Kings Cross is an area of North London just above the City. The area was originally a small village known as Battle Bridge: there was an ancient bridge here across the River Fleet, where supposedly Queen Boadicea of the Iceni fought the Roman legions. According to legend, she is buried beneath the platforms of Kings Cross railway station, which river, bridge and all were demolished to make way for. The station was designed by Lewis Cubitt and built in 1851-2: the train shed is typical beautiful nineteenth-century engineering, the front is of plain yellow brick with a square Italianate clock tower. The area was named for a 60ft column with a statue of King George IV on top, erected in 1836 opposite where the station is now at what became known as the Kings Cross. The name stuck, despite the fact that the monument was unpopular and got pulled down six years later.
Like many areas of London the housing in the area was once elegant, but as wealthy people moved out of the city it declined into crumbling slums. Kings Cross is still fairly shabby and until recently was a notorious red-light area. It shares a tube station with St Pancras station, a few hundred yards away.