Disused railways in London – Elite bunkers & vaults?


Not to be confused with Downing St, this Mayfair based tube sat between Green Park (then Dover Street) and Hyde Park Corner on the Piccadilly Line but was too close to both of them to really be used much, and it closed in 1932. No-one was particularly surprised by the closure – Harry Beck’s draft tube maps from the year before had omitted the station, perhaps in anticipation of its fate. It left the large area of Mayfair without a tube to really call its own (the nearby tubes are very much on the edge of Mayfair), but Mayfair folk are too classy to ride the tube anyway!Happily, Down St also found a new lease of life during the war, when it became home to Winston Churchill and his War Cabinet – Churchill enjoyed getting away from the noise of the bombing down there and referred to it as “The Burrow”. You can see a virtual tour, including Winston Churchill’s bath, here.


Another station that suffered due to close by competition, the British Museum station opened in 1900 on what is now the Central Line, and closed in 1933 when the Central Line linked up to nearby Piccadilly Line station Holborn instead. Previously, passengers had been forced to exit one station, walk 100m down the street and then go back into another station.The British Museum station has appeared in a number of books, and its absence continues to confuse tourists who exit Holborn tube at a busy crossroads, with no iconic museum anywhere in sight (it’s very close by, just hidden behind some office blocks). The station is also supposed to be haunted by an Egyptian Pharoah called Amen-Ra’s daughter, who appears and screams loudly down the tunnels. Worth listening out for if you’re at Holborn tube!

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