Weekend Post: Who the heck is St.Pancras?

Where do you want to go? Snapped by me whilst waiting for our train back home.

Who the heck is St.Pancras?…to quote my brother, who said this yesterday. We were in the middle of booking our stay at the newly opened St.Pancras Renaissance Hotel, humming over whether or not to order extra fluffy pillows. It of question with a shred of intelligence behind it, and so I have decided to answer Jacksie’s question, so why does a major international station bear the rather unfortunate sounding name of a relatively unknown saint?

It’s quite simple really. The area in which London St. Pancras is situated is a district of the London borough of Camden known as St.Pancras. Although technically speaking, the district of St.Pancras has for many centuries been used for various officially designated areas, but today it is only an informal term and is rarely used, having been largely superseded by several other terms for overlapping districts.

And for those who are confused, the train station and hotel are situated on the same site. Part of the hotel is in old train sheds from the station. Albeit slightly spruced up.

Midlands Trains bought up huge amounts of the land in the district for the station to be situated on so it could run services to the capital, hence why St.Pancras is where the modern day East Midlands Trains services from places such as Nottingham and Leicester terminate. Which is fantastic for a midlands dweller such as myself, because I adore the architecture of St.Pancras station, I’ve heard it be described as the cathedral of all railways, which is great, because Nottingham Train Station is a bit of a dump (Nottingham used to have two train stations, they kept the ugly one, and built a ghastly shopping centre onto of the nice one they knocked down) at the present moment.

The area itself is named after St.Pancras of Rome, who converted to Christianity, and was then beheaded for his faith at the rather youthful age of 14 circa 300. His name is Greek, and quite literally means the one that holds everything.

Categories: Weekend Post | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Weekend Post: Who the heck is St.Pancras?

  1. PoppySeeds

    I’ve always wondered myself, now it makes more sense that they named the station after the local area, than after a random, unknown saint. It seems so obvious now.


  2. The London area is named after a church dedicated to St Pancras, which is thought to date to the 4th century – now that’s early! It’s still there, but so reconstructed I’m not sure whether any of the Dark Ages church remains. Some of the people buried in its churchyard include John Polidori, the vampire writer, feminist Mary Wollstoncraft, and Ben Franklin’s illegitimate son. Novelist Thomas Hardy worked on the churchyard in his other job of architect, and it features in A Tale of Two Cities.

    When I was a kid, I always read the name as PANCREAS and could never work out why the saint was named after a bodily organ!


  3. Pingback: The Tide is High at Mer de Noms | Waltzing More Than Matilda

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