#StationStories - the South Kensington edition

Welcome to our second instalment of the #StationStories series! Last time we kicked things off at Earl's Court. This week, we continue our journey along the District Line, stopping off in the beautiful South Kensington…

South Kensington

Image provided by the London Transport Museum http://www.ltmuseum.co.uk/

24th December 1868

Lines: Piccadilly, District and Circle

Bio: South Kensington Tube station opened on 24th December 1868. The station was opened as an extension to connect the District Line further from Gloucester Road to Westminster and had just two platforms, although it was intended that this would be supplemented as the District Line underwent extension. The station has since expanded to include Piccadilly and Circle Line services.  The original station featured a glazed roof, however this was removed in 1903 when the entire station underwent reconstruction. As part of the re-build, the white terracotta entrances located at each end of a small shopping arcade were added.

South Kensington Tube Station

South Kensington is in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, a built-up area, south-west of Charing Cross.  Famously known as London’s museum quarter, it is home to celebrated national landmarks such as the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), and the National History Museum.  It’s no surprise that this area is a ‘must-do’ on every tourist’s (and many locals’) agenda.  

Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens are two Royal parks situated in South Kensington, a reminder of its once more rural landscape. In the mid-19th century, South Kensington was a large agricultural supplier for London, supplying mainly fruit and vegetables. Then, construction around the area began to grow and more homes were built. This led to the opening of not only South Kensington but also Gloucester Road Tube station, linking the area to the main hub of central London.

South Kensington Tube Station

Did you know?

  • There is an unused westbound tunnel of the station that was used to store art from the V&A Museum and china from Buckingham Palace during World War I.
  • South Kensington opened its deep level platforms on the 15th December 1906 by the Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway.
  • South Kensington is home to British royalty in the form of Prince William and The Duchess of Cambridge, as well as football ‘royalty’ David Beckham. Singing sensation Adele is also a famous face of the area.
  • South Kensington was developed specifically as a site for arts and museums, as a legacy of the Great Exhibition.
  • Bruce Roberts began planning the ‘Great Train Robbery’ in a pub called The Anglesea Arms which is on Selwood Terrace in South Kensington.
  • A ghost train was once seen at South Kensington in December 1928. A whistle sounded, a phantom figure hung from the side of the engine; then both the figure and the train disappeared into the tunnel. Eerie, don’t you think?
  • 800,000 passengers use South Kensington station every month.

If you are interested in booking a campaign at South Kensington Tube station, you can find more information here.

#StationStories - A celebration of the iconic London Underground and its surrounds