FolkestoneJack's Tracks

The Fish and Coal Offices at King’s Cross

Posted in England, London by folkestonejack on October 9, 2012

The extensive King’s Cross Goods Yard must have been a facinating sight in its heyday with activity taking place across fifty nine acres of warehouses, sheds, offices and sidings. At its peak the yard was a key infrastructure hub in London, connecting the Great Northern Railway with Regent’s canal. Two transhipment basins in the site provided an easy transfer of commodities from the railway to canal barge.

Inevitably, as use of the canal as a means to transport goods faded the associated yard buildings were slowly abandoned and many fell into disrepair. Nevertheless, a surprising number of yard buildings have survived, though the basins have long since been filled in. Today, King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership is bringing the yard back to life as a mixed use development and adapting many of the long abandoned buildings for new uses.

Fish and Coal Offices + Regent’s Canal

Amongst the remaining buildings to be re-developed are the Grade II listed Fish and Coal Offices which were constructed in phases from 1852. The offices are semi-derelict, having sustained significant damage from a fire in 1983 that gutted much of the structure. It is thanks to the local council and local residents that the buildings have survived into the 21st century, having fought off a proposal to demolish them.

Normally the building is off-limits to visitors but for one month the space has been opened up for an exhibition by Spanish artist Greta Alfaro. It was a great opportunity to see the building up close before it is redeveloped into a food and drink ‘cluster’ along with the coal drops.

Greta turned one room of the building back into a bustling Edwardian office for this project and set a rat loose with a camera attached to its back. The resulting film is a hectic rats eye perspective of the office, affording glimpses of a long since vanished world soon to be usurped by gourmet burgers and the like!

Greta Alfaro: A Very Tricky and Crafty Contrivance is on from 28th September 2012 to 24th October 2012 at the Fish and Coal Building, Granary Square, Off Goods Way, London, N1C 4AA. See Art Agenda: The Genesis Foundation presents Greta Alfaro for more information.

The location of the building can be seen on the developer’s map of the heritage locations at King’s Cross. A summary of the plans for the offices and coal drops is available on the developer’s website.


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  1. […] the shapes appear to be randomly placed on the front of buildings such as The Granary Building, the Fish and Coal Offices and the Midlands Goods Shed. However from a single, specific point, they unify and form one […]

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