Thursday, April 18, 2024
HomenewsInside the abandoned London Underground station that drivers 'didn't even bother to...

Inside the abandoned London Underground station that drivers ‘didn’t even bother to stop at’ (and was so confusing it even inspired a play)

This is the abandoned London Underground station which was so rarely used by commuters, tube drivers would pass by it entirely.

Knowing if a train would even stop at Brompton Road confused people so much, it inspired a West End play with a run of 174 performances.

But the derelict station, covered in oxblood tiles, is packed with an abundance of history, previously acting as a command centre during the Blitz.

It was even rumoured that Hitler’s right hand man was interrogated inside the building.

Brompton Road first opened its doors in 1906, but only three years later authorities started to realise the station was redundant.

Brompton Road (pictured) was so rarely used, tube drivers would often skip the stop altogether Brompton Road (pictured) was so rarely used, tube drivers would often skip the stop altogether

Brompton Road (pictured) was so rarely used, tube drivers would often skip the stop altogether

Confusion about whether trains would stop at the station was so high, there was even a West End play written about it Confusion about whether trains would stop at the station was so high, there was even a West End play written about it

Confusion about whether trains would stop at the station was so high, there was even a West End play written about it 

The only notable landmarks near the station sandwiched between Knightsbridge and South Kensington were Victoria & Albert Museum and the Brompton Oratory The only notable landmarks near the station sandwiched between Knightsbridge and South Kensington were Victoria & Albert Museum and the Brompton Oratory

The only notable landmarks near the station sandwiched between Knightsbridge and South Kensington were Victoria & Albert Museum and the Brompton Oratory

With the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Brompton Oratory being the only notable landmarks nearby, the station didn’t experience a great deal of footfall. 

The station sandwiched between the more frequented stations of Knightsbridge and South Kensington, would often be skipped, in a bid by railway bosses to be more efficient.

The sleepy stop which was housed in a L shape building directly on Brompton Road, was fitted with four lifts and two 350 feet long platforms.

Designed by English architect Leslie Green, Brompton Road was decorated in white and cream tiles coupled with green and brown patterns,

West End Plays

Confusion about if trains would stop at the station was so high, there was even a West End play written about it.

‘Passing Brompton Road’ was performed 174 times at the Criterion Theatre in 1928, according to MyLondon.

The play written by Jevan Brandon-Thomas also featured Marie Tempest, who was one of the most notable actresses of her era.

Whilst people were enjoying the drama, the real Brompton station was shuttering its booking office, meaning commuters could only purchase tickets from a lift attendant or a machine.

More recently, Anthony Chew wrote a play all about the deserted tube stop called ‘Sailing By’, which was produced by the Byfleet Players in 2008.

Brompton Road was briefly closed during the General Strike in 1926, but in 1934 it was decided that keeping the stop open was no longer financially viable.

Confusion about if trains would stop at the station was so high, there was even a West End play written about it. The play 'Passing Brompton Road' was performed 174 times at the Criterion Theatre Confusion about if trains would stop at the station was so high, there was even a West End play written about it. The play 'Passing Brompton Road' was performed 174 times at the Criterion Theatre

Confusion about if trains would stop at the station was so high, there was even a West End play written about it. The play ‘Passing Brompton Road’ was performed 174 times at the Criterion Theatre

The sleepy stop is packed with history, having previously acted as a base for the Royal Artillery to control anti-aircraft batteries to protect London from air raids The sleepy stop is packed with history, having previously acted as a base for the Royal Artillery to control anti-aircraft batteries to protect London from air raids

The sleepy stop is packed with history, having previously acted as a base for the Royal Artillery to control anti-aircraft batteries to protect London from air raids 

It was even rumoured Hitler's deputy, Rudolph Hess, was interrogated by British agents here It was even rumoured Hitler's deputy, Rudolph Hess, was interrogated by British agents here

It was even rumoured Hitler’s deputy, Rudolph Hess, was interrogated by British agents here

Wartime History

The former London Underground station is flooded with history, previously acting as a command centre during The Blitz.

The station was taken over by Winston Churchill’s War Office and acted as a base for the Royal Artillery to control anti-aircraft batteries to protect London from air raids. 

During the war, one of the stations lift shafts had rooms built inside it, which eventually acted as a base for the Royal Artillery.

Gun emplacements across London were organised from the station as they attempted to shoot down German aircrafts flying over the city. 

It was even rumoured that Rudolph Hess, Adolf Hitler’s right hand man, was interrogated there by British agents, MyLondon reports. 

Among the labyrinth of tunnels, converted bunkers can be found with leftover electrical appliances from the war.

Wartime telephone exchanges have been left as well as a wartime oxygen scrubber, which was present to clean the air in the event of a gas attack.

The station’s platforms were lowered as part of its transformation from Tube station to war bunker.

A wall was also constructed to shield workers from any trains passing by on the opposite side.

The station closed its door the final time in 1934. Since the war, it has been a base for military hopefuls The station closed its door the final time in 1934. Since the war, it has been a base for military hopefuls

The station closed its door the final time in 1934. Since the war, it has been a base for military hopefuls

In 2014 it was bought by Ukrainian developer, Michael Spink from the Ministry of Defence for £53 million In 2014 it was bought by Ukrainian developer, Michael Spink from the Ministry of Defence for £53 million When he purchased the property in 2014, Spink said he hope to refurbish the building into a 'very high quality residential development When he purchased the property in 2014, Spink said he hope to refurbish the building into a 'very high quality residential development

In 2014 it was bought by Ukrainian developer, Michael Spink from the Ministry of Defence for £53 million. When he purchased the property in 2014, Spink said he hope to refurbish the building into a ‘very high quality residential development

Sold for £53 million 

Since the war, the property was used as a base for those interested in enrolling in the Royal Navy or the Royal Air Force.

It acted as a base  for the London University Air Squadron, the London University Royal Naval Unit and 46F Squadron Air Training Corps.

In 2014, the former Piccadilly line station was sold by The Ministry of Defence for £53 million.

Andrew Murrison – the Defence minister at the time – told the BBC: ‘The Ministry of Defence is committed to selling off its surplus land and property in order to provide the best possible value for money to the taxpayer.

‘At the same time we take our role as a custodian of the nation’s history very seriously and have been working to record the historic significance of the building.’

It was purchased by Ukrainian developer, Michael Spink, who told MailOnline in 2014 that he hoped to transform it into a ‘very high quality residential development’.

London UndergroundTFL

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