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Curious King’s Cross :: Andrew Whitehead

  • Burgh House New End Square London, NW3 1LS UK (map)

Sex, pubs and rock'n'roll - King's Cross has it all, and so much more ... from a fish-and-chip shop once bugged by MI5, to London's most enduring radical bookshop. Inside the main line station, there's the magic of Platform 9¾ ... and just outside, the every bit as magical Keystone Crescent. 

The locality has a lighthouse  -  a Welsh tabernacle where services are now conducted in Amharic - - a canal-side well, built to store huge blocks of Norwegian ice  -  and a cruising club based in a water point which once supplied steam trains.

The area has been repeatedly re-branded ever since the 1820s, when the cinder heaps of Battlebridge were given the more marketable name of King's Cross, replete with a royal statue which so 'grievously offended the eye of taste' it was pulled down after less than a decade.

Andrew Whitehead is the author of Curious King's Cross, which looks at thirty or so buildings and locations across 'the Cross' and the stories attached to them, offering a fresh take on one of London's most varied and surprising neighbourhoods. 

Admission: Free to members. Non-members welcome (£1 at the door)