Kings Hiding On High Holborn

Next time you exit Holborn station, maybe as you’re waiting to cross High Holborn, look up.

You’ll spot two Kings, seated on thrones, staring down at you.

Kings Hiding On High Holborn

They’re pretty high up so you’ve got to really look for them…

Kings Hiding On High Holborn

WHY ARE THEY HERE?

This is Kingsgate House (114-115 High Holborn which is currently a Franco Manca) and was built 1903-04 and designed by Arthur Keen. It makes sense that Edward VII would be featured as he’d recently been crowned King in January 1901.

Kings Hiding On High Holborn

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But there’s another King too; Edward I who reigned from 1272 to 1307.

Kings Hiding On High Holborn

Known as the ‘Hammer of the Scotts’, Edward I holds a hammer in his hand. He was admired for his courage as a warrior, crusader and the fact he helped establish parliament.

So it was a nice bit of flattery to draw a comparison between Edward I and the current King. But it doesn’t stop there, those familiar with portraits of Edward VII might also notice he’s looking rather more svelte than he’s usually shown.

From their royal vantage point they’re also looking down at Kingsway, named after King Edward VII which opened in 1905, the year after this building was completed.

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