What is this plaque at King’s Cross? – Monday March 21 2011
I like to think I’m observant and with an eye for detail but occasionally get a reminder that many small interesting things slip beneath our radar every day.
I dread to think how many times over the last decade and a half that I’ve passed in and out of the York Way entrance to King’s Cross – but it was only last week that I spotted this little piece of history for the first time. That it is at eye level only added to the reminder about how much detail of life passes us by, despite repeated exposures.
You’ll find this on the eastern wall of the station in York Way, right were you turn into the station entrance – just alongside where taxis drop off. I’ve never noticed it at all before and am intrigued as to what it meant.
It’s obviously a boundary marker of some kind - but what does the ‘165’ denote? And what words lie behind the steel reinforcing band – is it ‘St’ something? The date 1853 is discernible at the bottom of the stone – the station itself opened in 1852.
When later builders came along to add the steel reinforcing straps, they either did not share the station builders’ historic sensitivities towards this stone, or they just couldn’t be bothered to either move or avoid this little piece of history. Not only did they obscure the boundary stone with their steel strap, they were so careless drilling for the securing bolt that they smashed it into pieces, as the cracks radiating from it testify.
Does anyone have any information about this boundary stone? Because I’d love to know its story. A small piece of railway history but no less interesting for that.
Anyone got any other bits of historical detail like this they’d like to share with the rest of us?