St Pancras International Railway Station is often mentioned in the same breath as King’s Cross, despite it being an entirely separate railway terminus. It’s in the London borough of Camden, directly across the street from its more Regal sounding sibling and down the road from our Camden branch on York Way.
You might remember our October blog when we looked at left luggage services in London – along with the history of King’s Cross. Being as St. Pancras International is just across the street from King’s Cross, it’s only fair we give London’s rail gateway to the continent equal airtime. So here’s our little blog dedicated to St. Pancras International…
Next time you’re struggling through St. Pancras grappling with a shed load of luggage, consider an irony. ‘Pancras of Rome’ was a Greek named Roman citizen who converted to christianity in around 303 A.D. His new faith ended up costing him his life and he was beheaded – age just fourteen. He couldn’t have known he would give his name to the hustle and bustle of a London parish (and subsequently an International Railway station). But if he could have it might have raised a wry smile. Literally translated from Greek his name is purported to mean ‘The one who holds everything”.
St Pancras – the London parish – took its name from St Pancras Old Church, thought to be one of the oldest places of Christian worship in Britain. The church was built well before the Norman Conquest – and is thought it could date as far back as 315 AD. As a focal point of the community it gave its name to the surrounding parish.
As London grew, districts and boroughs merged and St Pancras became subsumed as a parish – but the name being chosen for the station, which opened in 1868 – meant it was cemented as a London location. Designed by celebrated architect William Henry Barlow, when it opened St Pancras’s train shed held the record as the largest single span roof in the world.
The station was built to provide the London Terminus for Midland Railway Company – serving the East Midlands and York. In 2015 domestic services available from St Pancras access the East Midland Main line and can take you to – amongst others – Derby, Sheffield, Leicester and Nottingham. The Station building is primarily in an Italian Gothic architectural style.
After many rocky years competing with London Euston as premier East Midlands terminus (St Pancras came close to being demolished in the 1960s) – from 2001 – 2007 St Pancras underwent a major refurbishment costing £800 million. Part of that work was development of the new Eurostar International Terminus – relocating the UK end of the intercontinental express from London Waterloo to S Pancras.
Becoming an international Railway station means that London St Pancras sees more than its fair share of luggage. International travellers usually stay for longer and so need to carry more. Whether they are in London for business or pleasure there’s sometimes a need to find somewhere (other than the accommodation you are staying in) to keep it. Perhaps it is equipment for a trade show or you could have flown in from the other side of the world and are staying in London for a week or two – and using Eurostar to access the rest of Europe. If you don’t need all your bags whilst you tour the continent you might need somewhere to store them.
That’s where we come in. If you need temporary or short term storage – for luggage, baggage or other business equipment – we can help. Our london luggage storage lockers are a solution that’s generally cheaper and more cost effective than left-luggage services at stations. And with a name meaning “he who holds everything” we wonder if we should nominate St Pancras as patron saint of ABC Selfstore.