London Euston is the southern terminus of the West Coast Main Line - serving Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow.
Rhodes Farm was situated on Hampstead Road
Even before the coming of the railways, London was expanding around the area of Rhodes Farm. Building had jumped over the New Road (now the Euston Road
) though this road had been partly designed to limit the growth of London within it.
Nevertheless, Rhodes Farm was 20 acres in extent in the 1830s. The land was on the east of Hampstead Road
, near Cardington Street
and Somers Town. At that time, the countryside was open from the back of the British Museum
to Kentish Town and further north.
In 1835, parliamentary permission was granted to take the London and Birmingham Railway from its proposed terminus in Chalk Farm a little further south. The Chalk Farm plans were abandoned, and the new terminal building was earmarked for a clearing called ’Euston Grove’ a patch of land which belonged to Rhodes Farm.
According to a contemporary painting, the farm survived until 1844.
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This painting bears the inscription: All that remained in the year 1844 of the once celebrated Rhobess Farm, Hampstead Road now Ampthill Square
Euston was the first inter-city railway station in London. It opened on 20 July 1837 as the terminus of the London and Birmingham Railway.
The site was selected in the early 1830s by George and Robert Stephenson, engineers of the London and Birmingham Railway. The area was then mostly farmland at the edge of the expanding city of London. The station was named after Euston Hall
in Suffolk, the ancestral home of the Dukes of Grafton, who were the main landowners in the area.
Objections to the station by local farmers meant that, when the Act authorising construction of the line was passed in 1833, the terminus was relocated to Chalk Farm. However, these objections were overcome, and in 1835 an Act authorising construction of the station at its originally planned site was passed, and construction went ahead.
The original station was built by William Cubitt. It was designed by the classically trained architect Philip Hardwick and initially it had only two platforms, one for departures and one for arrivals. Also designed by Hardwick was a 72 foot-high Doric propylaeum, the largest ever built, erected at the entrance as a portico and which became known as the Euston Arch
The station grew rapidly over the following years as traffic increased. It was greatly expanded in the 1840s, with the opening in 1849 of the spectacular Great Hall, designed by Hardwick's son Philip Charles Hardwick in classical style.
In the early 1960s it was decided that a larger station was required. Because of the restricted layout of track and tunnels at the northern end, enlargement could be accomplished only by expanding southwards over the area occupied by the Great Hall and the Arch. Amid much public outcry, the station building including the Arch was demolished in 1961-2 and replaced by a new building. Its opening in 1968 followed the electrification of the West Coast Main Line.
A few remnants of the older station remain: two Portland stone entrance lodges and a war memorial. A statue of Robert Stephenson by Carlo Marochetti, previously in the old ticket hall, stands in the forecourt.
On 12 May 1907 the City and South London Railway (C&SLR, now the Bank branch of the Northern Line) opened a station at Euston as the terminus of a new extension from its existing station at Angel.