Esoteric London

No. 580: Euston Road, NW1

Posted in Architectural, Pubs by esotericlondon on May 18, 2012

Euston Station, Euston Road, London, NW1. Photo © Roger Dean 2012

Nairn’s London – Ian Nairn, 1966:

…the Euston Arch which ought to be in this book but isn’t, because of the actions of blind men in high places.

[ Standing an awe inspiring 70 feet 6 inches, Euston Arch, designed by Phillip Hardwick, was the largest Doric propylaeum ever built. Constructed in 1838 it remained the entrance to Euston Station until its demolition in 1962. The campaign to save it spearheaded by the likes of John Betjeman and Nikolaus Pevsner is considered to be the birth of the modern conservationist movement. Very little remains of the original station but two impressive  lodges that flanked the arch did avoid the wreckers ball and one of them is photographed above. Today one houses the Euston Tap, a fine purveyor of ales from around the world, whilst the one pictured above, under the same ownership, is a cider house.

However, the arch is not altogether lost. In 1994 the historian Dan Cruickshank tracked down an estimated 60% of the 4,000 plus tons of the arch buried in the bed of the Prescott Channel in the East End of London. Subsequently a group of historians and architects formed The Euston Arch Trust which is campaigning for the rebuilding of the arch using as much of the original stone as possible. With the demolition and rebuilding of the 60’s version of the station looming the reappearance of one of London’s magnificent architectural gems may be a real possibility.

To visit The Euston Arch Trust website click here and to visit the Euston Tap site click here. R.D.]

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