Did You Know?
St Pancras International was named after St Pancras Old Church. Dating back to 400 AD, it is believed to be one of the oldest sites of Christian worship in England.
60 million bricks were used in the refurbishment of St Pancras International, with the entire face of the station being rebuilt. To create the bricks the station’s owners HS1 Ltd. re-opened the original kilnery in Loughborough which was used in the construction of the original St Pancras station. A lime-based mortar was used to yield the finest brickwork. This dedication to specialist, intricate craftsmanship paid off in spades when St Pancras International claimed the supreme winner prize at the 2006 National Brick Awards - otherwise known as the Brick Oscars!
The famous roof contains two and a half acres of glass – more specifically 4,100 glazing panels and 9,400 square metres of glass (almost 2 football pitches or 38 tennis courts).
The St Pancras Dent Clock presides over the station. It is an exact replica of the original. In the 1980s, a rich American planned to buy the original clock from British Rail for £250,000. But the deal didn’t last long. Whilst being lowered from its central position, the clock was dropped and smashed. The deal fell through; however the clock survived thanks to a railway engineer from Nottinghamshire. With nothing but a wheelbarrow and £25, he brought the parts home and painstakingly put it back together. The original Dent Clock now adorns the side of his barn.
The Chinese Arch at the clock end of the Grand Terrace is so named as it is thought that it was adjacent to a Chinese laundry (part of the original Midland Grand Hotel) back in the Victorian era.
Up to 1 million visitors per week travel through St Pancras International, with around 25% of visitors coming for reasons other than travel.
Searcy’s Champagne Bar is the longest in Europe at 96m with 110 seats. Up to 1,000 glasses are sold every day.
The Betjeman Arms pub is named after the much loved poet John Betjeman, who famously saved St Pancras. The pub sells 1,400 pints of the exclusive Betjeman Ale beer every week, made especially for them by Sharps in Cornwall. The Betjeman is part of the Geronimo Inns pub group, who smoke their own salmon, have their own Geronimo cheese and even their own micro herb farm.
The St Pancras Renaissance Hotel
The St Pancras Marriott Renaissance Hotel opened its doors in 2011 after a £150m restoration project. The hotel is now home to 207 luxury rooms and 38 suites. In one room, £47,000 was spent on wallpaper alone - after a tiny scrap of paper was found during the restoration and then painstakingly replicated.
Previously named the Midland Grand Hotel, the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel has had its fair share of prestigious visitors come through its doors. They include the Spice Girls, who filmed their breakout hit ‘Wannabe’ video at the hotel on the famous Grand Staircase in 1997. Indeed, the hotel itself is a star of the small and silver screen. It has featured in numerous films including Bridget Jones’ Diary, Batman Begins, Shirley Valentine and The Secret Garden. Harry Potter fans might recognize The Chambers as the entrance to King’s Cross station in the films.