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By Mark Green on

Picture of the week: The Great Hall of Euston station, 1890

We’ve just launched a new railway photos section on our main website, with over 3500 images from our gigantic photo collection. It’s only a tiny proportion of the over 1.75 million photographs we have in stores – we’re concentrating for the moment on official photos from old railway works – but we’re only just getting started. We’ll be adding many thousands more pictures over the coming months.


Even better, the photos are released under a Creative Commons license: they’re free for any non-commercial use as long as you include credit and add a link back to the photo page. (Each individual photo has the full credit line and link).

To celebrate all this, each week a different member of staff will be choosing one of their favourite photos for this blog. We’re kicking off with Lorna Frost, Assistant Curator of Image Collections:

My photo of the week is this image of the Great Hall of Euston Station, 1890. It shows the commanding statue of George Stephenson who now presides over our own Great Hall.


There are some pictures of the statue as it stands today on the Our Collection page.

Visit our website to explore the thousands of images on our new railway photography page.

7 comments on “Picture of the week: The Great Hall of Euston station, 1890

  1. This has the potential to be a fantastic service, but…
    If I wish to purchase a copy, I’m redirected to the SSPL homepage & I have to search for the image again. Your catalogue reference differs from the SSPL ref, so that means I have to do it the long way round.

    Also… I see no option on the SSPL site to download a hi-res digital version, which would be of greater use to me than an A4 print.

    I’d suggest that you look at the Library of Congress photo collection to see how it really ought to be done. Here’s a token sample:

      1. Hi Mark,

        Quite how I missed the links I’m at a loss to explain… must have been an early-onset Senior Moment.

        Further to my comments, I’ve registered at the SSPL site & it appears that a digital download *is* available. However, to find out anything regarding image resolution, format, file size and (rather crucially) price, my only option appears to be to e-mail a request & await a reply.

        Surely a simple ‘tick box’ tariff system based on licence restrictions would be more of an incentive – especially to potential customers like myself that would like a hi-res image for private research purposes (i.e. non-commercial use).

        The current system is a hoop too far for me I’m afraid.

        All the best,


  2. The photograph can’t have been taken before 23rd April 1903, as the plaque behind the statue, halfway up the flight of stairs, was unveiled on the evening of that day. The plaque is the LNWR’s memorial to those of the company (99 men) who died in South Africa, during the Anglo-Boer War, and is missing, perhaps lost or disposed of during the rebuilding of Euston Station. Does the NRM have the 7ft. 6in. by 2ft. plaque?

    1. I think the photograph above shows the Hall before the war memorial plaque was installed in 1903 (see the Illustrated London News for 2nd June 1849 for example). As built in 1848, there was a rectangular feature on that wall like the one in this photograph. When the plaque was added, the plain rectangle was broken at the lower edge by the addition of a narrower section of the plaque at the bottom with text on it, If you look at photographs dated to the 1913 – 16 period they show that this panel had changed shape from that shown above. So on that basis, 1890 could well be the date of the photograph above.

  3. An excellent photograph. Could you please answer a related question I have been trying to find the answer for regarding Euston’s sculpture? At the top corners of the Great Hall there were eight large sculpted plaques representing places served by the L&NWR in allegorical fashion. Are these in the NRM collection do you know? If not, do you know if they were saved when the station was demolished? I have also failed to establish whether they were made of marble or plaster. They are said to have been by John Thomas, who also sculpted the Britannia group from the Hall which is in the NRM’s collection. I would be grateful for any information as to their fate please. All eight panels are illustrated in 1962 photographs in the following Historic England collection:|59|62|63

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