Carla Passino

This penthouse apartment at St Pancras Chambers, formerly the Midland Grand Hotel, occupies a privileged position in one of the world’s most revered Gothic buildings.

Do you have a habit of missing trains? Well, thankfully a solution has been found, in the form of this 3-4 bedroom penthouse that sits above St Pancras station on London’s Euston Road. With Hamptons for £9.5 million, it is not exactly a cheap solution to the missing trains issue, but it is a solution nonetheless.  As well as never being late for the Eurostar, Euston and King’s Cross are also well within walking distance.

The apartment has an ‘upside-down layout’, with three bedrooms on the sixth floor, kitchen and staff accommodation on the seventh and, occupying the entire top floor, a magnificent, panoramic reception room split by exposed beams into different areas and offering long views of the London rooftops. In total, the living space offered is a fraction less than 6,000sq ft, which is quite considerable given the property’s location.

The top-floor entertaining space. Avoid if you have a phobia of beams.

Everything conspired against George Gilbert Scott designing the Midland Grand Hotel, better known today as the Grade I-listed St Pancras Chambers. He initially declined entering the competition for it and, when eventually persuaded by Josiah Lewis, a director of the Midland Railway Company, the number of entries had to be extended from 10 to 13 to accommodate him and two other architects.

Gilbert Scott also had to design his submission — a grand affair in the Gothic Revival style he so loved — when staying at a hotel in Hayling, Hampshire, with his very ill son Alwyne. Nonetheless, he won and was very pleased with the result: ‘This work has been spoken of by one of the revilers of my profession with abject contempt,’ he wrote in 1872, when the project was nearing completion. ‘I have to set off against this, the too-excessive praise of it which I receive from other quarters. It is often spoken of to me as the finest building in London; my own belief is that it is too good for its purpose. But having been disappointed, through Lord Palmerston, of my ardent hope of carrying out my style in the Government offices, I was glad to be able to erect one building in that style in London.’

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With the right pair of binoculars, you can read the departure boards from your bedroom.

The Midland Grand Hotel opened in 1873, closed in 1935, then was used, until the 1980s, as offices for British Railway, which was intent on demolishing it. It owes its survival to the efforts of Victorian Society campaigner (and former Bletchley Park codebreaker) Jane Fawcett, who earned the nickname of ‘the furious Mrs Fawcett’ for her passionate defence of Gilbert Scott’s masterpiece. Today, part of the building is once again a hotel — The St Pancras Renaissance — and the rest houses apartments.

The Penthouse at St Pancras Chambers is for sale with Hamptons for £9.5 million. For more information and pictures, click here.

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