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Vauxhall Cross Railway Station's Cross

Vauxhall Cross Railway Station may, or may not, actually exist. There is certainly a place called Vauxhall Cross, but can we see any cross there?

Vauxhall Cross Station

MI6 HQ
MI6 home station at Vauxhall Cross (map)

'MI6' is the common name for Britain's Secret Intelligent Service. The clandestine nature of the organisation means that many parts are 'undercover'. However, we are not exposing any state secrets in telling you that since 1995, the headquarters for MI6 have been located in South Central London at a place called Vauxhall Cross.

The nearest station is called Vauxhall Station (two minutes walk) and is located at the road junction known as Vauxhall Cross, but the station name omits 'Cross'. So there is no Vauxhall Cross Station – or at least that's what the British Government will say if you ask them. Maybe they are keeping it 'undercover'.

A set in the 007 film Die Another Day (2002) is a laboratory for developing new gizmos for James Bond and this is located in a supposedly abandoned Vauxhall Cross Station. The actual Vauxhall Station is part of the London Underground transport network and MI6 is part of Britain's underground intelligence network; and that's about as close as we can get in linking the two.

But to the name 'Vauxhall', and in particular, the 'Cross'.

Eight hundred years ago, French nobleman Faulke de Breaute led an army of mercenaries in the service of England's King John. Through marriage, Faulke acquired a large house in London and named it Faulke's Hall. The name gradually evolved into 'Vauxhall'.

There is a bridge at Vauxhall that crosses the River Thames (unimaginatively called 'Vauxhall Bridge') but neither this river crossing nor the earlier ferry crossing gave rise to the name 'Vauxhall Cross'. The area accommodates what is likely the most important and busiest road crossing in South Central London. Several major roads cross at the spot and swarms of cars converge there to go over the river and escape South London.

It is on the boundary of London's controversial 'Congestion Charge zone', which has had some positive effect in Central London since its introduction in 2003, but the traffic problem has increased in nearby suburbs such as Vauxhall...

...making people very cross.

Other railway stations with 'Cross' in the name

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