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ormerly a gritty part of London, King’s Cross has undergone a total transformation over the last 20 years. One of the key final parts of the overall regeneration has recently completed – a striking high-end retail development nestled down next to Regent’s Canal.


F The project takes its name from the two


Victorian ‘coal drops’ (essentially covered rail viaducts) which were built in 1851 in 1860, which had a colourful history but had fallen into disrepair in recent years. They were the city’s entry point for coal for heating (and lighting, in the form of coal gas) arriving by train from northern mines. These would enter the buildings at the upper level and drop coals into hoppers on


ADF FEBRUARY 2019


the middle level, this was then shovelled into sacks and loaded onto horses and carts at a lower level.


It was only 27 years however before electrification took place and the coal drops were suddenly no longer required. The buildings were then used for warehousing and industrial use for around a century, before London’s club/rave scene – which rapidly colonised disused warehouses across the city in the late 1980s and 90s – made its way into part of the eastern of the two coal drops, in the form of the infamous Bagley’s nightclub.


The parts of the buildings not repurposed to serve the nightlife trade were abandoned, and fell into disrepair. In the 2000s the site


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