Paul Nash, St Pancras and Camden Town Hall

Nash's blue plaque at Alexandra Mansions

There’s a fantastic exhibition of Paul Nash paintings at Dulwich Picture Gallery. As all self-respecting Bloomsburies should know, Nash was one of us, renting a flat in Alexandra Mansions on Judd Street for many years.
There’s an intriguing painting of St Pancras’ grand frontage in the exhibition. It shows the station, resplendant in red brick, criss-crossed with scaffolding. Now, that’s pretty much how we’re used to seeing it at the moment. But it wasn’t like that in Nash’s day. Who was building what?
I walked past Alexandra Mansions yesterday and the penny dropped. Nash had a lovely, uninterrupted view of St Pancras from his flat, until they built Camden Town Hall. The building site in the painting was Camden Town Hall in the making. Mystery solved.
Now, get down to Dulwich (the Thameslink takes you straight to West Dulwich station a couple of times a day) and check it out for yourself.


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