London’s public transport is famously comprehensive, with everything from trains to buses and taxis helping to connect the city. The London Underground network is one of the best ways of getting around. Speedy, convenient and affordable, plenty of visitors to London make their way to the top destinations dotted around the UK capital thanks to the Tube. However, this vast network (approx 400km) also includes many ‘lost’ stations, which have fallen out of use over the years.
There are several different reasons why they came to be disused, sometimes resulting from mergers or rival building projects which made these stations no longer viable. Whatever the reason, these stations, most of which were once part of the London Underground, all provide a glimpse of lost and overlooked sights of the city.
Kingsway Tram Subway
One of the more unique finds on our list, Kingsway Tram Subway was first built with the intention of easing traffic. It served the London County Council electric tram route, transporting their trams to both the Embankment and Waterloo Bridge.
Having attained a coveted Grade II listing due to its remarkable historical significance, the Kingsway Tram Subway was developed in 1898 as a means of connecting the northern and southern lines. Modelled after New York’s tramways, it was created underground.
The tramway was closed to the public in 1952, when trams were no longer used in London. Throughout this decade it served as a storage space for many of the city’s buses and coaches.
The northern edge of the tramway has sometimes featured in films and television shows, due to its atmospheric surroundings. When staying at hotels in London pay on arrival, this would make a great destination to discover more about London’s transport past.
Mark Lane (known as Tower Hill after it was renamed in 1946) is another of the city’s forgotten tube stations, yet it was once connected to both the District and Circle lines.
The station is named after the street where it can be found, Mark Lane – and is close to the existing Tower Hill station which ultimately replaced the original in 1967. While enjoying your Premier Club Rewards, a visit here is a great way to connect with a slice of British transport history.
Mark Lane first opened to the public in 1884, and soon replaced the Tower of London Station nearby. Unlike some of the other additions to this list, the station at Mark Lane was not closed due to its lack of passengers, but due to having far too many! There was only a small amount of space throughout which the station could expand, and it was being swamped with customers.
You can still see a section of Mark Lane Station located between Tower Hill and Monument station. However, there is only one platform still remaining on the eastbound side, due to an extensive redevelopment. The original entrance is also closed.
Down Street Station opened to the public in 1907. For many different reasons, the station never attained the desired business which was expected at its launch. This is attributed in large part to its location close to the bustling Hyde Park Corner station and Dover Street (today known as Green Park).
The station closed in 1932. However, it was later pivotal in the Second World War, where it acted as a shelter during the Blitz. During this period, the Down Street Station provided a safe place for many people, amongst them wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
This station was opened in 1907, and remained in use for almost a century. It was first opened under its original name, Strand – before switching to Aldwych in the intervening years. The station was named after the street it’s situated on, and can also be passed by while you’re staying at Park Grand London Hotels.
Service began to slow in 1962, when the station only ran during peak times at the weekend. It was only when senior staff decided that it was too difficult to maintain the lifts that the station finally came to a close, in 1994.
However, it has continued to make notable appearances on screen, thanks to its popularity with the film industry as a cinematic location and with musicians as a staging site for their music videos.
First opened in 1906, Brompton Road closed in 1934. The reason cited for this closure is the station’s closeness to both the South Kensington and Knightsbridge tube stations. During its short run, the station was never particularly busy. It closed during the General Strike of 1926 and when reopened in full the following year, usage continued to be so minimal that the ticket office was closed and relocated to a busier area.
Despite closing as a Tube station, Brompton Road played an important role in the Second World War. During this time period, it provided the base for the 26th Anti Aircraft Brigade, who helped defend London during the Battle of Britain.
In its more recent years, the station has been purchased by a businessman with the hope of converting Brompton Road into a home. It’s easy to find and pass by the station while staying at your Paddington Hotel, though entry is not possible due to its private ownership.
Hyde Park Corner
Hyde Park Corner is one of the better known Tube stations, and much of it is still in use to this day. However, one section of the station was removed from use when converted from a lift system to an escalator system. The change saw the area converted into a pizza restaurant, before being again converted into a hotel.
The Tube itself opened in 1906. The earlier segments were designed by architect Leslie Green, known for his distinctive red tiling work and pillars, installed at many of the London stations he worked on. Notably, Hyde Park Corner is one of only a handful of Tube stations which are located entirely underground.