Victorian London - Transport - Railways, above ground - Stations - South Eastern Railway Station (London Bridge)

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from The Illustrated London News, 1844

SOUTH EASTERN RAILWAY STATION is on the Surrey or Southwark side of London Bridge. The first mile and a half runs on arches side by side with the East Greenwich Railway, the next eight:, miles on the Croydon Railway, and the continuation to Reigate station, 20 miles from London, on the Brighton Railway. The South Eastern works begin at Reigate station, and run to Canterbury, Ramsgate, Deal, Folkestone, and Dover. The whole line to Dover was opened in February, 1844.  Pleasant excursions, returning the same, day, may be made by this line to Penshurst, - Hever Castle, Tunbridge Wells, Knowle, and Canterbury.

Peter Cunningham, Hand-Book of London, 1850


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The Railway Terminus, or rather conjoint termini, at London-bridge have lately disappeared to make room for a building of less merit than its predecessor, with the addition of an ornamented row of houses and shops.
    The main building, of which the facade is shown in the Engraving, consists of an assemblage of railway termini - the Brighton, the South-Eastern (including the North Kent), and the Greenwich, nearly completed. The central portion belongs to the South Eastern; the Brighton is on the south side; and the Greenwich is placed somewhat out of the way, next Tooley-street. Around the South-Eastern is a covered way, on iron columns, which is glazed to the extent of the pathway, so as not to darken the rooms on the ground-floor; a portion of the covering projecting beyond the line of columns, so as to further screen the pathway from rain; this is solid, with a high cornice and fascia. Above is a central clock, with cement decorations, executed in a manner by no means advantageous to Mr. Beasley, the architect. The front of the Brighton Terminus has stone dressings; and the booking-office has a large circular light in the ceiling. The departure and arrival platforms have a wooden roof of large span (between 700 and 800 feet in length), nearly 100 ft. A considerable portion of the covering is of rough plate glass, in sheets 8 feet long and 3 feet 6 inches wide. Such spaces between the principals as are not glazed are plastered and panelled. Although convenience of arrangement may have been gained in these new Termini, they are inferior in artistic design externally.
    An arcade is constructed on the left-hand side of the approach to the terminus. It is similar to the Lowther-arcade, in the Strand, with shops, and a large refreshment-room in the centre of the thoroughfare which fronts the terminus. The building between 100 and 200 feet in length, has its basement in Tooley-street, whence it rises about 60 feet, divided into three stories, the upper elevation forming the arcade on a level with the railway, and the lower part in Tooley-street forming a range of ordinary shops. The front is in the Italian style.

The Illustrated London News, 1851