Facts about Kings Cross
Kings Cross History
The current name has its origin in a monument to King George IV which stood from 1830 to 1845 at “the king’s crossroads” where New Road, Gray’s Inn Road, and Pentonville Road met. The monument was sixty feet high and topped by an eleven-foot-high statue of the king; it was described by Walter Thornbury as “a ridiculous octagonal structure crowned by an absurd statue”.
The statue itself, which cost no more than £25, was constructed of bricks and mortar, and finished in a manner that gave it the appearance of stone “at least to the eyes of common spectators”. The architect was Stephen Geary, who exhibited a model of “the Kings Cross” at the Royal Academy in 1830. The upper story was used as a camera obscura while the base housed first a police station, and later a public house.
Kings Cross is a district in Central London, England, 1.5 miles north of Charing Cross. It is served by London King’s Cross railway station, the terminus of one of the major rail routes between London and the North. The area has been regenerated since the mid-1990s with the terminus of the Eurostar rail service at St Pancras International opening in 2007 and the rebuilding of King’s Cross station, a major redevelopment in the north of the area.
In the Harry Potter books, King’s Cross station is where the protagonist boards the train for Hogwarts. However, the author, JK Rowling, later admitted she mixed up Kings Cross with the next door station, Euston. The railway station has put up a sign for the fictional “Platform 9 3⁄4” described in the books, and embedded part of a luggage trolley halfway into the wall.