Home » London Public Art » Great London Sculptures: John Betjeman Statue by Martin Jennings at St Pancras Railway Station

Great London Sculptures: John Betjeman Statue by Martin Jennings at St Pancras Railway Station

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The statue of John Betjeman at St Pancras railway station by the sculptor Martin Jennings was unveiled in 2007 celebrate the connection between St Pancras station and Betjeman.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The poet John Betjeman was supporter of Victorian architecture and was one of the leading lights to protect important Victorian buildings. After the destruction of the Euston Arch in 1961, Betjeman led the campaign to save St Pancras which was under threat from plans to demolish St Pancras Station, the Midland Hotel and King’s Cross station. The campaign led to St Pancras receiving Grade I listed building status for the station and hotel in 1967 which led to its survival.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

During the late 20th century and early 21st century, St Pancras was renovated in a multi-million pound restoration and the station is considered one of the great railway stations in the world. During the restoration, plans were made to create a statue of John Betjeman by the sculptor Martin Jennings.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The statue of Betjeman is made of bronze and is larger than life-size being 8.5ft and shows the poet in a suit, mackintosh and trilby hat. The poet holds his hat as he gazes up at the beloved roof of the station. The statue stands on Cumbrian slate which has words from some of Betjeman’s poems.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The text reads: “And in the shadowless unclouded glare, Deep blue above us fades to whiteness where, A misty sealine meets the wash of air. / John Betjeman, 1906 – 1984, poet, who saved this glorious station”.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Since its unveiling, the statue has become a popular attraction in its own right which many consider a worthy tribute to the well loved poet and his fight to save the station.

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