There are well over 50 abandoned stations, including eight large stations in the centre of London. Here are some of them:
Aldwych – Closed in 1994, it’s now used for filming and for exhibitions. Patriot Games, the All Saints film Honest, the BBC production of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere and videos such as Prodigy’s FireStarter have all been filmed here. It also featured in Tombraider the game. The station can be found on the eastern end of the Strand, with entrances on the Strand and Surrey Street. Parts of the surface station can be clearly observed by looking through the metal gate at the Strand entrance that now bears its original “Strand” name. It closed in 1994 as, because it was at the end of its own branch line, the 600 people who used it didn’t justify the money it would take to upgrade the old lifts (Read in more detail at Underground History)
British Museum – If you’re lucky you can see the station if you look through the window as you travel between Tottenham Court Road and Holborn on the Central Line. It closed when nearby Holborn opened in 1933 but was used as an administrative office during WWII, as well as providing shelter during air raids. Here’s a photograph of works to provide extra space as an air raid shelter in 1941. And it featured in a favourite book of QT’s: Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman.
South Kentish Town – lies between Kentish Town and Camden Town on the Northern line and closed in 1924 but was also used as an air raid shelter during the war. Sir John Betjeman wrote a short story supposedly based on a true event when someone accidentally alighted at the closed station but managed to get back on the train in time. The full text is here but beware – there’s no satisfactory ending! The building still stands and is now a sauna and massage parlour on the Kentish Town Road …
Down Street – otherwise known as Vauxhall Cross in the Bond film Die Another Day; or the Burrow by Winston Churchill who slept there on occasion during the war, using the station as temporary Cabinet War Rooms until the actual Rooms in Horse Guards Road were ready. The original entrance can be found on the west side of Down Street, just off Piccadilly. It was closed in 1932, according to Underground History partly because there were other stations nearby and partly because nearby residents tended to be rich and unwilling to use the tube.
Born in Belfast and now living in London, Julie McNamee is involved in internet marketing as a day job and blogging as a hobby. She’s interested in all things quirky and Fortean, as well as art, photography and theatre. Her blog Quirky Travel, specializes in London and Paris top tips and off the beaten path information with subjects such as London film locations and unusual Paris museums.