St Pancras Waterpoint, Camden

St Pancras Waterpoint project - lower section lowered onto trailer

Category

Grade II Listed

Team

London Historic Buildings Trust (formerly HOLTOP) (project coordination)

The Morton Partnership (technical assessment, structural engineering services and project oversight)

Abbey Pynford plc (specialist contractors (moving the building)

Jim Parkinson Ltd (cranes and transporters)

Universal Stone Ltd (repairs and refurbishment of the building and the site).

Project Costs

£915,190

The St Pancras Waterpoint was designed by the office of Sir George Gilbert Scott, the architect responsible for the magnificent Midland Grand Hotel that forms the frontispiece of St Pancras railway station, and his influence can clearly be seen in the Waterpoint’s ornate brickwork and elaborate detailing. Containing a vast 2,400 cubic foot capacity cast iron water tank, the Waterpoint was designed to supply water to steam trains visiting St Pancras station.

In 1997, the proposed development of the new Channel Tunnel Rail Link terminus at St Pancras meant that the Waterpoint was threatened with demolition. However, as the building was of such architectural and engineering importance, English Heritage intervened and we prepared a detailed relocation proposal in partnership with the developers for the Cross-Channel High Speed link, London Continental Railways (LCR). Although this proposal received grant offers from both English Heritage and the National Lottery Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) the project failed to proceed when the second stage of the link was deferred with no firm date for its implementation.

At the request of LCR the project was resurrected in 2000 and a revised HLF grant application was approved for the project, with other partnership grants from English Heritage, the London Borough of Camden, the Kings Cross Partnership, the Rail Link Countryside Initiative, the Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) and the Heritage of London Trust.  In addition, we secured a low interest project funding loan from the AHF and received a fee payment from LCR for undertaking the relocation.

The relocation of the building, itself an impressive feat of engineering, took place in November 2001. Following a survey it was decided that dismantling and rebuilding the Waterpoint was not an option as it would have caused too much damage to the fabric of the building. Instead, it was separated into sections, hoisted onto a transporter, and moved some 700 metres by road to a new high level home on the viaduct overlooking the St Pancras Yacht Basin. On completion of repairs and refurbishment the building was formally opened in 2005.

The building and its site are owned by us and are now leased to British Waterways Board and used by the St Pancras Cruising Club. The building is open to the public on selected open days throughout the year, which includes access to the impressive viewing platform that was created in the water tank and overlooks the railway, the canal and the adjoining nature garden.

Funding

National Lottery Heritage Lottery Fund, English Heritage, the London Borough of Camden, the Kings Cross Partnership, the Rail Link Countryside Initiative, the Architectural Heritage Fund and the Heritage of London Trust. 

Lottery Heritage Fund logo
Camden council logo
King's Cross logo
English Heritage logo
AHF-favicon
Heritage of London logo

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