Agar Town

Neighbourhood in/near St Pancras, existed between 1841 and 1868

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Agar Town

St Pancras

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Neighbourhood · St Pancras · NW1 ·
July
7
2017

Agar Town was a short-lived area, built in the 1840s, of St Pancras.

From 1789 the area was the private estate of William Agar of Elm Lodge. To contemporaries he was commonly called, ’Councillor Agar,’ and known as an eccentric and miserly lawyer. In the 1810s Agar fought a desperate battle to prevent the cutting of the Regent’s Canal through his property, although his underlying motive may simply have been to maximise the compensation he received.

William Agar died in 1838 and his widow soon began to grant building leases on part of the estate, while retaining Elm Lodge. The neighbourhood was started in 1841 with Agar’s widow leasing out small plots on the north side of the canal.
The 72 acre site was built of the lowest quality materials on 21 year leases. An area was a population of labourers living in houses they built for themselves, was generally considered a slum. Street names belied the type of area and included Canterbury Place, Durham Street, and Oxford Crescent.

The local vestry failed to provide “Ague Town”, as it became known, with street lighting or cleaning, there was no sewerage.

Charles Dickens described the area as "a suburban Connemara ... wretched hovels, the doors blocked up with mud, heaps of ash, oyster shells and decayed vegetables, the stench on a rainy morning is enough to knock down a bullock".

In 1851 one W M Thomas, a visitor to London, described his journey through the area: "The footpath, gradually narrowing, merged at length in the bog of the road. I hesitated; but to turn back was almost as dangerous as to go on. I thought, too, of the possibility of my wandering through the labyrinth of rows and crescents until I should be benighted; and the idea of a night in Agar Town, without a single lamp to guide my footsteps, emboldened me to proceed. Plunging at once into the mud, and hopping in the manner of a kangaroo — so as not to allow myself time to sink and disappear altogether — I found myself, at length, once more in the King’s Road".

Ownership passed to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, who sold it to the Midland Railway "for a considerable sum". The church of St Thomas, Agar Town, was built on Wrotham Road in 1864, at the very time that the old town was disappearing beneath the tracks and goods yards that accompanied the opening of the Midland Railway’s St Pancras station.

"For its passenger station alone, the Midland Railway swept away a church and seven streets of three thousand houses," writes Mr. F. Williams, in his ’History of the Midland Railway: a Narrative of Modern Enterprise.’

"Old St. Pancras churchyard was invaded, and Agar Town almost demolished. Yet those who knew this district at that time have no regret at the change. Time was when the wealthy owner of a large estate had lived here in his mansion; but after his departure the place became a very ’abomination of desolation.’ In its centre was what was termed La Belle Isle, a dreary and unsavoury locality, abandoned to mountains of refuse from the metropolitan dust-bins, strewn with decaying vegetables and foul-smelling fragments of what once had been fish, or occupied by knackers’-yards and manure-making, bone-boiling, and soap-manufacturing works, and smoke-belching potteries and brick-kilns. At the broken doors of multilated houses canaries still sang, and dogs lay basking in the sun, as if to remind one of the vast colonies of bird-fanciers and dog-fanciers who formerly made Agar Town their abode; and from these dwellings came out wretched creatures in rags and dirt, and searched amid the far-extending refuse for the filthy treasure by the aid of which they eked out a miserable livelihood; whilst over the whole neighbourhood the gas-works poured forth their mephitic vapours, and the canal gave forth its rheumatic dampness, extracting in return some of the more poisonous ingredients in the atmosphere, and spreading them upon the surface of the water in a thick scum of various and ominous hues. Such was Agar Town before the Midland Railway came into the midst of it."

The displaced Agar Town inhabitants mostly moved to neighbouring districts like Kentish Town.

The name of Agar Town is commemorated by Agar Grove, a road that runs along the edge of where Agar Town used to be, and which was originally called St Paul’s Road. The Agar Grove estate was built in the mid-1960s. It originally consisted mostly of four storey blocks, plus the 19-storey Lulworth House.

After the goods yards became redundant, part of the site was opened as Camley Street natural park in 1984, while Fairview Estates developed Elm Village, a mix of social and private housing.
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Sources: Old and New London: Volume 5. Published by Cassell, Petter & Galpin (1878), Lost London by Richard Guard. Published by O’Mara Books (2012)


Main source: Search | British History Online
Further citations and sources



Agar Town (1857)

Agar Town (1857)
Percy Lovell

NEARBY STREETS
Abbey Place, WC1H Abbey Place was in the centre of Bloomsbury, off what was originally the west side of Little Coram Street and directly behind the Russell Institution on Great Coram Street.
Agar Grove, NW1 Formerly known as St Paul’s Road, the name Agar Grove dates from the early 20th century.
Agar Place, NW1 Agar Place is a survivor of Agar Town.
Aldenham Street, NW1 Aldenham Street – Richard Platt, 16th century brewer and local landowner, gave land for the endowment of Aldenham School, Hertfordshire.
Ampthill Square, NW1 Ampthill Square is a name which has existed in two different time periods.
Barclay Street, NW1 Barclay Street led from Aldenham Street northwards to Medburn Street.
Barker Drive, NW1 Barker Drive is a street in Camden Town.
Barnby Street, NW1 Barnby Street is a street in Camden Town.
Bartholomew Road, NW1 Bartholomew Road is a road in the NW1 postcode area
Bartholomew Road, NW5 Bartholomew Road is a street in Kentish Town.
Baynes Street, NW1 Baynes Street is a street in Camden Town.
Beaconsfield Street, N1C Beaconsfield Street is a road in the N1C postcode area
Bedford Way, WC1B Bedford Way is a road in the WC1B postcode area
Bedford Way, WC1H Bedford Way is one of the streets of London in the WC1H postal area.
Belgrove Street, WC1H Belgrove Street, formerly Belgrave Street, leads south from Euston Road.
Bergholt Mews, NW1 Bergholt Mews is a road in the NW1 postcode area
Bernard Street, WC1N Bernard Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1N postal area.
Bidborough Street, WC1H Bidborough Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1H postal area.
Brandon Road, N7 Brandon Road is one of the streets of London in the N7 postal area.
Brecon Mews, N7 Brecon Mews is a road in the N7 postcode area
Bridgeway Street, NW1 Bridgeway Street is a street in Camden Town.
Brill Place, NW1 Brill Place is a road in the NW1 postcode area
Broadfield Lane, N1C Broadfield Lane is a road in the N1C postcode area
Broadfield Lane, NW1 Broadfield Lane is a street in Camden Town.
Brunswick Centre, WC1N Brunswick Centre is one of the streets of London in the WC1N postal area.
Burton Street, WC1H Burton Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1H postal area.
Busby Place, NW1 Busby Place is a road in the NW1 postcode area
Busby Place, NW5 This is a street in the NW5 postcode area
Byng Place, WC1E Byng Place is a road in the WC1E postcode area
Camden Mews, NW1 Camden Mews is a street in Camden Town.
Camden Park Road, N7 Camden Park Road is a road in the N7 postcode area
Camden Park Road, NW1 Camden Park Road is a street in Camden Town.
Camden Square, NW1 Camden Square is a long green space running north east to south west parallel to Camden Road.
Camden Terrace, NW1 Camden Terrace is a road in the NW1 postcode area
Camley Street, N1C Camley Street runs north from King’s Cross.
Camley Street, NW1 Camley Street is a street in Camden Town.
Canal Reach, N1C Canal Reach is a road in the N1C postcode area
Cantelowes Road, NW1 Cantelowes Road is a street in Camden Town.
Capper Street, WC1E Capper Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1E postal area.
Cartwright Gardens, WC1H Cartwright Gardens is a crescent-shaped park and street located in Bloomsbury.
Cedar Way Industrial Estate, N1C A street within the N1C postcode
Cedar Way, N1C Cedar Way is a road in the N1C postcode area
Cedar Way, NW1 Cedar Way is a street in Camden Town.
Centa Housebirkenhead Street, WC1H Centa Housebirkenhead Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1H postal area.
Chalton Street, NW1 Chalton Street was formerly Charlton Street.
Charrington Street, NW1 Charrington Street runs south to north and is a continuation of Ossulston Street.
Chenies Mews, WC1E Chenies Mews is a road in the WC1E postcode area
Chenies Place, NW1 Chenies Place is a road in the NW1 postcode area
Christopher Place, NW1 Christopher Place is a street in Camden Town.
Church Way, NW1 Church Way is a road in the NW1 postcode area
Churchway, NW1 Churchway is a street in Camden Town.
Clare Court, WC1H Clare Court is one of the streets of London in the WC1H postal area.
Cliff Road Studios, NW1 Cliff Road Studios is a street in Camden Town.
Cliff Road, NW1 Cliff Road is a street in Camden Town.
Cliff Villas, NW1 Cliff Villas is a road in the NW1 postcode area
Clock View Crescent, N7 Clock View Crescent is a road in the N7 postcode area
Coach Road, N1C Coach Road is a road in the N1C postcode area
Coach Road, NW1 Coach Road is a road in the NW1 postcode area
Cobham Mews, NW1 Cobham Mews is a street in Camden Town.
Cobourg Street, NW1 Cobourg Street is a street in Camden Town.
College Grove, NW1 College Grove is a road in the NW1 postcode area
College Place, NW1 College Place is a street in Camden Town.
Colonnade, WC1N Colonnade is one of the streets of London in the WC1N postal area.
Compton Place, WC1H Compton Place is a road in the WC1H postcode area
Cooper’s Lane, NW1 Cooper’s Lane is a road in the NW1 postcode area
Coram Street, WC1H Coram Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1H postal area.
Coram Street, WC1N Coram Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1N postal area.
Cranleigh Street, NW1 Cranleigh Street is a road in the NW1 postcode area
Crestfield Street, NW1 Crestfield Street is a road in the NW1 postcode area
Crofters Way, NW1 Crofters Way is a road in the NW1 postcode area
Crowndale Court, NW1 Crowndale Court is a road in the NW1 postcode area
Crowndale Road, NW1 Crowndale Road was at first called Fig Lane and then Gloucester Place.
Darwin Walk, WC1E Darwin Walk is a road in the WC1E postcode area
Doric Way, NW1 Doric Way is a road in the NW1 postcode area
Doric Way, NW1 Doric Way is a street in Camden Town.
Drovers Way, N7 Drovers Way is a road in the N7 postcode area
Drummond Crescent, NW1 Drummond Crescent is a road in the NW1 postcode area
Duke’s Road, WC1H This is a street in the WC1H postcode area
Dukes Road, WC1H Dukes Road is one of the streets of London in the WC1H postal area.
Elm Friars Walk, NW1 Elm Friars Walk is a street in Camden Town.
Endsleigh Gardens, WC1H Endsleigh Gardens is one of the streets of London in the WC1H postal area.
Endsleigh Place, WC1H Endsleigh Place is one of the streets of London in the WC1H postal area.
Endsleigh Street, WC1H Endsleigh Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1H postal area.
Euston Road, N1C A street within the N1C postcode
Euston Road, NW1 Euston Road runs from Marylebone Road to King's Cross. The road is part of the London Inner Ring Road and forms part of the London congestion charge zone boundary.
Euston Road, WC1H Euston Road is a road in the WC1H postcode area
Euston Square, NW1 This is a street in the NW1 postcode area
Euston Street, NW1 Euston Street is a street in Camden Town.
Eversholt Street, NW1 Eversholt Street is a street in Camden Town.
Flaxman Terrace, NW1 Flaxman Terrace is a road in the NW1 postcode area
Flaxman Terrace, WC1H Flaxman Terrace is one of the streets of London in the WC1H postal area.
Floor, N1C A street within the N1C postcode
Foundling Court, WC1N Foundling Court is one of the streets of London in the WC1N postal area.
Freight Lane, N1 Freight Lane is a road in the N1 postcode area
Freight Lane, N1C Freight Lane is a road in the N1C postcode area
Godwin Court, NW1 Godwin Court is a street in Camden Town.
Goldington Crescent, NW1 Goldington Crescent is a street in Camden Town.
Goldington Street, NW1 Goldington Street is a street in Camden Town.
Goodinge Close, N7 Goodinge Close is a road in the N7 postcode area
Goods Way, N1C Goods Way runs from Pancras Road to York Way.
Gordon Mansions, WC1E Gordon Mansions is one of the streets of London in the WC1E postal area.
Gordon Square, WC1H The completion of Thomas Cubitt’s Gordon Square in 1860 marked the final development of Bloomsbury.
Gordon Street, WC1H Gordon Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1H postal area.
Gower Court, WC1E Gower Court is a road in the WC1E postcode area
Gower Place, WC1E Gower Place runs from Gordon Street to Gower Street.
Gower Street, WC1E Gower Street is named after Gertrude Leveson-Gower, the wife of John Russell, the 4th Duke of Bedford.
Grafton Place, NW1 Grafton Place is a road in the NW1 postcode area
Grafton Way, WC1E Grafton Way was formerly Grafton Street.
Granary Square, N1 A street within the N1C postcode
Granary Street, NW1 Granary Street is a road in the NW1 postcode area
Gridiron Building, N1C A street within the N1C postcode
Guilford Street, WC1B Guilford Street is a road in the WC1B postcode area
Hampden Close, NW1 Hampden Close is a street in Camden Town.
Hampshire Street, NW5 Hampshire Street is a street in Kentish Town.
Handel Street, WC1N Handel Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1N postal area.
Handyside Street, N1 Handyside Street is a road in the N1 postcode area
Handyside Street, N1C Handyside Street is a road in the N1C postcode area
Hastings Street, WC1H Hastings Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1H postal area.
Herbrand Street, WC1N Herbrand Street is in the east of Bloomsbury, running south from Tavistock Place to Guilford Street.
Hunter Street, WC1N Hunter Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1N postal area.
Huntley Street, WC1E Huntley Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1E postal area.
Jim Veal Drive, N7 Jim Veal Drive is a road in the N7 postcode area
Judd Street, NW1 This is a street in the NW1 postcode area
Judd Street, WC1H Judd Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1H postal area.
Kenton Street, WC1N Kenton Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1N postal area.
King’s Boulevard, N1C King’s Boulevard is a road in the N1C postcode area
King’s Cross Square, N1C King’s Cross Square is a road in the N1C postcode area
King’s Cross Station Concourse, WC1 King’s Cross Station Concourse is a road in the WC1 postcode area
Kings Cross, N1C A street within the N1C postcode
Kings Exchange Tileyard Road, N7 Kings Exchange Tileyard Road is one of the streets of London in the N7 postal area.
Kings Exchange, N7 Kings Exchange is one of the streets of London in the N7 postal area.
Lancing Street, NW1 Lancing Street is a street in Camden Town.
Leigh Street, WC1H Leigh Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1H postal area.
Little Guildford Street Little Guildford Street was the middle part of what is now Herbrand Street, between Great Coram Street and Bernard Street, on the western edge of the Foundling estate.
Long Meadow, NW5 Long Meadow is a street in Kentish Town.
Mabledon Place, WC1H Mabledon Place is one of the streets of London in the WC1H postal area.
Maiden Lane, NW1 Maiden Lane is a road in the NW1 postcode area
Malet Place, WC1E Malet Place is a road in the WC1E postcode area
Mandela Street, NW1 Mandela Street was named after Nelson Mandela.
Marchmont Street, WC1N Marchmont Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1N postal area.
Market Road, N7 Market Road is one of the streets of London in the N7 postal area.
Marquis Road, NW1 Marquis Road is a road in the NW1 postcode area
Mayford, NW1 Mayford is a street in Camden Town.
Medburn Street, NW1 Medburn Street is named after a farm between Elstree and Radlett in Hertfordshire.
Medway Court, WC1H Medway Court is one of the streets of London in the WC1H postal area.
Melton Street, NW1 Melton Street is a street in Camden Town.
Midland Road, N1C Midland Road is a road in the N1C postcode area
Midland Road, NW1 Midland Road is a street in Camden Town.
Mortimer Market, W1T Mortimer Market is a road in the W1T postcode area
Murray Mews, NW1 Murray Mews is a street in Camden Town.
Murray Street, NW1 Murray Street is a street in Camden Town.
New Clock Tower Place, N7 New Clock Tower Place is a road in the N7 postcode area
North Cloisters, WC1E North Cloisters is a road in the WC1E postcode area
North Villas, NW1 North Villas is a street in Camden Town.
Northpoint Square, NW5 Northpoint Square is a road in the NW5 postcode area
Oakley Square, NW1 Oakley Square is a street in Camden Town.
Oakshott Court, NW1 Oakshott Court is a road in the NW1 postcode area
Odonnell Court, WC1N Odonnell Court is one of the streets of London in the WC1N postal area.
One Kings Cross, N1C A street within the N1C postcode
One Pancras Square, N1C A street within the N1C postcode
Oseney Crescent, NW5 Oseney Crescent is a street in Kentish Town.
Ossulston Street, NW1 Ossulston Street is a street in Camden Town.
Pancras Road, N1C Pancras Road is a road in the N1C postcode area
Pancras Road, NW1 Pancras Road is a street in Camden Town.
Pancras Square, N1C This is a street in the N1C postcode area
Pandian Way, NW1 Pandian Way is a road in the NW1 postcode area
Pandian Way, NW5 Pandian Way is a road in the NW5 postcode area
Peabody Buildings, WC1N Peabody Buildings is one of the streets of London in the WC1N postal area.
Penryn Street, NW1 Penryn Street is a road in the NW1 postcode area
Phoenix Road, NW1 Phoenix Road is a street in Camden Town.
Ploughmans Close, NW1 Ploughmans Close is a road in the NW1 postcode area
Polygon Road, NW1 Polygon Road is a street in Camden Town.
Purchese Street, NW1 Purchese Street is a road in the NW1 postcode area
Queen’s Yard, W1T Queen’s Yard is a road in the W1T postcode area
Reachview Close, NW1 Reachview Close is a road in the NW1 postcode area
Reapers Close, NW1 Reapers Close is a street in Camden Town.
Regent’s Canal towpath, E2 Regent’s Canal towpath is a road in the E2 postcode area
Regent’s Canal towpath, E8 Regent’s Canal towpath is a road in the E8 postcode area
Regent’s Canal towpath, N1C Regent’s Canal towpath is a road in the N1C postcode area
Rochester Square, NW1 Rochester Square is a street in Camden Town.
Rossendale Way, NW1 Rossendale Way is a street in Camden Town.
Rousden Street, NW1 Rousden Street is a street in Camden Town.
Russell Court, WC1H Russell Court is one of the streets of London in the WC1H postal area.
Russell Square, WC1B Russell Square was laid out from 1800 by James Burton following the demolition of Bedford House, which originally stood on the site surrounded by gardens and fields.
Saint Augustine’s Road North West, NW1 This is a street in the NW1 postcode area
Saint Pancras Way, NW1 This is a street in the NW1 postcode area
Saint Paul’s Crescent, NW1 This is a street in the NW1 postcode area
Saint Pauls Mews, NW1 This is a street in the NW1 postcode area
Sandall Road, NW5 Sandall Road was built in 1867, part of Dartmouth lands.
Sandwich Street, WC1H Sandwich Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1H postal area.
Shops Brunswick Centre, WC1N Shops Brunswick Centre is one of the streets of London in the WC1N postal area.
Somers Close, NW1 Somers Close is a road in the NW1 postcode area
South Cloisters, WC1H South Cloisters is a road in the WC1H postcode area
South Villas, NW1 South Villas is a street in Camden Town.
Speedy Place, WC1H Speedy Place is one of the streets of London in the WC1H postal area.
St Pancras Cruising Club, N1C St Pancras Cruising Club is a road in the N1C postcode area
St Pancras Way, NW1 St Pancras Way is a street in Camden Town.
St Paul’s Crescent, NW1 St Paul’s Crescent is a road in the NW1 postcode area
St Pauls Cresent, NW1 St Pauls Cresent is a street in Camden Town.
St Pauls Mews, NW1 St Pauls Mews is a street in Camden Town.
St. Augustine’s Road, NW1 St. Augustine’s Road is a road in the NW1 postcode area
St. Georges Road, SE1 A street within the WC1H postcode
St. John’s Villas, N19 A street within the NW1 postcode
St. Pancras Way, NW1 St. Pancras Way is a road in the NW1 postcode area
St. Philip’s Way, N1 A street within the N1C postcode
Stable Street, N1C Stable Street is a road in the N1C postcode area
Stephenson Way, NW1 Stephenson Way is a street in Camden Town.
Stratford Villas, NW1 Stratford Villas is a street in Camden Town.
Tavistock House North, WC1H Tavistock House North is one of the streets of London in the WC1H postal area.
Tavistock House South, WC1H Tavistock House South is one of the streets of London in the WC1H postal area.
Tavistock Place, WC1H Tavistock Place is one of the streets of London in the WC1H postal area.
Tavistock Place, WC1N Tavistock Place is a road in the WC1N postcode area
Tavistock Square, WC1H Tavistock Square was built by property developer James Burton and the master builder Thomas Cubitt for Francis Russell, 5th Duke of Bedford.
Taviton Street, WC1H Taviton Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1H postal area.
Thanet Street, WC1H Thanet Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1H postal area.
The Circle, N1C The Circle is a road in the N1C postcode area
The Gridiron, N1C A street within the N1C postcode
Third Floor, WC1E Third Floor is one of the streets of London in the WC1E postal area.
Thornhaugh Street, WC1B Thornhaugh Street is a street in London
Thornhaugh Street, WC1H Thornhaugh Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1H postal area.
Tileyard Road, N7 Tileyard Road is one of the streets of London in the N7 postal area.
Tonbridge Street, WC1H Tonbridge Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1H postal area.
Torrington Place, WC1E Torrington Place was developed by James Sim in partnership with his two sons.
Torrington Square, WC1H Torrington Square was originally laid out as part of the Bedford Estate development in 1821-25, named after the father-in-law of the 6th Duke of Bedford.
Tower Hamlets, E1 A street within the N1 postcode
Unity Mews, NW1 Unity Mews is a road in the NW1 postcode area
University Street, WC1E University Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1E postal area.
Upper Woborn Place, WC1H Upper Woborn Place is one of the streets of London in the WC1H postal area.
Upper Woburn Place, WC1H Upper Woburn Place is one of the streets of London in the WC1H postal area.
Vale Royal, N7 Vale Royal is one of the streets of London in the N7 postal area.
Wakefield Street, WC1H Wakefield Street is a road in the WC1H postcode area
Weavers Way, NW1 Weavers Way is a road in the NW1 postcode area
Werrington Street, NW1 Werrington Street is a street in Camden Town.
Whidborne Street, WC1H Whidborne Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1H postal area.
Whitcher Place, NW1 Whitcher Place is a road in the NW1 postcode area
Whittlebury Street, NW1 Whittlebury Street once laid to the west of Euston station.
Witley Court, WC1N Witley Court is one of the streets of London in the WC1N postal area.
Woburn Mews, WC1H Woburn Mews ran parallel between Woburn Place and Upper Bedford Place to the west of Woburn Place.
Woburn Place, WC1B Woburn Place is a road in the WC1B postcode area
Woburn Place, WC1H Woburn Place is situated on the Bedford estate, running north from the east of Russell Square to the east of Tavistock Square.
Woburn Square, WC1H Woburn Square is just north of the centre of Bloomsbury.
Woburn Walk, WC1H Woburn Walk was also known as Woburn Buildings.
Wollstonecraft Street, N1C Wollstonecraft Street was the first name to be chosen from a naming competition by the developers of N1C.
Woolf Mews, WC1H Woolf Mews is a road in the WC1H postcode area
Wrotham Road, NW1 Wrotham Road is a street in Camden Town.
York Road Curve, N1 York Road Curve is a road in the N1 postcode area
York Way, N7 York Way is one of the streets of London in the N7 postal area.


St Pancras

St Pancras railway station, celebrated for its architecture, is built on the site of the St Pancras suburb of London.

For many centuries the St Pancras name was used for various officially-designated areas, but it is now used mainly for the railway station and for upmarket venues in the immediate locality, having been largely superseded by other place names including Kings Cross, Somers Town, and Camden Town, or simply Camden.

St Pancras was originally a medieval parish, which ran from close to what is now Oxford Street north as far as Highgate, and from what is now Regent’s Park in the west to the road now known as York Way in the east, boundaries which take in much of the current London Borough of Camden, including its central part. However, as the choice of name for the borough suggests, St Pancras has lost its status as the central settlement in the area.

The original focus of the area was the church, now known by the retronym of St Pancras Old Church. The building is in the southern half of the parish, and is believed by many to be one of the oldest sites of Christian worship in Great Britain. However, in the 14th century the population moved en masse to Kentish Town, probably due to flooding by the River Fleet and the availability of better wells at the new location. A chapel of ease was established there, and the old settlement was abandoned, except for a few farms, until the growth of London in the late eighteenth century.

In the 1790s Earl Camden began to develop some fields to the north and west of the old church as Camden Town. About the same time, a residential district was built to the south and east of the church, usually known as Somers Town. In 1822 the new church of St Pancras was dedicated as the parish church. The site was chosen on what was then called the New Road, now Euston Road, which had been built as London’s first bypass, the M25 of its day. The two sites are about a kilometer apart. The new church is Grade I listed for its Greek Revival style; the old church was rebuilt in 1847. In the mid 19th century two major railway stations were built to the south of the Old Church, first Kings Cross and later St Pancras. The new church is closer to Euston Station.

By the end of the nineteenth century the ancient parish had been divided into 37 parishes, including one for the old church. There are currently 17 Church of England parishes completely contained within the boundaries of the ancient parish, all of which benefit from the distributions from the St Pancras Lands Trust, and most of which are in South Camden Deanery in the Edmonton Area of the Diocese of London.

St Pancras railway station was opened in 1868 by the Midland Railway as the southern terminus of its main line, which connected London with the East Midlands and Yorkshire. When inaugurated, the arched train shed by William Henry Barlow was the largest single-span roof in the world. Today, Midland main line services to Corby, Sheffield and Nottingham are operated by East Midlands Trains, and St Pancras is a stop on the Thameslink route as well as being the terminus of Southeastern high-speed trains to Kent.
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