The old church of St Pancras and its neighbouring churchyard, round the back of the famous station, pack almsot as much history as the Tower of London, given the well-documented associations with everyone from Thomas Hardy to John Soane, via Marys Wollstonecraft and Shelley to the Beatles. The church also reckons (with some dispute) to be one of the oldest sites of Christian worship in the country. But as with many old buildings*, it constantly needs cash to keep itself in good repair.
One way to help, while also learning a thing or two about local history, is to attend the upcoming lecture series taking place within the church. All proceeds will go towards sorting out some ‘ancient drains’, which are causing a bit of grief. It’s quite a juicy line-up for fans of London’s past:
- 11 May (5pm): No ordinary churchyard: the tombs of St Pancras. Roger Bowdler of English Heritage, followed by drinks and a performance of Mrs Percy Shelley, entrance by donation
- 17 May (7pm): Lost London. Philip Davies, who compiled the recent London Hidden Interiors. £10
- 6 June (7pm): The Quick and the Dead: The Archaeology of High Speed 1 and the Old St Pancras burial ground. Jane Sidell. £10
- 13 June (7pm): The Fields Beneath. Gillian Tindall, author of the book of the same name. £10
- 12 September (7pm): John Soane and St Pancras. Gillian Darley. £10
- 10 October (7pm): St Pancras Station. Simon Bradley, who wrote an excellent short history of the station a few years ago. £10
Expect to see us at all six.
*Most of the church is early Victorian, but some parts are medieval.