Wednesday, 13 April 2016

K is for Kings Cross and St Pancras Station


The train theme continues today as the A to Z Tour of Harry Potter Filming Locations takes us back to London and to Kings Cross and St Pancras Stations

Kings Cross and St Pancras train stations together form one of Britain's biggest travel hubs, with national and international trains, and a joint Underground tube station in between the two (Kings Cross St Pancras).  Located on the northern end of Central London, Kings Cross railway station was opened in 1852, with neighbouring St Pancras was opened in 1868.  The exterior of St Pancras is widely recognised for its Victorian Architecture, and is now a Grade 1 listed building.  The design of Kings Cross was based on two large arched train sheds - these high arched roofs tower over the station platforms.  It is no wonder that in the Potter films, platform scenes were shot on location at Kings Cross, with St Pancras standing in for the exterior of the station

Kings Cross
Across the internet there is wide debate about the filming location of platforms 9 and 10 in the Potter film series.  A lot of this debate seems to stem from the fact that platforms 9 and 10 at Kings Cross Station are not connected, and that the bridge seen in The Philosopher’s Stone and The Order of The Phoenix no longer exists – it was torn down in 2009 and replaced with the glass one seen in the background of my photo.  However, my visit to Kings Cross Station set the mind at rest as it is clear that the roof and barriers seen in the films are the same as at the station.  Platforms 4 and 5 stood in for platforms 9 and 10 throughout the film series, with JK Rowling admitting she had been thinking of Euston Station when writing the novels (where 9 and 10 do share a platform).  Platform 5 was also used as Platform 9 ¾.
However, as I write this I realise that these platforms may no longer exist.  Kings Cross went through a major remodel a couple of years ago and I haven’t been back since – I know there was a lot of public outcry that they may be removing the old high ceilings.  I hope not.  The place was stunning in an old worldy kind of way.  Just have a look at the long shot in The Philosopher’s Stone.  Have you been there recently?  I’d love to hear how the station looks now…
When I first visited Kings Cross in 2010, there was a little sign marking the location of Platform 9 ¾.  It was hidden around the corner, out of the way, with a trolley half in the wall.  When I went back in 2012, the sign had been moved due to the initial building works – a little more prominent, but still small and unobtrusive.  Passing through the station at the end of 2013, I noted that the sign and trolley had been moved to the main hall, near the ticket counters and shops.  There was rope for people to line up at in order to take their photos.  Much more there, and a lot easier to find!

St Pancras Station
The exterior of St Pancras Station was used as the exterior of Kings Cross Station, both when Harry and Ron fly the Ford Anglia in The Chamber of Secrets and at the start of the epilogue in The Deathly Hallows, part 2.  I think my black-and-white photo captures the old-world charm of the building quite well, even if I do say so myself!

Happy travels

Ros

The A-Z cross stitching continues over at Fangirl Stitches too.

7 comments:

  1. it was lots of fun visiting the platform when we were there in 2010. I liked that it was tucked away and harder to find... you had to search it out to find it. Much like Paddington Bear statue..

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  2. it was lots of fun visiting the platform when we were there in 2010. I liked that it was tucked away and harder to find... you had to search it out to find it. Much like Paddington Bear statue..

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  3. More great pictures and info Ros.

    Linda

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  4. Ahh it's so pretty! I'm so jealous ;)

    Chelsea @ Books for Thought

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    Replies
    1. It really is a gorgeous station :)

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