Why The Inland Lighthouse Will Remain A Mystery


Last night I walked past Dick Whittington’s stone in Archway – the milestone, irretrievably tied in with its panto image of boy and cat, is framed inside a wrought-iron fence – and thought about the icons we pass every day that have no historical significance. One of these is the King’s Cross lighthouse, now sadly in disrepair and very soon to be pulled down. Everyone knows it, but nobody knows why it’s there – the most likely explanation is that it advertised a nearby fish restaurant.
King’s Cross once had a raffish carnival atmosphere – there was even a roller coaster in the middle of the road for a while around 1900 – and this adds to it. Perhaps the developers of the building it stands on will restore it, but I imagine that’s unlikely to happen. It wasn’t even attractive when it was still in one piece, but is one of the last reminders of the ‘old’ King’s Cross.

Still there, but for how long?

Still there, but for how long?

3 comments on “Why The Inland Lighthouse Will Remain A Mystery”

  1. Lee says:

    I saw this the other day (and not for the first time) and had a wonderful fleeting thought about the apartment underneath, and how – with a bit of money – the residence could be transformed in to a beautiful place similar to one Ewan McGregor stayed in in the film Moulin Rouge. Its got a turn-of-the-century romance about it… shame it’s going to be pulled down…

  2. I.A.M. says:

    I thought the same thing as yourself, Lee. then I considered the amount of noise at that corner, and thought “nice place to visit someone for dinner, but…” One also suspects the amount of money required to re-furbish the place would be more than constructing an exact duplicate of the thing on the same spot, plus the new one would be up to code for electrics, water, earthquake, stairs, fire escapes…

    The thought of a roller coaster in this area is something which boggles the mind, though. Even accounting for the fact that many things weren’t there. There’s a mention of the area being a haunt of The Great and The Good as a spa in the last B&M, if memory serves. That was an idea which was similarly inconceivable.

  3. simon says:

    I was listening to Robert Elms on BBC London the other day and he thinks that these lighthouses were built to advertise oyster houses/restaurants. Apparently they were just facades and never actually lit up, which is a great shame as is the demise of this one….

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