Oxford Circus

Underground station

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Underground station · Oxford Circus · W1B ·
July
7
2013

Oxford Circus, designed by John Nash in 1811.

Oxford Circus panorama (2006)
Credit: David Iliff
Oxford Circus, the busy intersection of Oxford Street and Regent Street, was constructed in the beginning of the 19th century, and was designed by John Nash. Regent Street had been commissioned by Prince Regent, who was later to become King George IV, as a grand scheme to connect the Princes home at Carlton House with his newly acquired property at Regents Park. Nash designed a wide boulevard with a sweeping curve that became a clear dividing line between the less respectable Soho and the fashionable squares and streets of Mayfair. Born from the concept of Nash’s layout of the New Street in 1812, frontage alignments remain, with the rebuilt listed architecture of 1920s buildings.

The surrounding area contains important elements of the Nash heritage. All frontages on the Circus are Grade II Listed. The entire of Regent Street is also listed and sits within a conservation area.

The circus is served by Oxford Circus tube station, which is directly beneath the junction itself.

Oxford Circus station has entrances on all four corners of the intersection. The station is an interchange between the Central, Victoria and Bakerloo lines. It is the fourth busiest station on the network and the busiest without connection to the National Rail service. It opened on the Central London Railway on 30 July 1900, with the Baker Street and Waterloo Railway's platforms opening on 10 March 1906. The two companies had separate surface buildings and lift shafts. The station buildings, which remain today as exits from the station, were constructed on very confined plots on either side of Argyll Street on the south side of Oxford Street, just to the east of the circus itself. The stations were originally built as entirely separate, but connecting passages were swiftly provided at platform level. The surviving Central London Railway building to the east of Argyll Street is the best surviving example of the stations designed by Harry Bell Measures, and the Bakerloo line building to the west is a classic Leslie Green structure. Both station buildings are Grade II listed.

Almost from the outset, overcrowding has been a constant problem at the station and it has seen numerous improvements to its facilities and below-ground arrangements to deal with this difficulty. After much discussion between the then two separate operators, a major reconstruction began in 1912. This saw a new ticket hall, dealing with both lines, built in the basement of the Bakerloo station, the Bakerloo lifts removed, and new deep-level escalators opened down to the Bakerloo line level. Access to the Central line was by way of existing deep-level subways. The new works came into use on 9 May 1914 with the CLR lifts still available for passengers. By 1923 even this rearrangement was unable to cope, so a second rebuilding commenced. This saw a second set of escalators built directly down to the Central line, the CLR station building becoming an exit only. Then, on 2 October 1928, a third escalator leading to the Bakerloo platforms was opened. Unusually, lifts came back into prominence at an Underground station when, in 1942, a set of high-speed lifts came into use, largely used as an exit route from the Central line platforms directly to the Argyll Street exit building.

The Victoria line opened on 7 March 1969. To handle the additional passenger loads, a new ticket hall was constructed directly under the road junction. To excavate the new ticket hall below the roadway, traffic was diverted for five years (August 1963 to Easter 1968) on to a temporary bridge-like structure known as the 'umbrella' covering the Regent Street/Oxford Street intersection. Services tunnels were constructed to carry water mains and telecom cables past the new ticket hall. Construction of the Victoria line station tunnels with their platforms, the new escalator shafts and the linking passages to the Central line platforms was carried out from access shafts sunk from nearby Cavendish Square, Upper Regent Street and Argyll Street. To this day, traffic passing through the Oxford Circus intersection literally travels over the roof of the ticket office.

xxx

Oxford Circus panorama (2006)
David Iliff

THE STREETS OF OXFORD CIRCUS
Argyll Street, W1F Argyll Street is one of the streets of London in the W1F postal area.
Avery Row, W1K Avery Row is one of the streets of London in the W1K postal area.
Binney Street, W1K Binney Street is one of the streets of London in the W1K postal area.
Blenheim Street, W1S Blenheim Street is one of the streets of London in the W1S postal area.
Boyle Street, W1S Boyle Street was built on a piece of land called the Ten Acres to discharge some Boyle family debts.
Brook Street, W1K Brook Street was named after the Tyburn Brook that formerly ran nearby,
Brook Street, W1S Brook Street is one of the streets of London in the W1S postal area.
Cavendish Place, W1G Cavendish Place is one of the streets of London in the W1G postal area.
Clifford Street, W1S Clifford Street is one of the streets of London in the W1S postal area.
Coach And Horses Yard, W1S Coach And Horses Yard is one of the streets of London in the W1S postal area.
Coach Horses Yard, W1S Coach Horses Yard is one of the streets of London in the W1S postal area.
Conduit Avenue, SE10 Conduit Avenue is a road in the SE10 postcode area
Conduit Street, W1S Conduit Street is one of the streets of London in the W1S postal area.
Cork Street, W1S Cork Street, on the Burlington Estate, was named after Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington and 4th Earl of Cork.
Davies Mews, W1K Davies Mews is one of the streets of London in the W1K postal area.
Davies Street, W1J Davies Street is a road in the W1J postcode area
Davies Street, W1K Davies Street is one of the streets of London in the W1K postal area.
Davis Street, W1K Davis Street is one of the streets of London in the W1K postal area.
Dering Street, W1S Dering Street is one of the streets of London in the W1S postal area.
Gilbert Street, W1K Gilbert Street is one of the streets of London in the W1K postal area.
Hanover Square, W1S Hanover Square was created as the ’Whig’ square with Cavendish Square being the ’Tory’ square.
Hanover Street, W1S Hanover Street is one of the streets of London in the W1S postal area.
Harewood Place, W1S Harewood Place is one of the streets of London in the W1S postal area.
Haunch Of Venison Yard, W1K Haunch Of Venison Yard is one of the streets of London in the W1K postal area.
Hills Place, W1F Hills Place is one of the streets of London in the W1F postal area.
John Prince’s Street, W1G This is a street in the W1G postcode area
John Princes Street, W1G John Princes Street is one of the streets of London in the W1G postal area.
Lancashire Court, W1S Lancashire Court is one of the streets of London in the W1S postal area.
Maddox Street, W1S Maddox Street is one of the streets of London in the W1S postal area.
Masons Arms Mews, W1S Masons Arms Mews is one of the streets of London in the W1S postal area.
Mason’s Arms Mews, W1S Mason’s Arms Mews is a road in the W1S postcode area
Mayfair Mews, SW12 A street within the W1S postcode
Mews Yard, WC2H Mews Yard is a road in the WC2H postcode area
Mill Street, W1S Mill Street is one of the streets of London in the W1S postal area.
New Bond Street, W1S New Bond Street is the northernmost section of what is simply known as ’Bond Street’ in general use.
New Burlington Place, W1S New Burlington Place is one of the streets of London in the W1S postal area.
Old Burlington Street, W1S Old Burlington Street is one of the streets of London in the W1S postal area.
Oxford Circus Avenue, W1F Oxford Circus Avenue exists on a lot of London maps but doesn’t exist.
Oxford Street, W1A This is a street in the W1A postcode area
Pollen Street, W1S Pollen Street is one of the streets of London in the W1S postal area.
Princes Street, W1B Princes Street is one of the streets of London in the W1B postal area.
Ramillies Place, W1F Ramillies Place is one of the streets of London in the W1F postal area.
Ramillies Street, W1F Ramillies Street is one of the streets of London in the W1F postal area.
Saint George Street, W1S Saint George Street is one of the streets of London in the W1S postal area.
Sandgate Trading Estate, SE15 A street within the W1K postcode
Sedley Place, W1C Sedley Place is one of the streets of London in the W1C postal area.
Sedley Place, W1K Sedley Place is a road in the W1K postcode area
South Molton Lane, W1K South Molton Lane is one of the streets of London in the W1K postal area.
South Molton Street, W1K South Molton Street is one of the streets of London in the W1K postal area.
St George Street, W1S St George Street is one of the streets of London in the W1S postal area.
St Georges Square, E14 St Georges Square is one of the streets of London in the E14 postal area.
St. Anselm’s Place, W1K St. Anselm’s Place is a road in the W1K postcode area
Swallow Place, W1B Swallow Place is one of the streets of London in the W1B postal area.
Tenterden Street, W1S Tenterden Street is one of the streets of London in the W1S postal area.
Three Kings Yard, W1K Three Kings Yard is one of the streets of London in the W1K postal area.
Three Kings’ Yard, W1K This is a street in the W1K postcode area
Weighhouse Street, W1K Weighhouse Street is one of the streets of London in the W1K postal area.
Woodstock Street, W1C Woodstock Street is one of the streets of London in the W1C postal area.



VIEW THE OXFORD CIRCUS AREA IN THE 1750s
The 1750 Rocque map is bounded by Sudbury (NW), Snaresbrook (NE), Eltham (SE) and Hampton Court (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1750 map does not display.

VIEW THE OXFORD CIRCUS AREA IN THE 1800s
The 1800 mapping is bounded by Stanmore (NW), Woodford (NE), Bromley (SE) and Hampton Court (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1800 map does not display.

VIEW THE OXFORD CIRCUS AREA IN THE 1830s
The 1830 mapping is bounded by West Hampstead (NW), Hackney (NE), Greenwich (SE) and Chelsea (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1830 map does not display.

VIEW THE OXFORD CIRCUS AREA IN THE 1860s
The 1860 mapping is bounded by Brent Cross (NW), Stratford (NE), Greenwich (SE) and Hammermith (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1860 map does not display.

VIEW THE OXFORD CIRCUS AREA IN THE 1900s
The 1900 mapping covers all of the London area.

 

Oxford Circus

Oxford Circus, designed by John Nash in 1811.

Oxford Circus, the busy intersection of Oxford Street and Regent Street, was constructed in the beginning of the 19th century, and was designed by John Nash. Regent Street had been commissioned by Prince Regent, who was later to become King George IV, as a grand scheme to connect the Princes home at Carlton House with his newly acquired property at Regents Park. Nash designed a wide boulevard with a sweeping curve that became a clear dividing line between the less respectable Soho and the fashionable squares and streets of Mayfair. Born from the concept of Nash’s layout of the New Street in 1812, frontage alignments remain, with the rebuilt listed architecture of 1920s buildings.

The surrounding area contains important elements of the Nash heritage. All frontages on the Circus are Grade II Listed. The entire of Regent Street is also listed and sits within a conservation area.

The circus is served by Oxford Circus tube station, which is directly beneath the junction itself.

Oxford Circus station has entrances on all four corners of the intersection. The station is an interchange between the Central, Victoria and Bakerloo lines. It is the fourth busiest station on the network and the busiest without connection to the National Rail service. It opened on the Central London Railway on 30 July 1900, with the Baker Street and Waterloo Railway's platforms opening on 10 March 1906. The two companies had separate surface buildings and lift shafts. The station buildings, which remain today as exits from the station, were constructed on very confined plots on either side of Argyll Street on the south side of Oxford Street, just to the east of the circus itself. The stations were originally built as entirely separate, but connecting passages were swiftly provided at platform level. The surviving Central London Railway building to the east of Argyll Street is the best surviving example of the stations designed by Harry Bell Measures, and the Bakerloo line building to the west is a classic Leslie Green structure. Both station buildings are Grade II listed.

Almost from the outset, overcrowding has been a constant problem at the station and it has seen numerous improvements to its facilities and below-ground arrangements to deal with this difficulty. After much discussion between the then two separate operators, a major reconstruction began in 1912. This saw a new ticket hall, dealing with both lines, built in the basement of the Bakerloo station, the Bakerloo lifts removed, and new deep-level escalators opened down to the Bakerloo line level. Access to the Central line was by way of existing deep-level subways. The new works came into use on 9 May 1914 with the CLR lifts still available for passengers. By 1923 even this rearrangement was unable to cope, so a second rebuilding commenced. This saw a second set of escalators built directly down to the Central line, the CLR station building becoming an exit only. Then, on 2 October 1928, a third escalator leading to the Bakerloo platforms was opened. Unusually, lifts came back into prominence at an Underground station when, in 1942, a set of high-speed lifts came into use, largely used as an exit route from the Central line platforms directly to the Argyll Street exit building.

The Victoria line opened on 7 March 1969. To handle the additional passenger loads, a new ticket hall was constructed directly under the road junction. To excavate the new ticket hall below the roadway, traffic was diverted for five years (August 1963 to Easter 1968) on to a temporary bridge-like structure known as the 'umbrella' covering the Regent Street/Oxford Street intersection. Services tunnels were constructed to carry water mains and telecom cables past the new ticket hall. Construction of the Victoria line station tunnels with their platforms, the new escalator shafts and the linking passages to the Central line platforms was carried out from access shafts sunk from nearby Cavendish Square, Upper Regent Street and Argyll Street. To this day, traffic passing through the Oxford Circus intersection literally travels over the roof of the ticket office.
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