13 May 2010

St Pancras Old Church

It's hard to resist the temptation to escape at lunchtime to wander along the canal that trickles past our London office and I give in to this temptation as often as possible.

Time usually limits me to quick walk east to the shops and, of course, Pret a Manager but when time allows it is much better to head west past St Pancras Lock.

After the lock it is normally Camley Street Natural Park that grabs my attention but just beyond this is another attraction, St Pancras Old Church.

The church is just a few metres away from the new St Pancras International Terminal but it looks and feels a world away. This is what village churches are meant to look like and I guess that this is just what it was once.

And it still has a church yard too.

These gravestones packed tightly around an old tree show that the land there has been under pressure but the church has fought its end well and the church yard has triumphed over the onslaught of development.

It is also unnaturally quiet despite the proximity of more railway lines than any young boy could dream of.

I suspect that this is because the great evil, the motor car, is largely absent. Perhaps when all the oil and cars have gone everywhere will be as quiet and restful as this. I can dream too.

The church yard has some monuments too and the main one has tiered flower beds that are now bursting with colour.

Looking after the park is a collection of tall solid brick buildings that seem to be jealous of the older church but they have their own beauty and should be more proud of themselves.

They were, and maybe still are, hospital buildings but their original function was not an excuse not to be decorative, unlike today, and the simple regular design with the two colours of brick are reassuring and pleasing.

It takes just a few moment to walk around the park, even at a respectful leisurely pace, but it is a few moment well spent and you emerge in to the modern world just a little older but a lot more ready to face whatever that world wants to throw at you.

1 comment:

  1. Planning a vacation trip to England/Wales this summer. Somewhere ran across a reference to "Old St Pancras" and was intrigued.
    Glad to have found your page while searching for some info. Definitely seems worth a look.
    Best to you.

    Winnipeg, CANADA


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