The first railway inside the walls of the City of London was the London & Blackwall Railway, founded in 1836 to compete with the river traffic of the Thames.
The original terminus was in the Minories but in 1853 the line was extended to Fenchurch Street. This station also served the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway (LT&S) and the Eastern Counties Railway, later the Great Eastern. The London to Blackwall trains used Platform 1, while the trains for Tilbury and the Great Eastern Railway departed from the other platforms.
Built in 1853 – 54 , the station was designed by George Berkeley, engineer of the LT&S. The facade, with its rounded gable roof, is of grey stock brick, and in the 1960;s the flat awning shielding the entrance was replaced with a striking zig-zag canopy. The first floor facade has 11 round-arched windows, and above these is a frieze with the station clock.
From street level it is obvious that the station is constructed on a viaduct. As a consequence the spacious main concourse is set at first floor level.
The station, tucked into a side street, has been redeveloped o provide more space in the City. The redevelopments tower above the original facade. The station has managed to retain some of its Victorian charm.
Today Fenchurch Street still serves east London and south Essex.