Abandoned Underground Station Sites For Consideration…

There are around 26 abandoned underground stations under the streets of London.  Here are some of the other abandoned stations that could be used….

Brompton Road… dis-used underground station on the Piccadilly line of the London Underground, located between Knightsbridge and South Kensington stations.  Brompton Road was opened on 15 December 1906 by the Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway (GNP&BRO).  Although conveniently situated for both the Brompton Oratory and the Victoria and Albert Museum, the station saw little passenger usage and by October 1909 some services passed through without stopping.  Finally the station was closed in 1934, after a mere 28 years of service.

Just prior to the outbreak of the Second World War, the street-level building together with the lift shafts and lower western passages were sold to the War Office for a sum of £22,000, and was used during the War as the Royal Artillery’s 1st Anti-Aircraft Divisions’ operations room for Central London.  This use continued until the 1950s.  It was subsequently used as the town headquarters (THQ) of the University of London Air Squadron, the University of London Royal Naval Unit and 46F (Kensington) Squadron Air Training Corps.  During the Second World War it was used as a secret military command centre.

Like the others on the GNP&BRO, the station building was designed by Leslie Green. The surface building occupied an L-shaped site built on two adjacent sides of a public house which occupied the corner of Brompton Road and Cottage Place. The façades were of Green’s standard red-glazed terracotta design with semi-circular arches at first floor level.  The entrance and exits to the lifts were on Brompton Road with the Cottage Place entrance providing staff admittance.  The Brompton Road elevation was demolished in 1972, but the Cottage Place elevation remains, now partly incorporated into a larger building.

Although the platforms have long since been removed, their original position can be viewed from passing trains by the brick walls that stand where they were.  The original tiles can still be found on the tunnel walls, although soot and dirt has defaced them.

The Old London Underground Company proposed turning the above-ground buildings into a restaurant and making the underground space available to the London Fire Brigade Museum.  As the buildings were also used by the government for war planning purposes during the Second World War, there was a notion to open these up to the public.

In July 2013, the Ministry of Defence announced the site was for sale, with an anticipated value of around £20 million.  The MoD’s property surveyor said specialist developers could adapt the 28,000 square feet (2,600 m2) site but stated that this would require “a lot of work”.  In November 2013 the site was sold to an anonymous Ukranian buyer for £50 million. In February 2014 a report referred to the sale price to be £53 million and that the property would probably be converted into residential flats.


Down Street…  also known as Down Street (Mayfair), is a long abandoned station on the London Underground, situated in Mayfair, Central London.  It was opened by the Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway in 1907.  It was served by the Piccadilly line and located between Dover Street (now named Green Park) and Hyde Park Corner stations.

The surface building was designed by the architect Leslie Green in the UERL house style of a two-storey steel-framed building clad with red glazed terracotta blocks, and wide semi-circular windows on the upper floor.  The station had a pair of Otis lifts.  The platforms are some 22.2 metres (73 ft) below the surface of Piccadilly.

Down Street was never a busy station, as the surrounding largely residential area and its residents were mostly wealthy enough to travel by other means.  The neighbouring stations were very close by; Dover Street station was only 550 metres to the east and Hyde Park Corner only 500 metres to the west.  From 1909, like Brompton Road, trains often passed through Down Street station without stopping.  From 1918 it was closed on Sundays.

In 1929, Down Street was one of the stations earmarked for closure in connection with the extension of the Piccadilly line.  Its lack of usage paired with the near proximity to other stations resulted in its final closure on 21st May 1932.  The removal of less-busy stations in the central area aimed to improve both reliability and journey times for long-distance commuters.  Additionally, the neighbouring stations were being rebuilt with escalators in place of lifts and their new entrances were even closer to Down Street station.

After the station was closed it was almost immediately modified to provide access from the eastbound and westbound tunnels to a new siding located between Down Street and Hyde Park Corner.  The siding is mainly used to reverse westbound trains, but could also be used for servicing trains.  The siding tunnel is accessible at its western end through a small foot tunnel constructed from Hyde Park Corner station.  The lifts were removed and the shafts adapted to provide additional tunnel ventilation.

Anticipating the need for deep shelters to protect government operations from bombing in the event of war, the station was selected for use as an underground bunker in early 1939.  The platform faces were bricked up and the enclosed platform areas and space in the circulation passages were divided up into offices, meeting rooms and dormitories.  The engineering and structural work was carried out by the London Passenger Transport Board and the room fit-outs and installation of the power and communications equipment was done by the London, Midland and Scottish Railway.  A two-person lift was installed in the original emergency stairwell and a telephone exchange, toilets and bathrooms were added.  The main occupant of the shelter was the Railway Executive Committee, but it was used for a time by Prime Minister Winston Churchill and his war cabinet until the Cabinet War Rooms were ready for use.

Since the end of the war, the station has been used by London Underground as an emergency exit point only.  The station building survives today and is close to Down Street’s junction with Piccadilly. Part of it is currently converted to a retail outlet.

 

York Road…

 

Platforms 5 & 6 at Holborn Station… 

 

Mark Lane Station…

 

Londons’ Deep-Level Shelters … there were eight deep level air raid shelters built underneath existing London Underground Stations; these were located underneath Chancery Lane station on the Central line; Belsize Park, Camden Town, Goodge Street, Stockwell, Clapham North, Clapham Common, and Clapham South on the Northern line.  There were two others which were never built at St. Paul’s station on the Central line and Oval station on the Northern.

The shelters were started in 1940 and completed in 1942. They were originally all used by the government, but as bombing intensified five of them were opened to the public in 1944: Stockwell, Clapham North, Camden Town, Belsize Park and Clapham South. The Goodge Street shelter was used by General Eisenhower, and the Chancery Lane shelter was used as a communications centre.

After the war a few of the shelters continued to be used, or have found new use.  In 1948 the Clapham South shelter was used to house the first immigrants from the West Indies who had arrived on the MV Empire Windrush.  The Goodge Street shelter was used by the army until the 1950s, the Chancery Lane shelter was converted into Kingsway telephone exchange, as well as being expanded to serve as a Cold War government shelter.


Clapham North Deep-Level Air Raid Shelter…  Built during WWII, the bomb shelter tunnel under the Clapham North subway station was a large network of deep tunnels and was used as a temporary home of 8,000 or so troops.  The Clapham North shelter was purchased in 2014 by the Zero Carbon Food company, who now use the shelter as a hydroponic farm.

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