The Garden Guide

Book: London and Its Environs, 1927
Chapter: 19 From Charing Cross To St Paul's Cathedral

Charing Cross Station

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On the right (south) side of the Strand, near its west end, stands Charing Cross Station, one of the termini of the Southern Railway, erected by E. M. Barry in 1863 on the site of Hungerford Market, so called from the town-house of Sir Edward Hungerford, destroyed by fire in 1669. The blacking warehouse, in which Dickens worked as a boy, stood in Hungerford Market. The modern Gothic Cross (by E. M. Barry; 1865) in the station-yard is a memorial but not a copy of Eleanor's Cross. In the north-west corner of the yard a flight of steps descends to the Strand Tube Station. Craven Street and Villiers Street, respectively to the west and east of Charing Cross Station, descend towards the Victoria Embankment and the Charing Cross Station of the District, Bakerloo, and Hampstead Railways. Benjamin Franklin lived at No. 36 Craven street and Heine at No. 32. Villiers St. (pronounced Villers) is one of four streets on the south side of the Strand, the names of which commemorate George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, who in 1625 rebuilt on this site York Hause, formerly the property of the Archbishops of York and the birthplace in 1561 of Francis Bacon. �Of� Alley, the fifth of the group of streets, is now called York Place. Sir Richard Steele lived in Villiers St. from 1721 to 1724. No. 14 Buckingham St. bears a tablet recording its tenancy, in its various transitions, by Samuel Pepys (in 1684-1700), Robert Harley, Earl of Oxford (1661-1744), William Etty (1787-1849), the painter, and Clarkson Stanfield (1793-1869), the marine painter. The corner-house opposite (No. 15), occupied by Peter the Great in 1697-98, possibly once part of York House, has been rebuilt. The names of David Hume (1711-76), Rousseau (1712-78), Henry Fielding (1707-54), and William Black (1841-98) are associated with this house, and the rooms at the top have been identified with those taken for David Copperfield by Miss Betsy Trotwood. At the foot of Buckingham Street is the Water Gate of York House. On the left (north) side of the Strand, opposite Villiers St. and on the site of the old Lowther Arcade, is Coutts's Bank, removed to this spot in 1904 from the other side of the street. This bank, once perhaps the wealthiest private bank in the world, was turned into a limited company in 1914. It was established in the 17th century and numbers many royal and distinguished personages among its clients. Some of the original mantelpieces from the old building have been preserved. On the same side, a little back from the Strand and at the end of King William St., is the Charing Cross Hospital. At the corner of Agar St. are the New Zealand Government Offices, in a building occupied by the British Medical Association until 1925, with eighteen interesting allegorical figures by Jacob Epstein, kept strictly subordinate to the architectural effect. Beyond Bedford St., also to the left, are the Adelphi Theatre, the Queensland Government Offices (No. 409), and the Vaudeville Theatre.