard proper. The Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital, 144 Euston Road, is the only hospital in London managed exclusively by women. At the east end of Euston Square, where Euston Road is joined by Upper Woburn Place, rises St. Pancras Church, built in 1819-22 by W. and H. Inwood in a 'Grecian' style. The body of the church, with its hexastyle porch, is a copy of the Erechtheum at Athens, except that it has a semicircular apse. The tower consists of two replicas, one above the other, of the Temple of the Winds; on either side of the east end of the church is a copy of the Porch of the Maidens. At the end of Euston Road are two other main termini: St. Paneras Station and King's Cross Station (1846). The former is masked by the Midland Grand Hotel, a fine work by Sir Gilbert Scott, which was struck by a bomb on February 17th, 1918, causing the death of 20 persons. Nearly opposite is the Regent Theatre. The congeries of poor streets lying between Euston and St. Pancras stations forms the humble district of SOMERS TOWN, the main thoroughfare of which is Seymour St. In Clarendon Square William Godwin lived for about ten years (1796-1807), and here his first wife died in 1797. The Roman Catholic chapel here was built in 1808 for French refugees. Charles Dickens as a boy in 1825 lodged at No. 13 Johnson St., with a landlady alleged to have been the original of Mrs. Pipchin. This house now contains the David Copperfield Library, the first children's library in London. No. 5 Clarendon St. is the Magdalen College Mission.