Euston Arch finds its way ‘back home’ after 50 years languishing in River Lea

PUBLISHED: 16:45 05 May 2015 | UPDATED: 16:45 05 May 2015

1938... Euston Arch in its heyday

1938... Euston Arch in its heyday

Euston Arch Trust

Relics of the famous 70ft Euston Arch uncovered in London’s East End during construction of the 2012 Olympics have gone on show to the public this week for the first time in 50 years.

2015... Relics of Euston Arch on display at Euston Square 2015... Relics of Euston Arch on display at Euston Square

An open-air exhibition of recovered parts of the Arch runs until Friday at Euston Square Gardens, close to where it once stood at the entrance to Euston station.

Historian Dan Cruickshank eventually tracked down the lost segments of the classic stone arch at the bottom of the Prescott Channel, which feeds into the Lea River at Bow Bridge, when the Olympic Park was under construction in 2009.

“Its destruction was an act of barbarism,” he said at the time. “This was the first great building of the Railway Age and was the largest Grecian Doric gateway ever made anywhere in the world, erected in 1838 at the first railway terminus in London.

2009... Dredging Prescott Channel when sunken stones were discovered 2009... Dredging Prescott Channel when sunken stones were discovered

“It stood proudly at the entrance until its senseless demolition in 1961.”

British Waterways came across the stones during work on a new lock for 350-tonne freight barges that were to transport materials and waste during the Olympic Park construction, the East London Advertiser reported in May, 2009.

They had been ‘lost’ for nearly half-a-century, after being pulled down and dumped in the Lea in 1961 when Euston station was being redeveloped.

2009... Dan Cruickshank at east London site where Euston Arch stones were found 2009... Dan Cruickshank at east London site where Euston Arch stones were found

The stone sections were carefully raised from the riverbed as the Euston Arch Trust began its restoration campaign.

“This means a great cultural wrong committed in the 1960s can yet be put right,” Cruickshank added.

The stones are believed to have found their way into the Lea to help fill a hole that had been scoured in the riverbed, when the British Transport Commission oversaw the demolition of the arch.

How a restored Euston Arch might look at night How a restored Euston Arch might look at night

But not all of the stones ended up in the Lea. Where the rest are have continued to be a mystery that the Euston Arch Trust had been trying to solve.

Latest East London News Stories

Yesterday, 10:00

Wondering what the weather has in store for us this bank holiday weekend? Watch our three-minute Met Office video forecast.

We achieved a great deal since I was elected in 2015 and I am humbled that the people of Tower Hamlets have put their faith in me again.

Yesterday, 07:00

Hundreds of revellers are likely to head to east London for the annual Monday Bank Holiday street festival at the Star of Bethnal Green pub.

Fri, 12:37

Travellers hoping to use the District line this afternoon can expect minor delays on the Tube due to a signal failure.

Fri, 11:00

The first ‘Freedom of the Borough’ of the 21st century given by Tower Hamlets Council has been awarded to Commander John Ludgate as former as Deputy Lieutenant who escorted the Royal family on visits to London’s East End for 22 years.

Fri, 07:00

Projects tackling air pollution are being offered cash by Tower Hamlets Council after a study has shown lung function of children aged eight and nine has been reduced by up to 10 per cent.

Thu, 17:01

Luther Edwards, who was fatally stabbed and beaten outside a boxing event in Bethnal Green, asked a close friend to look out for him not long before he died, a court heard.

Thu, 13:49

Labour councillors voted themselves a 70 per cent “big fat pay rise” for cabinet posts as their first act in power at last night’s Tower Hamlets Council meeting after their landslide victory at the May 3 polls.

Newsletter Sign Up

East London Advertiser twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists


Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now