The parish of St Pancras was large, stretching from more or less Oxford Circus to Highgate. As London grew, the concentration of the parish moved further south and a new church was required by the early nineteenth century.
St Pancras New Church was the result; this Greek revival style establishment, inspired by the Erechtheum and Tower of the Winds of the Acropolis, was consecrated in 1822. It stands on the Euston Road and no matter how often I walk this route, I have to admire the graceful caryatids that remain immune to the noise and traffic on this main street. In contrast to the original figures in Athens, each of these holds an extinguished torch or an empty jug, reflecting their position as guardians of the dead in the Crypt.
I have to say that I have a soft spot for St Pancras Old Church too. As its parish population changed and moved around, the church lost its popularity and fell into disrepair. It has undergone a few restorations in its time and is now a charming, peaceful building at the back of St Pancras Station.
Copyright Debbie Smyth, 7 January 2018