Londonist's Back Passage

By M@ Last edited 145 months ago
Londonist's Back Passage

A tribute to the capital’s alleys, ginnels and snickleways.

12. St Chad's Place

Where? Dingy little dogleg behind King's Cross Thameslink.

What? Ah, St Chad. You know, the brother of St Cedd and St Cynibild? Founder of the moanstery at Barrow-upon-Humber? Patron saint of rigged elections? No? Since ancient times, this spot contained a small, health-giving spring dedicated to the saint. St Chad's Well, was one of several ancient and important water supplies associated with the River Fleet. The passageway probably predates the Victorian redevelopment in which the Midland Railway carved up the surrounding area, obliterating all trace of the well. The Fleet still flows close by, buried beside the railway.

Why use? Well, it's a nice little shortcut between Gray's Inn Road and King's Cross Road. But more importantly, it houses the superb 06 St Chad'sPlace. This swanky but friendly bar gets everything just about right. But riddle us this: how can a bar look so full of life while playing non-stop Smiths and Morrissey? And with one whole wall sporting a lifesize image of a Thameslink train? What were they thinking? Make sure you visit.

Also good for? A rail bridge in the passage makes a superb vantage point for over-tall trainspotters with a mono-passion for Thameslink.

Sorry, we mean 'First Capital Connect'. What kind of a shitty, customer unfriendly rebranding was that? We know the franchise changed hands, but couldn't the new owners have invented a catchier name? What's the new equivalent of saying 'I'm going to catch the Thameslink'? Should we call it the FCC? And what the deuce are the stations going to be? Is King's Cross Thameslink to become the unwieldy King's Cross First Capital Connect (KCFCC). Sounds like a Holloway Road chicken outlet. Jesus.

Last Updated 19 October 2006