The Independent London Newspaper
25th March 2017

Wollstonecraft Street: We reveal new road in King's Cross is to be named after writer

    Wollstonecraft Street: We reveal new road in King's Cross is to be named after w

    Children from Frank Barnes School for Deaf Children celebrate the new nameplate

    Published: 5 March, 2015

    A NEW road in King’s Cross is to be called “Wollstonecraft Street” in the honour of 18th-century writer and equalities campaigner Mary Wollstonecraft, the New Journal can reveal.

    The choice by the railway lands developers, the King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership (KCCLP), will be used on the road where the new King’s Cross Primary School and the Frank Barnes School for Deaf Children will open.

    It is the first pick from a final shortlist of suggestions proposed by New Journal readers after an appeal for help naming 20 new roads on the 67-acre regeneration site behind King’s Cross station.

    With 19 more streets left to name, we can also reveal some of the other names that are in the running for a place in London’s next A-Z. Two years ago, the New Journal persuaded the KCCLP to allow the communities around the site, once home to railway sidings, depots, and warehouses, to have a say in what new streets would be called. 

    Before the New Journal stepped in, it had been down to the developer what the new streets would be called, and would have only needed a rubber stamp from the Town Hall and a nod from the emergency services and the Post Office.

    But the KCCLP listened – and, with the New Journal, set up a street naming competition in March 2013.

    They received more than 10,000 entries from around the world and this week whittled their way down to the shortist – a final selection of 30 possibilities for the 20 nameless street. 

    The names have been split into categories celebrating the area. 

    They includes railway station history, well-known or worthy people, famous shops, local landmarks and even its nightlife. 

    Wollstonecraft Street, the first to be officially chosen, will sit to the north of the University of the Arts, and includes open spaces running down to the Regent’s Canal.

    Wollstonecraft, who was buried in Old St Pancras Church graveyard in 1797, was a bestselling writer, philosopher and political campaigner. 

    She is best known for her book Vindication of the Rights of Women, which argued for sexual equality, stating women were in no way inferior to men – but lacked educational opportunities to prove that was so.

    She lived with her husband William Godwin in an area known as Polygon – then a rural retreat on the fringes of London and now on the site of Oakeshott Court, Somers Town.

    It was here she gave birth to her daughter, Mary Shelley, who would go on to write the novel Frankenstein. 

    KCCLP director Robert Evans told the New Journal he and his colleagues were inspired by the huge number of ideas they had received. 

    He said: “We were thrilled and overwhelmed by the sheer number of entries submitted. 

    “It is heartening to know how much people all over the world care about King’s Cross and want to have a stake in its future. 

    “We have gone through a robust and in-depth process to consider and assess every entry.”


    Named after Louisa Wilberforce, the character a team of crooks set their sights on in the 1955 Ealing comedy hit, The Ladykillers. It was shot in a soot-covered King’s Cross

    Named after activist John Toomey, who was a Labour ward councillor in the area and died in 2010 after decades of selfless work for the neighbourhood

    Named after the legendary nightclub set in the former Bagleys soda bottling factory, and the scene of many late night raves in the 1980s and 90s.

    Jones was the Trinidad-born US civil rights activist who set up the Notting Hill Carnival and ran events a celebrating West Indian immigrant culture in the neighbourhood

    Named after Samuel Plimsoll, inventor of the Plimsoll Line – a strip drawn along the sides of freight ships, showing how low in the water they could sit safely. He worked in King’s Cross

    A well-used name for the Somali community in London.

    The Esperance Club was a pioneering social club established by Mary Neal and Emmeline Lawrence, two leading suffragettes

    Leo Girodani has run a deli on the Cally Road for more than 50 years and is a neighbourhood celebrity 

    Named after land where a potato market was based

    Writer Arthur Machen lived in Grays Inn Road and set many of his novels in the area



    Are you having a laugh?

    A well-used name for the Somali community in London."

    So proud

    I am so pleased - this was my entry and I have been invited to a reception to celebrate later in March. Brilliant news!

    Marie Anderson

    Twitter: @marieandersonuk

    Wollstonecraft Street

    to support the campaign for a statue of the long-neglected Wollstonecraft please visit

    Wollstonecraft Road

    I'd like to suggest Wollstonecraft Way, not 'Road', to commemorate Mary. It not only sounds nicer - the alliteration is soft and rolls off the tongue - but because Mary Wollstonecraft was a pioneer in defence of women. 'Way' encapsulates both of these.

    Meg Howarth

    Street names.

    What a great idea to name a street after John Toomey, a decent and honest local man who deserves to be finally recognised.

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