In 1886 the London, Chatham and Dover Railway (LCDR) opened St Paul’s Station, which took on and expanded the passenger offering of Blackfriars Bridge Station, and was renamed Blackfriars in 1937 to avoid confusion with St Paul’s underground station. St Paul’s had a pink-red brick facade, embellished with 54 sandstone blocks bearing the names of destination cities. The named cities vary massively in required distance time, from Bromley to Dover to Vienna and St Petersburg, with this range and variety indicating the importance of the station, and London as a whole, as a European hub.
The station was substantially redeveloped in the 1970s and the name blocks were rescued and displayed inside the new concourse. Another major renovation of the station in the 2000s saw them cleaned and gilded, then redisplayed in the North Bank entrance when it opened in 2011.
Copyright Debbie Smyth, 11 March 2018
Posted as part of Becky’s March Square