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The secret wine cellar keeping Charing Cross station from SINKING


Sitting atop a hill within the City of Westminster, Charing Cross station serves greater than 30million passengers yearly.

Since its first opened in 1864, the transport hub has offered the proper connection level for guests who’re in search of to take advantage of the myriad leisure venues close by.

But a brand new TV documentary tells how, as a result of the station was constructed on the highest of a steep slope all the way down to the River Thames, it wanted the assist of the community of barrel vaults which – unbeknown to most passengers – lie 40 ft beneath it.

In tonight’s episode of The Architecture the Railways Built, which airs on UKTV channel Yesterday at 8pm tonight, historian Tim Dunn is seen touring the unbelievable areas, which aren’t open to the general public.

He is advised how the vaults have been rented out by neighbouring West End companies to retailer inventory and is then proven discarded wood caskets which as soon as saved wine. In an indication of the origins of 1 classic, a field has ‘French, 1950’ scrawled on it in chalk.

The historian can be given unique entry to the £300-a-night four-star lodge above the station which has catered to rich travellers and different Londoners because it opened in 1865.

Amazingly, the venue’s ballroom, which boasts Tuscan-inspired pillars and ornate octagonal-patterned ceilings, has not been modified because it was initially designed by esteemed architect Edward Middleton Barry.

A new TV documentary reveals the network of barrel vaults beneath Charing Cross station which prevent it from slipping into the River Thames. Pictured: The arched vaults which are revealed in tonight's episode of The Architecture the Railways Built, It airs on UKTV channel Yesterday at 8pm tonight

A brand new TV documentary reveals the community of barrel vaults beneath Charing Cross station which forestall it from slipping into the River Thames. Pictured: The arched vaults that are revealed in tonight’s episode of The Architecture the Railways Built, It airs on UKTV channel Yesterday at 8pm tonight

Sitting atop a hill in the City of Westminster, Charing Cross station serves more than 30million passengers every year. Since its first opened in 1864, the transport hub has provided the perfect connection point for visitors who are seeking to make the most of the myriad entertainment venues nearby

Sitting atop a hill within the City of Westminster, Charing Cross station serves greater than 30million passengers yearly. Since its first opened in 1864, the transport hub has offered the proper connection level for guests who’re in search of to take advantage of the myriad leisure venues close by

Mr Dunn tells in tonight’s present how Charing Cross stands on the positioning of the previous Hungerford Market, which had existed for the reason that 18th century.

Private agency the South Eastern Railway purchased the market website after it was badly broken in a fireplace in 1854. They then demolished it to make means for Charing Cross station.

At the identical time, a suspension bridge constructed by civil engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel which had led to the market from Lambeth on the south financial institution of the Thames was changed with the brand new Hungerford Railway Bridge.

Urban historian Mike Althorp explains in tonight’s programme: ‘The station stands on the positioning of the previous Hungerford Market; which was created as this spectacular Italianate collection of arcades and buying and selling flooring which adopted the road of the land all the way down to the river.

‘So when the station arrived it additionally needed to take care of the topography. We are on the highest of a really steep slope all the way down to the Thames.

‘They needed to construct up the construction, so beneath the lodge there’s a entire sequence of barrel vaults and brick viaducts holding up this entire station.

Historian Tim Dunn is seen touring the incredible spaces, which are not open to the public. He is told how the vaults were rented out by neighbouring West End businesses to store stock and is then shown discarded wooden caskets which once held bottles of wine

Historian Tim Dunn is seen touring the unbelievable areas, which aren’t open to the general public. He is advised how the vaults have been rented out by neighbouring West End companies to retailer inventory and is then proven discarded wood caskets which as soon as held bottles of wine

In a sign of the origins of one vintage, a box has 'French, 1950' scrawled on it in chalk. The caskets are stored around 40 feet beneath the busy station

In an indication of the origins of 1 classic, a field has ‘French, 1950’ scrawled on it in chalk. The caskets are saved round 40 ft beneath the busy station

A fascinating diagram revealed in the programme shows how Charing Cross is built above a network of support structures

A captivating diagram revealed within the programme exhibits how Charing Cross is constructed above a community of assist constructions

Mr Dunn tells in tonight's show how Charing Cross stands on the site of the former Hungerford Market, which had existed since the 18th century

Mr Dunn tells in tonight’s present how Charing Cross stands on the positioning of the previous Hungerford Market, which had existed for the reason that 18th century

Urban historian Mike Althorp explains that because of Charing Cross's position on top of a 'very steep slope' which leads down to the Thames, a 'whole sequence of barrel vaults and brick viaducts' hold up the station. Above: Some of the rooms beneath the station

Urban historian Mike Althorp explains that due to Charing Cross’s place on high of a ‘very steep slope’ which leads all the way down to the Thames, a ‘entire sequence of barrel vaults and brick viaducts’ maintain up the station. Above: Some of the rooms beneath the station

Numbered concrete partitions give a hint as to how the space would have once been packed with caskets of wine. Now, only some of the dusty caskets remain

Numbered concrete partitions give a touch as to how the house would have as soon as been filled with caskets of wine. Now, solely a number of the dusty caskets stay

After being taken down beneath the station to view the brick vaults, Mr Dunn is told by his fellow historian how the structures are 'making everything possible' above ground

After being taken down beneath the station to view the brick vaults, Mr Dunn is advised by his fellow historian how the constructions are ‘making the whole lot potential’ above floor

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‘The engineering of the station and the bridges and most of the entire earthworks and the whole lot that lies beneath this, the substructure, is by engineer John Hawkshaw,’ he added.

The authentic station constructing boasted a hovering arch supported by two tall retaining partitions. However, in 1905, a 70-foot size of the roof collapsed and killed 5 folks.

The accident led to the substitute of the unique roof with a ridge and furrow design, which Mr Althorp says is ‘not practically as spectacular’ as its predecessor.

After being taken down beneath the station to view the brick vaults, Mr Dunn is advised by his fellow historian how the constructions are ‘making the whole lot potential’ above floor.

‘Primarily this was supporting constructions however in fact it being the South Eastern Railway Company, a industrial endeavour, this was house and it might be made worthwhile,’ he mentioned.

‘So these have been used as industrial shops for a lot of neighbouring companies within the West End. I consider at one level these have been wine cellars as effectively.

‘They are empty at this time however these would have been packed out.’

Some of the arches that are publicly accessible are these which host retailers and leisure venues together with the well-known nightclub Heaven.

Mr Dunn is then taken upstairs to what is now the Clermont Hotel. Designed by Middleton Barry in a French Renaissance style, when it opened in May 1865 it was named the Charing Cross Hotel

Mr Dunn is then taken upstairs to what’s now the Clermont Hotel. Designed by Middleton Barry in a French Renaissance fashion, when it opened in May 1865 it was named the Charing Cross Hotel

The £300-a-night four-star venue has catered to wealthy travellers and other Londoners since it opened in 1865

The £300-a-night four-star venue has catered to rich travellers and different Londoners because it opened in 1865

Amazingly, the venue's ballroom, which boasts Tuscan-inspired pillars and ornate octagonal-patterned ceilings, has not been changed since it was originally designed by esteemed architect Edward Middleton Barry

Amazingly, the venue’s ballroom, which boasts Tuscan-inspired pillars and ornate octagonal-patterned ceilings, has not been modified because it was initially designed by esteemed architect Edward Middleton Barry 

Above: The Tuscan-inspired marble pillars rise up to a bright white ceiling which is decorated with octagonal patterns

Above: The Tuscan-inspired marble pillars rise as much as a shiny white ceiling which is adorned with octagonal patterns

The hotel's manager, Pedro da Silva, told Mr Dunn that Middleton Barry wanted to offer 'something to the city that it had never seen before'

The lodge’s supervisor, Pedro da Silva, advised Mr Dunn that Middleton Barry wished to supply ‘one thing to town that it had by no means seen earlier than’

Also among the decorations in the exclusive hotel are a series of carved female figures such as the one above

Also among the many decorations within the unique lodge are a collection of carved feminine figures such because the one above

The intricate ceiling design wows historian Mr Dunn. Mr da Silva adds: 'Bearing in mind this is still the 1860s, it is mind-blowing the level of detail, the imagination and creativity they had'

The intricate ceiling design wows historian Mr Dunn. Mr da Silva provides: ‘Bearing in thoughts that is nonetheless the 1860s, it’s mind-blowing the extent of element, the creativeness and creativity they’d’

The original hotel boasted 250 bedrooms spread across seven floors with views along Villiers Street and of the front of the Strand. Above: An early illustration of the establishment

The authentic lodge boasted 250 bedrooms unfold throughout seven flooring with views alongside Villiers Street and of the entrance of the Strand. Above: An early illustration of the institution

Mr Dunn is then proven the wine cellars, which lie simply ft away from the escalator main from the Underground to Charing Cross’s reserving corridor.

Numbered concrete partitions give a touch as to how the house would have as soon as been filled with caskets of wine. Now, solely a number of the dusty caskets stay.

Mr Dunn is then taken upstairs to what’s now the Clermont Hotel. Designed by Middleton Barry in a French Renaissance fashion, when it opened in May 1865 it was named the Charing Cross Hotel.

It boasted 250 bedrooms unfold throughout seven flooring with views alongside Villiers Street and of the entrance of the Strand.

A collection of iron and glass verandas constructed as a part of the unique design proceed to miss the station concourse.

The lodge’s supervisor, Pedro da Silva, advised Mr Dunn that Middleton Barry wished to supply ‘one thing to town that it had by no means seen earlier than’.

After being taken into the big ballroom, which stays because it regarded within the nineteenth century, Mr Dunn is wowed by the gorgeous ceiling decorations and complex wallpaper.

Mr da Silva provides: ‘Bearing in thoughts that is nonetheless the 1860s, it’s mind-blowing the extent of element, the creativeness and creativity they’d.’  

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