Victorian London - Transport - Railways, Above Ground - Stations - Euston Station


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The gigantic works which have been for some time past in the course of erection at the metropolitan terminus of the North-Western Railway being now completed, we have, this week, to chronicle their opening to the public, and to present our readers with some of the Illustrations which we have prepared of the buildings. 
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    Passing under the magnificent Doric entrance, which has always formed so grand a feature to the entrance of this line of railway, the huge pile of building recently erected at once arrests the eye. This building, which has been designed by Philip Charles Hardwick, Esq., and erected by Messrs. William Cubitt and Co., at a cost of about £150,000, will now form the grand entrance to the London and North-Western Railway.
    The structure, on the exterior, is of plain Roman style of architecture, and is 220 feet long by 168 feet in width. At the southern front there are five entrances over which extends, for a considerable distance from the face of the building, a capacious awning, under which carriages may draw up and passengers alight without being exposed to wet or any other inclemency of the weather. The outer-doors just mentioned lead into what is called the "outer vestibule" which is 22 feet in depth and 64 in width, having a beautifully designed mosaic pavement, constructed of patent metallic lava, within a border of Craigleith stone. On the northern side of the "outer vestibule" are again five other entrances, leading into the Grand Hall or Vestibule; and this hall, for size and grandeur, is probably unique: in dimensions it is truly gigantic, being 125 feet 6 inches in length, 61 feet 4 inches in width, and 60 feet in height. At the northern end is a noble flight of steps, leading to a vestibule, in which are doors opening into the general meeting room, the board room, and the conference room, and the gallery which runs round the hall - thus giving facility of communication to an infinity of offices connected with the railway traffic, &c.
    The style of architecture adopted is Roman Ionic, and it has been treated with the utmost skill. The ceiling is formed of panels, deeply coffered, the bands forming the panels being enriched with a double guilloche pattern on them. The hall is lighted by attic windows above the entablature, between which are massive consoles to support the ceiling; these consoles are as peculiarly effective and striking in character, as admirable in workmanship. The pillars at the head of the stairs, and corresponding ones at the southern end of the room, are painted in imitation of dark red granite, the capitals and bases to represent white marble. The vestibule at the head of the stairs is lighted from above; and over the very handsome doorway leading to the general meeting-room is a noble bas-relief, of which we have given an Illustration, and shall presently describe, as we shall do of the panels in the attic at the corners of the room, in which are bas-reliefs, some of which we have represented. The general meeting-room we shall describe and illustrate in a future Number; as also the directors' board-room, an exquisite apartment. The area of the hall and the staircase is formed of the best Craigleith stone. The walls, which are rendered with grey Martin's cement, are painted to simulate granite. The hall is warmed by hot-water pipes on Perkins's system; and, to promote ventilation, some of the panels in the ceiling are perforated, and behind them are coils of hot water pipes; and in the general meeting-room a similar arrangement has been followed. At the southern end of the hall an illuminated clock is to be placed.
    As this hall will, in fact, be a great ante-room to those departments in which the passenger traffic is carried on, the luggage will be brought here from the outer vestibule, and a large counter for refreshments will be one of the conveniences of the place.
    The bas-reliefs which adorn the panels in the corners of the hall are eight in number, and typify the chief cities and boroughs with which the North-Western Railway communicates. They are London, Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, Carlisle, Chester, Lancaster and Nottingham . . . . .
    . . . .
    Leading from the grand hall on the basement on the eastern and western sides, are several glass doors connecting it with the newly constructed booking-offices. That  on the eastern side, through which the general passenger traffic of the line will pass, is the largest, being 60 feet by 40 feet; whilst that on the western side, which is to be appropriated to the London and York, the traffic of the branch lines, and special purposes, is 56 feet by 33 feet. The architecture of these booking-office is in keeping with that of the main building. They have each light and elegant galleries passing round them on a level with the gallery of the great hall, and connected therewith, as well as with all the offices. The roof of each is a splendid cupola springing from the four corners, where it is apparently supported upon brackets resting upon lions' heads, the whole being surmounted by a stupendous and exceedingly light and elegant dome of glass. The arrangement of this department reflects the highest credit on those who have designed it.
    Our illustration is taken from the gallery, and shews the architectural features of the place.
    We have mentioned that the whole is erected from the designs of Philip Hardwick, Esq.; and we must not forget to name his able Clerk of the Works, Mr. Bavin.
    The gas-fittings throughout the new building are by Mr. Strode, of St. Martin's-le-Grand.

Illustrated London News, June 2, 1849

LONDON AND NORTH WESTERN RAILWAY STATION, EUSTON SQUARE, grew out of the line between London and Birmingham, begun April 21st 1834, and opened all the way from London to Birmingham on Sept. 17th 1838. The depot of the Company at Euston-square is of enormous and increasing magnitude. The total length of the line in which the Company is interested, directly or indirectly, is 1141 miles, and the total amount expended up to October 1848 (when the great financial stateament of the Company was made), was 22,835,120l. The gross revenue of the year ending June 30th, 1848, was 2,194,093l. or an average of 42,194l. per week* (see Stokers and Pokers by the author of Bubbles from the Brummen). The great Hall at Euston-square station (opened May 1849), was built from the designs of P.C. Hardwick, the son of the Royal Academician, and is said to have cost 150,000l. The bas-reliefs of London, Liverpool, Manchester &c., are by John Thomas, the sculptor of the statues and bosses at the New Houses of Parliament.

Peter Cunningham, Hand-Book of London, 1850

see also George Sala in Twice Round the Clock - click here

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Euston Station, Terminus of the London and North-Western Railway, on the north side of Euston-square, through the middle of which a road has now been cut, leading directly from the Marylebone-road to the great gate of the station. This latter, however, is not intended—or, at all events, used—as a means of ingress, which must be sought at the smaller gate at the eastern end of the square. The station itself is split in two by a huge hall; in the farther left-hand corner of which as you enter is the refreshment department. On either side is a booking-office, with a corresponding departure platform. The porters will tell you in which of these offices to take your ticket. The two hotels of the company — Euston and Victoria—lie on the opposite side of the street, between the station and the square. -NEAREST Railway Station, Gower-street; Omnibus Routes, Hampstead-rd, Euston-rd, and Old St. Pancras-rd; Cab Rank, In Station. 

Charles Dickens (Jr.), Dickens's Dictionary of London, 1879

Victorian London - Publications - History - The Queen's London : a Pictorial and Descriptive Record of the Streets, Buildings, Parks and Scenery of the Great Metropolis, 1896 - Euston Station

Euston Station - photograph


Euston Station, in Euston Square, is the terminus of the London and North Western Railway, and its name is derived from the secondary title of the Dukes of Grafton, ground landlords of this district. The fine portico seen in our view was designed by Hardwick, and is said to have cost £30,000 some of its stones weigh no less than thirteen tons. The buildings beyond the arch are the waiting rooms and booking offices of the station, the arrival and departure platforms being to the right. it is hard to realise in these days of speedy travelling that half-a-century ago the trains were hauled to Euston from Chalk Farm by ropes, the locomotives not being brought nearer town lest they should frighten the horses

Victorian London - Publications - History - The Queen's London : a Pictorial and Descriptive Record of the Streets, Buildings, Parks and Scenery of the Great Metropolis, 1896 - In Euston Station

In Euston Station - photograph


Euston Station has a less lofty roof than any of the other London termini of the great railway 1ine, but it is the oldest of them all. Our view shows a train which has just arrived from the North, and is letting off steam. Some seventy trains go in and out of Euston Station daily; and in the signal box there are not many short of three hundred levers; but there is plenty of platform space. The station presents a remarkably crowded appearance in August during the two or three das s prior to the beginning of the shooting season in Scotland. The platforms here shown are the most easterly ones ; the departure platforms being those nearest the dignified entrance. Each is clearly indicated in the familiar black and white employed by the London and North-Western Railway Company.