Wednesday, June 01, 2016

The derivation of King's Cross

click photo to enlarge
Unlike many names in Britain that of King's Cross is of relatively short standing - less than two hundred years old. However, the site of King's Cross has carried more than one name, and the oldest of these goes back around thousand years.

Unsurprisingly King's Cross refers to a king and a cross roads. In fact, a statue of King George IV stood at the crossroads from 1830 to 1845. It wasn't much of a statue apparently, a double life-size figure on a sixty foot column at the top of which was a camera obscura and at the base, a building. All of this was made cheaply of brick, even the statue, though the latter was coated to resemble stone. The building in the base of the column was initially a police station and later became a pub.

As with many areas of London, the site was once a village, here called Battlebridge, and was sited at a crossing of the River Fleet. A name such as this at a location of this kind would normally arise from an actual event, and it has been suggested, though with only slight evidence, that the battle was one that took place around 60AD between the Iceni led by Boudica and the Roman army. Today King's Cross is known as a district of London and widely for the main line railway terminus of that name that stands only a few yards from another such terminus, St Pancras - hence the name in today's photograph shot one early evening a few weeks ago.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Photo Title: King's Cross, St Pancras and the Underground, London
Camera: Olympus E-M10
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 17mm (34mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f3.5
Shutter Speed: 1/80 sec
Exposure Compensation: -0.3 EV
Image Stabilisation: On