Tuesday, 1 March 2011

From Farringdon to Kings Cross

Clerkenwell Green
When I first started work (over a decade ago now) I worked in Clerkenwell Green. The Clerks Well (from which the area takes it's name) was not rediscovered until the 20th Century and can now be seen through the window of a nearby building on Farringdon Lane.

Also nearby is St John's Square and St John's gate; once the English headquarters of the Knights Hospitaller and now the Red Cross.

Farringdon Station
Farringdon was originally the terminus of the Metropolitan line (the first of the underground lines)... and a lot of the original architecture can still be seen today - both at the front of the station and on the platforms.

Farringdon is undergoing a facelift however, and will have a new station to accommodate both Crossrail and the upgraded Thameslink. I hardly recognised the area which I once knew quite well. 
Construction of the new station.

There was once a row of shops and a fairly substantial office building here! By 2016/18 this will be a busy station serving not only the mainlines but four sub-surface tube lines.

One of my favourite buildings in the area is right across the road from all the construction work. This rather gothic building which always makes me think of 'Rosemary's Baby'.

From here it is a short trip back to Kings Cross to change tube lines on my journey back to the office (I'd been to a meeting near Hatton Garden).

In Memoriam
Whist there I noticed the memorial to the Kings Cross fire memorial. Until 1984/85 smoking was allowed on both trains and platforms. Although by the time of the Kings Cross fire smoking was banned the cause is thought to have been a discarded match which ignited wooden parts of the old escalators; 31 people died in the tragedy.