The History of London’s Paddington Station – Brunel’s Gateway to London

London Paddington and Great Western Railway

London Paddington Station was originally planned to be much larger than the structure as it stands today. However, the ever increasing costs led to original plans by Brunel being redrawn. Greatly influenced by the design of the Crystal Palace that was built for the Great Exhibition in 1851, London Paddington first opened in 1854. The roof was the largest of its time and the iron tracery work was completed by Brunel’s favourite architect, Matthew Digby-Wyatt. The station itself was build by Fox Henderson & Company, and London Paddington was built to include offices, the GWR boardroom and even a royal waiting room alongside the main station structure.

London Paddington underwent expansion in the 1930s and was remodelled to reflect a more art deco style. During the 1990s, the station underwent further works to have the famous glass roof replaced with safer and more durable polycarbonate glazing panelling and the original tracery work also underwent extensive restoration. The 2000s saw the station make way for Crossrail, with Network Rail now responsible for the running and maintenance of London Paddington.

London Paddington and Its Famous Bear

The statue of Paddington Bear was introduced to the Station on 24th February 2000 in commemoration of Michael Bond’s famous creation. The life-sized statue is made in bronze by sculptor Marcus Cornish. So if you want to see Paddington Bear, follow in the footsteps of the Browns and head to Platform One.

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