In 1830 a monument was erected to the memory of the recently deceased George IV at the junction of Gray’s Inn Road, Pentonville Road and what is now Euston Road. It was 60 feet high and crowned with a statue of the king that was nearly twice life-size. The structure was large enough to contain first a police station and then a pub on its lower storey and a camera obscura on its upper floor.
Like the monarch it commemorated, it was extremely unpopular. One architectural writer called it a “hideous monstrosity”, while a newspaper described it as a “very uncomplimentary effigy of majesty”. The monument was demolished only 15 years after its erection but the name King’s Cross survived and was attached to 1852’s railway terminus and the surrounding area.
Answered by: Nick Rennison