A history of Kings Cross London

Our beautiful little office is situated in the hub of King’s Cross. In this blog I’d like to delve a little in the history of the area and what lead it to become such an amazing, buzzing and wondrous place to work, honest.

Ancient History

Kings Cross began as a village situated around a bridge over the river Fleet. The village became known as Battlebridge due to being the site of a major battle in AD 61 between the Romans and the Icenis tribe being led by Boudicea.

In fact, it has become an urban myth that Boudicea is buried beneath platform 9 or 10 at King’s Cross Station. It is also claimed that she still haunts passages under the station!

Set behind King Cross St Pancras station is Saint Pancras Old Church. It is widely believed that this is one of the oldest sites of Christian worship in England, dating back to AD 314.

Modern History

The current name is derived from a monument of King George IV that stood at the crossroads of Gray’s Inn Road, Pentonville Road and Euston Road from 1830 to 1845. Though the building was so unpopular it was demolished only 15 years after being constructed the area kept the name Kings Cross.

The ‘Lighthouse Building’ was built roughly 30 years later in the same site. It has now become a Grade II listed building.

I personally love seeing old videos of London and locations I recognise. Here are some videos of the Kings Cross area and how its changed.

Pathways: Kings Cross

Seeing as we’re watching old videos of London here is a really old colour film of London. It’s incredible!

1927 in Colour

Recent History

After World War II the area declined from a busy industrial district to a partially abandoned post-industrial area. Unfortunately, by the 1980s Kings Cross was notorious for drug abuse and prostitution.

 

In the 1990s the government established the King’s Cross Partnership in an attempt to fund regeneration in the area. Kings Cross will subsequently increasingly became a home to cultural establishments (among others):

-       The London Canal Museum

-       The British Library

-       The London Sinfonietta

-       The Guardian

-       The Observer

Further hotels, restaurants and cultural venues have made Kings Cross a cultural centre in the 2000s leading to “socially undesirable” behaviour moving on.

The London terminus of the Eurostar international rail service moved to St Pancras station in 2007 offering services to France and Belgium.

2012 brought the most momentous event seen in Kings Cross to date: Two Fresh Productions moved in. We currently operate out of an office 5 minutes walk from Kings Cross station. Being so near an international crossroads offers ease of access to staff, clients and freelancers alike.

The future

Even in the relatively short time we have been here, we have seen a large amount of new developments. Local cafes, bespoke eateries and other businesses have been regularly setting up shop.

The area is expected to remain a major focus of redevelopment through the first two decades of the 21st century. A major project is King’s Cross Central, a multi-billion pound redevelopment project in the north of the Kings Cross area.

We’re always excited to see Kings Cross developing around us, and to be contributing to it in our small way. The more creative agencies we see the better we will all become, through competition or collaboration.

And all the businesses setting up will need video production, so it’s good for us to!

Your turn

Have you seen Kings Cross developing into to a vibrant exciting area, or is the gentrification ruining the feel of the neighbourhood? Got any stories of Kings Cross through the years?