The History Behind King’s Cross

23 May 2021

King’s Cross St Pancras is most notable for its train stations and home to one of the oldest churches in Europe. Served by a variety of underground, overground, and even international lines; this is an area of London filled with rushing commuters and visitors passing through. This week’s blog post takes a dive into some of the history behind this district of London, looking at why rooms to rent are so popular here.

The name

Did you know that ‘King’s Cross’ gained its name from a statue of King George IV! The King’s statue was erected at the crossroads outside of the station in 1836. Although the statue itself was demolished in 1845, the name stuck to the area.

The Industrial Revolution

Euston Road was completed in 1756, initiating development in the Southern part of King’s Cross. However, it was the completion of Regent’s Canal in 1820, linking King’s Cross to the major industrial cities in North London and transformed it into a transport hub. Development continued in 1852 with King’s Cross Station’s appearance. Followed by the impressive Great Northern Hotel opening up a couple of years after. By the end of the 1850s, more and more residential buildings were popping up. In the 1870s, the world saw its first underground railway right here in London. The Metropolitan Railway, running along the route of Euston Road, was incredibly popular due to its speed and efficiency. The Midland Grand Hotel also opened around this time. Most of the residents around here were mainly workers of the industries emerging in King’s Cross (such as transport and gas). 

Trying to turn a house into a home 

Despite all this new development, King’s Cross still had a reputation for being more of an industrial/railway hub than a sought after residential area. This is why during the period of 1980-1990, a number of projects trying to improve the area were kickstarted. Such as the Camley Street Natural Park – a community wildlife reserve. King’s Cross also began to develop a nightlife, becoming an attractive area for artists and other creatives. Nonetheless, the pollution caused by the industries flourishing King’s Cross and high crime rates still posed a problem.

The new King’s Cross

You could argue that the King’s Cross you see today is a relatively new version of itself. From the start of the new millennium, over £2.5 billion was invested into restoration projects, transport, and infrastructure. Such as the Granary Building, built in the 1850s to store wheat for London’s bakers. More popularly known now as Central Saint Martins, a world-famous art college. King’s Cross St Pancras Station saw £850 million poured into its revitalisation, making it a major transport hub. The Midland Hotel’s renovations transformed it into the five-star St Pancras Residence Hotel. And that’s just naming a couple of examples!


What was once a rural area turned into a major industrial hub over the 1800s. Transformed again into a grungy, high-crime, artistic hotspot in the 1980s-90s. Now it has been renovated into the glamorous, high-end district that most people will pass through at least once if they are visiting London. If you are interested in flat-sharing in this area of Central London, visit the Myrooms website to see our available listings!


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To learn more about London and how you can make a beautiful, well-furnished flat your home, contact Myrooms and speak with a London flat-share specialist today!

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