Kings Cross, London

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Coordinates: 51°31′49″N 0°07′25″W / 51.5303°N 0.1236°W / 51.5303; -0.1236

King's Cross is an area of London partly in the London Borough of Camden and partly in the London Borough of Islington. It is an inner-city district located 2.5 miles (4.8 km) north of Charing Cross. The area formerly had a reputation for being a red light district and run-down. However, rapid regeneration since the mid 1990s has rendered this reputation largely out-of-date. Since November 2007 the area has been the terminus of the Eurostar rail service at St Pancras International, with services to France and Belgium. Regeneration continues under the auspices of King's Cross Central which is a major redevelopment in the north of the area. Many more hotels, restaurants, and cultural venues have made the area a cultural centre in the 2000s, and there is also substantial business activity and residential accommodation.

Contents

History

The area was previously a village known as Battle Bridge which was an ancient crossing of the River Fleet. The original name of the bridge was Broad Ford Bridge.

The name "Battle Bridge" led to a tradition that this was the site of a major battle between the Romans and the Iceni tribe led by Boudica.[1] The tradition is not supported by any historical evidence and is rejected by modern historians. However Lewis Spence's 1937 book Boadicea - warrior queen of the Britons went so far as to include a map showing the positions of the opposing armies. The suggestion that Boudica is buried beneath platform 9 or 10 at King's Cross Station seems to have arisen as urban folklore since the end of World War II .[2]

The area had been settled at Roman times, and a camp here, known as The Brill was erroneously attributed to Julius Caesar, who never visited Londinium.[3] The name is commemorated in two streets lying behind King's Cross and St Pancras stations. St Pancras Old Church, also set behind the stations, is said to be one of the oldest Christian sites in Britain.

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