London Oddities: The St Pancras Caryatids

London

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These days the neglected and rather unlovely St Pancras Church on London’s Euston Road is barely noticed by commuters heading to work, but there’s a peculiar story attached to it. Supposedly, when the four great caryatids were delivered, it was found that they were too tall to fit into their spaces. The statues were delivered in sections (they’re very big), so the sculptor suggested simply leaving out the midriffs to make them fit, which is why they seem a strange shape.
But I don’t buy this – it sounds like one of those London stories that’s become an accepted fact over time. Does anyone know if it’s true or false?

3 comments on “London Oddities: The St Pancras Caryatids”

  1. BangBang!! says:

    I found a brief history and description here:
    http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=65559

    No mention of them having a bit missing though. Pity – it’s a great story!

  2. Terenzio says:

    Poor dears. Dear mama warned me (or was it my sister she warned) about the wickedness of men. I shall retire (in my most lurid dressing gown) to my boudoir with a glass of Pimms and ginger ale or perhaps a Kir Royal (in anticipation of Bastille Day) to ponder whether or not this is true or a what they calll – an urban myth. However, I am leaning towards this story is false because of the position of the hands. Even though if they cut out the poor dears midsections, I see no reason why they would have any qualms about cutting down the arms as well.

  3. Porl says:

    I always kill my time hanging around these ladies when I’m early back for my return train to Manchester – much better to stare at these cretures of beauty, than a departure board which, no matter how long you look at it for, ou know isnt going to give away the “platform reveal” until ten minutes before youre going to leave…

    Great story about the midriffs – I wish it were true. But then, I wish Mammoths were still real as well…..

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