British Museum tube station

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British Museum
British museum tube stn map.png
Location
PlaceHolborn
Local authorityCamden
History
Opened byCentral London Railway
Platforms2
Key datesOpened 1900
Closed 1933
Replaced byHolborn
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British Museum
British museum tube stn map.png
Location
PlaceHolborn
Local authorityCamden
History
Opened byCentral London Railway
Platforms2
Key datesOpened 1900
Closed 1933
Replaced byHolborn
Portal icon London Transport portal

British Museum tube station was a station on the London Underground's Central line, located on Bury Place and close to the British Museum in Bloomsbury. The station was closed in 1933, 33 years after opening; Holborn tube station, less than 100 yards away, now provides Central line services in its place.

History[edit]

It was opened on 30 July 1900 by the Central London Railway (CLR) with its entrance located at 133 High Holborn (now the Nationwide Building Society), near the junction of High Holborn and New Oxford Street.[1] In December 1906, Holborn station was opened by the Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway (GNP&BR, now the Piccadilly line) less than a hundred yards away. Despite being built and operated by separate companies, it was common for the underground railways to plan routes and locate stations so that interchanges could be formed between services. This had been done by other lines connecting with the CLR stations at Oxford Circus and Tottenham Court Road, but an interchange station was not initially constructed between the GNP&BR and the CLR because the tunnel alignment to British Museum station would not have been suitable for the GNP&BR's route to its Strand station (later called Aldwych). The junction between High Holborn and the newly constructed Kingsway was also a more prominent location for a station than that chosen by the CLR.

The possibility of an underground passageway was initially mooted, but the idea suffered from the complexity of tunneling between the stations, and the long walking distance it would involve (no-one considered moving walkways at the time). Holborn station was, in any case, better situated than British Museum, as it had better tram connections (Holborn had a stop on the now defunct Kingsway tramway subway). A proposal to enlarge the tunnels under High Holborn to create new platforms at Holborn station for the CLR and to abandon British Museum station was originally included in a private bill submitted to parliament by the CLR in November 1913,[2] although the First World War prevented any works taking place. The works were eventually carried out as part of the modernisation of Holborn station at the beginning of the 1930s when escalators were installed in place of lifts. The station was duly closed on 24 September 1933, with the new platforms at Holborn opening the following day.[1]

British Museum station was subsequently re-used up to the 1960s as a military administrative office and emergency command post, but it is now wholly disused. It can no longer be accessed from the surface and the surface building was demolished in 1989. The platforms have now been removed, thus lowering the entire tunnel floor to track level. This portion of the eastbound tunnel is now used by engineers to store sleepers and other parts of track, which can be seen from passing trains.

The station in popular culture[edit]

British Museum Tube Station in 2004
Nationwide Building Society at the location of the former British Museum tube station

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Rose, Douglas (1999). The London Underground, A Diagrammatic History. Douglas Rose/Capital Transport. ISBN 1-85414-219-4. 
  2. ^ The London Gazette: no. 28776. pp. 8539–8541. 25 November 1913. Retrieved 2007-09-18.
  3. ^ "London Underground Ghosts - British Museum Station". www.ghost-story.co.uk. Archived from the original on 2012-04-25. Retrieved 2 May 2013. 

External links[edit]

Preceding station Underground no-text.svg London Underground Following station
Central line
towards Epping, Hainault
or Woodford (via Hainault)

Coordinates: 51°31′03″N 0°07′22″W / 51.51750°N 0.12278°W / 51.51750; -0.12278