The railway bridge going over Blackfriars Road just outside Waterloo East Station is being refurbished, and the works have revealed some old lettering at the foot of the bridge.
On the eastern end, on the wall under the bridge, on either side of a derelict arch with a door reads:
"Charing Cross Railway Co." on the left and "Blackfriars Station" on the right. Now I could not find any reference to a station in that location (would have been on the east side of the bridge) on a quick search on Google. I know the present day Blackfriars station was originally on the south side of the river, but that would be too far from that entrance.
Does anybody know any more of this? I haven't got a proper camera at the moment, so could not take a picture, and am not sure if the faint lettering could be easily captured on camera.
I suppose it is soon going to be painted/plastered over. Just interesting to see something that old in the area, where much has been lost. I think the signs have been covered by billboards until now.
IIRC the Charing Cross Railway Company was promoted to build the railway line from London Bridge to Charing Cross, and Charing Cross station. It only had a very brief period of independent existence.
It was absorbed into the South Eastern Railway, which ran almost all of the trains, a few months after Charing X station opened (1864??).
I think Waterloo Junction station (now Waterloo East) did not open until 1869, (there was a originally a spur line into the mainline Waterloo station) so there could have been a short lived station a few hundred yards to the east before the viaduct was widened - at many points you can see that the outer bridge abutments of the widened viaduct have glazed brick rather than the London stock brick of the original structure.
You are correct, Lang Rabbie (as usual), found a book (that bookshop in Lower Marsh is brilliant for these things, I am turning into a trainspotter) that tells me, there was a station there for exactly 5 years, from January 1864 to January 1869.
I have noticed the glazed tiles, and now that they have been cleaned you can clearly see the gaping big holes, that I have always assumed to be from wartime bombs. Would make sense, as the Surrey Chapel next to the bridge was destroyed in the war, and probably whatever stood on the site now occupied by Southwark station.
It is somewhat ironic that last Wednesday night I attended the AGM of the London Topographical Society (www.topsoc.org/)where I collected their annual publication, which this year was a full colour atlas of bomb damage in WW2.
Took a closer look on the way to the pub last night.
It's an amazing survival, as the sigange just seems to be a different coloured plaster that has then had many layers of paint on top of it - which presumably has come off with water ingress over the years.
Unfortunately some contemporary little tykes have already started tagging the wall, and I don't think the surface will survive regular cleaning!
So I think it needs some sort of boarding to hide it again for another fifty years so SE1ites of 2055 can be equally surprised.
What can be behind the arch - surely there can't be a ticket office untouched since 1869? I have a very vague recollection of some small business in there when I worked on Blackfriars Rd 1988-1990
The bit under the bridge, where the old station entrance is, has now been hoarded again and covered in plastic sheets. So either they are going to sandblast the Victorian signage or hopefully restore the station for future generations...