Above: The old station entrance on the east side of Blackfriars Road, with the large lettering on the wall.
Blackfriars Road Station was a short-lived serving the South Eastern Railway (SER) line, between Charing Cross and London Bridge. Started by the Charing Cross Railway Company, it was taken over by the South Eastern Railway Company before opening in January 1864. Closure came five years later when the South Eastern Railway opened its Waterloo Station (now Waterloo East). The old disused station at Blackfriars Road is now retrospectively known as Blackfriars Road Station to distinguish it from the current Blackfriars Station, now on the railway bridge crossing the Thames and also an underground station.
Above: The original name of the station also beside the old entrance.
The former entrance to Blackfriars Road station under the railway bridge on Blackfriars Road itself is still clearly visible. In 2005 the bricked-up former street level entrance and original wording were restored. The work to restoration the bridge and station entrance was funded by Blackfriars Investment and Royal London; Cross River Partnership; Network Rail; Heritage Trust; and Southwark Council.
At track level, widening of the viaduct on its north side is the only indication of the old station’s site. In July 2009 planning permission was granted for a cafe to be built over the entranceway to the station.
In 1886 the London, Chatham and Dover Railway (LCDR) opened a station on the north bank of the river called St. Paul’s — this was renamed Blackfriars in 1937. After the renaming of the LCDR station to Blackfriars, the original SER Blackfriars station became also known as Blackfriars Road.
The glazed brick bridge abutments show evidence of bomb damage from the Blitz in 1940 and a V2 rocket in December 1944. Buildings in the surrounding area were damaged beyond repair, including The Ring boxing arena, formerly the Surrey Chapel, on the site of 197 Blackfriars Road.
Returning to the lettering shown in the picture, it is surprising more people haven’t seen it. Its certainly large enough. If you want to find it, just walk along Blackfriars Road until you come to the railway bridge and you will see the wording on the east wall under the bridge. Those in charge of such matters, related to railway structures, are to be congratulated that they decided to renovate the lettering. Compared with all the money their control it is a microscopic percentage and acts to preserve the early history of the railway lines and stations in Central London.