New Cross Railway Station's Cross

Since New Cross Railway Station was not specifically built for Christian worship, why does 'Cross' feature in the name? Can a cross be found there?

New Cross Station & New Cross Gate Station

New Cross Station (opened 1850) and New Cross Gate Station (opened 1839) are just half a mile apart. Confusingly, for the first seventy years of their lives, both stations were called New Cross Station.

New Cross is a suburb in the south of London and there were two competing rail companies, each having a station in the area. Passengers either went to the London and Croydon Railway Company's New Cross Station or the South Eastern Railway's New Cross Station. When the companies merged in 1923, the station furthest from the centre of New Cross was renamed as New Cross Gate.

About two thousand years before that, in Roman times, the area gained importance for being on the London/Dover route, and also for being on the way to the River Thames trading port of Deptford. The Domesday Book shows the town was then called Hacheham. A map of 1619 shows the town as 'Hatcham' and in 1660, properties there were leased to Thomas Pepys, brother of the renowned Samuel Pepys.

On nearby Clifton Rise was an inn known as the Golden Cross Inn. When this was rebuilt, sometime before 1675, the new inn was named New Cross Inn. Being on such a busy and important route, the road maintenance costs were high, so in 1718, a turnpike was erected near the inn to collect tolls from travellers. This took the name of the inn and was called New Cross Gate.

In the early 19th century, the tollgate was moved into Hatcham, to the junction of New Cross Road and Peckham Lane (now Queen's Road). It was still called New Cross Gate and from that time, the whole area gradually became known as New Cross, adopting the name of area's inn some 300 years earlier.

It's a reminder of another inn, and taxes, some 2,000 years earlier in Bethlehem, and associated with the world's most profoundly important Cross.

Other railway stations with 'Cross' in the name

England's 11th century census record


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