- St Pancras, London
infobox UK place
country = England
map_type = Greater London
official_name= St Pancras
constituency_westminster= Holborn & St Pancras
postcode_district = WC1
postcode_district1 = NW1
St Pancrasis an area of London. Historically the name has been used for various officially designated areas, but today it is only an informal term and is rarely used, having been largely superseded by several other terms for overlapping districts.
St Pancras was originally a medieval
parishwhich ran from close to what is now Oxford Streetnorth as far as Highgate, and from what is now Regent's Parkin the west to the road now known as York Wayin the east, boundaries which take in much of the current London Borough of Camden, including the central part of it. However, as the choice of name for the borough suggests, St Pancras has lost its status as the central settlement in the area. The district now encompassed by the term "St Pancras" is not easy to define, and usage of St Pancras as a place name is fairly limited.
The original focus of St Pancras was
St Pancras Old Church, which is in the southern half of the parish, and is believed to be one of the oldest sites of Christian worship in Great Britain. However in the 14th century the population abandoned the site and moved to Kentish Town. The reasons for this were probably the vulnerability of the plain around the church to flooding (the River Fleet, which is now underground, runs through it) and the availability of better wells at Kentish Town, where there is less clay in the soil. The old settlement was abandoned and the church fell into disrepair. However, some residence continued near the old church as is shown on the 1801 map of the area and in an 18th century landscape that turned up in 2007.
In the 1790s
Earl Camdenbegan to develop some fields to the north and west of the Old Church as Camden Town, which has become a better known place name than St Pancras. In the mid 19th century two major railway stations were built to the south of the Old Church, one of them called St Pancras and the other King's Cross. A residential district was built to the south and east of the church, but it is usually known as Somers Town. The term St Pancras is sometimes applied to the immediate vicinity of St Pancras Station, but King's Cross is the usual name for the area around the two mainline stations as a whole.
The parish of St Pancras was administered by a
vestryuntil the Metropolitan Borough of St Pancraswas established in 1899. In 1965 the borough was combined with two other boroughs to form the London Borough of Camden. The name St Pancras survives in the name of the local parliamentary constituency, Holborn & St. Pancras. One of the local council wards in the Borough of Camden is called St Pancras and Somers Town, but this carries little weight as ward boundaries are chosen to divide a borough into roughly equal slices with little regard to the historical names of the districts or day to day usage, and are virtually unknown to the general public. Besides Somers Town and the area around St Pancras Old Church the ward includes much of Camden Town and the former Kings Cross Goods Yard, which is due to be redeveloped as a new district called "Kings Cross Central" starting in 2006.
Old St Pancras Church and its graveyard have links to
Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, and the Wollstonecraft circle. Immediately to the north of the churchyard is St Pancras Hospital, formerly the London Hospital for Tropical Diseases. St Pancras is one of the best known railway stations in England. It has been extended and is now the new terminus for the Eurostarservices through the Channel Tunnel.
* King's Cross and Somers Town to the north
Bloomsburyto the west and south
Clerkenwellto the east
Nearest Tube Stations
King's Cross St. Pancras tube station
Russell Square tube station
Nearest Railway Stations
* King's Cross station
St Pancras railway station
"Camden Town and Primrose Hill Past" by John Richardson (1991) ISBN 0-948667-12-5
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