King's CrossAn extraordinary piece of London


The Granary Building

Then …

The Goods Yard complex, designed by Lewis Cubitt, was completed in 1852. The complex comprised the Granary Building, the Train Assembly Shed, and the Eastern and Western Transit Sheds. The buildings were aligned to the axis of the Copenhagen tunnel through which the trains arrived from the north.

The Granary building was mainly used to store Lincolnshire wheat for London’s bakers, while the sheds were used to transfer freight from or to the rail carts. Off-loading from the rail carriages was made easier by cranes and turntables powered by horse and, from the 1840s, hydraulic power. Loaded and unloaded carts were moved in to the Train Assembly Shed and formed into trains for departure northwards. Stables were located under the loading platforms – some of these remain in the Western Transit Shed.

In the 1860s, offices were added on either side of the Granary to provide more clerical workspace. Dumb waiters were used to transport papers up and down and windows between the offices and sheds allowed traffic to be monitored.

Families with young children enjoying the summer sunshine in the Granary Square fountains at King's Cross and now

The Granary Building is now the stunning new home of the world famous arts college – Central Saint Martins, part of the University of the Arts London. The building has been transformed by architects Stanton Williams. While the Western Transit Shed has been converted into unique office space with shops and restaurants at street level.



“Once through the forbidding gateway – formed by Lewis Cubitt’s restored 1852 granary building, a brick and iron colossus whose upper floors house a library – you find yourself in a huge lobby facing a massive enclosed street. This is 110 metres long and 12 metres wide with, 20 metres above your head, a translucent vaulted roof: it’s a dramatic and powerful space, set between three-storey ranges of studios framed by two Great Northern Railway goods and grain stores. The sheer scale of it all is wholly unexpected.”
Jonathan GlanceyThe Guardian