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Euston Arch mystery uncovered—Dan Cruickshank on the case

PUBLISHED: 20:47 21 May 2009 | UPDATED: 14:23 05 October 2010

Dredger hauls up stone (left) while Cruickshank watches, holding model of famous arch

Dredger hauls up stone (left) while Cruickshank watches, holding model of famous arch

Carmen Valino

PARTS of the famous Euston Arch which has been lost’ for nearly half-a-century have been uncovered during dredging operations for work on London’s 2012 Olympics. The discoveries have boosted a 15-year campaign led by TV architectural historian Dan Cruickshank to get the arch restored

By Victoria Huntley

PARTS of the famous Euston Arch which has been lost’ for nearly half-a-century have been uncovered during dredging operations for work on London’s 2012 Olympics.

Stone blocks from the Grecian-style arch that stood at the entrance to Euston Station for 123 years were found in the River Lea in East London where the riverbed is being deepened to take heavy barges for the construction work.

The discoveries have boosted a 15-year campaign led by TV architectural historian Dan Cruickshank to get the arch restored.

BARBARISM

He visited the dredging site at Bromley-by-Bow this week (pictured) to watch the treasures’ emerging.

“It was the first great building of the Railway Age and was the largest Grecian Doric gateway ever made,” he said.

“Its destruction was an act of barbarism.”

But he added: “Raising the stones means a great cultural wrong committed in the 1960s can yet be put right.”

MYSTERY

The stones were lifted from the riverbed on Monday and handed over to Cruickshank’s Euston Arch Trust which wants to reconstruct the famous landmark, first built in 1838, and restore it to its original position.

The arch was demolished in 1961 and dumped in a tributary of the Lea when Euston was being redeveloped. British Waterways came across the stones during work on a new lock.

Not all the arch has been recovered. Where the rest of the stones are remains a mystery that Cruickshank is now trying to puzzle out.

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