Head to the western fringes of freshly redeveloped Granary Square and you’ll find lines from an Aidan Andrew Dun poem built into the concrete. ‘King’s Cross, dense with angels and histories, there are cities beneath your pavements,’ it says. And it’s true – this locale’s history is layered with big changes.
In the past few hundred years, the area has gone from being one of London’s most important industrial hubs to a graveyard of derelict warehouses to a red-light district and a clubbing hotspot. More recently, it has been repurposed as a shiny new shopping and eating destination complete with a Waitrose wine bar.
The gloss of new developments exists within the framework of a still-tough area that also houses some of the city’s key cultural institutions, including the British Library and a branch of the Gagosian Gallery. ‘Dense with histories’ it may be, but its present is equally complex, fascinating and rich.