British Museum

Underground station in/near Holborn, existed between the 20th century and 1933.

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Underground station · * · WC2B ·
October
8
2020
British Museum was a station on the Central line, located in Holborn and taking its name from the nearby British Museum in Great Russell Street.

British Museum station was opened by the Central London Railway on 30 July 1900 with an entrance at 133 High Holborn.

There had been ideas for an underground passageway between British Museum and Holborn (100 metres away and open in 1906) but tunnelling would have been complex. A proposal to enlarge the tunnels under High Holborn to create new platforms at Holborn station for the Central and to abandon the British Museum station was originally included in a private bill submitted to parliament as early as November 1913. The First World War prevented any work 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. British Museum station was closed on 24 September 1933, with the new platforms at Holborn opening the following day.

British Museum station was subsequently used up to the 1960s as a military administrative office and emergency command post, but the surface station building was demolished in 1989.

The station was reputed to be haunted by the ghost of the daughter of an Egyptian Pharaoh called Amen-ra which would appear and scream so loudly that the noise would carry down the tunnels to adjoining stations.



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CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE LOCALITY


Scott Hatton   
Added: 11 Sep 2020 19:47 GMT   

Millions Of Rats In Busy London
The Daily Mail on 14 April 1903 reported "MILLIONS OF RATS IN BUSY LONDON"

A rat plague, unprecedented in the annals of London, has broken out on the north side of the Strand. The streets principally infested are Catherine street, Drury lane, Blackmore street, Clare Market and Russell street. Something akin to a reign of terror prevails among the inhabitants after nightfall. Women refuse to pass along Blackmore street and the lower parts of Stanhope street after dusk, for droves of rats perambulate the roadways and pavements, and may be seen running along the window ledges of the empty houses awaiting demolition by the County Council in the Strand to Holborn improvement scheme.

The rats, indeed, have appeared in almost-incredible numbers. "There are millions of them," said one shopkeeper, and his statement was supported by other residents. The unwelcome visitors have been evicted from their old haunts by the County Council housebreakers, and are now busily in search of new homes. The Gaiety Restaurant has been the greatest sufferer. Rats have invaded the premises in such force that the managers have had to close the large dining room on the first floor and the grill rooms on the ground floor and in the basement. Those three spacious halls which have witnessed many as semblages of theatre-goers are now qui:e deserted. Behind the wainscot of the bandstand in the grillroom is a large mound of linen shreds. This represents 1728 serviettes carried theee by the rats.

In the bar the removal of a panel disclosed the astonishing fact that the rats have dragged for a distance of seven or eight yards some thirty or forty beer and wine bottles and stacked them in such a fashion as to make comfortable sleeping places. Mr Williams. the manager of the restaurant, estimates that the rats have destroyed L200 worth of linen. Formerly the Gaiety Restaurant dined 2000 persons daily; no business whatever is now done in this direction.

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LATEST LONDON-WIDE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE PROJECT

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Vic Stanley   
Added: 24 Feb 2024 17:38 GMT   

Postcose
The postcode is SE15, NOT SE1

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Comment
Gillian   
Added: 17 Feb 2024 00:08 GMT   

No 36 Upper East Smithfield
My great great grandfather was born at No 36 Upper East Smithfield and spent his early years staring out at a "dead wall" of St Katharine’s Docks. His father was an outfitter and sold clothing for sailors. He describes the place as being backed by tenements in terrible condition and most of the people living there were Irish.

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Kevin Pont   
Added: 16 Feb 2024 20:32 GMT   

Name origin
Interestingly South Lambeth derives its name from the same source as Lambeth itself - a landing place for lambs.

But South Lambeth has no landing place - it is not on the River Thames

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C Hobbs   
Added: 31 Jan 2024 23:53 GMT   

George Gut (1853 - 1861)
George Gut, Master Baker lived with his family in Long Lane.
George was born in Bernbach, Hesse, Germany and came to the UK sometime in the 1840s. In 1849, George married an Englishwoman called Matilda Baker and became a nauralized Englishman. He was given the Freedom of the City of London (by Redemption in the Company of Bakers), in 1853 and was at that time, recorded as living at 3 Long Lane. In the 1861 census, George Gut was living at 11 Long Lane.

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Emma Beach   
Added: 18 Jan 2024 04:33 GMT   

William Sutton Thwaites
William Sutton Thwaites was the father of Frances Lydia Alice Knorr nee Thwaites�’�’she was executed in 1894 in Melbourne, Victoria Australia for infanticide. In the year prior to his marriage, to her mother Frances Jeanette Thwaites nee Robin, William Sutton was working as a tailor for Mr Orchard who employed four tailors in the hamlet of Mile End Old Town on at Crombies Row, Commercial Road East.

Source: 1861 England Census Class: Rg 9; Piece: 293; Folio: 20; Page: 2; GSU roll: 542608

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Simon   
Added: 15 Jan 2024 15:44 GMT   

Simon De Charmes, clockmaker
De Charmes (or Des Charmes), Simon, of French Huguenot extraction. Recorded 1688 and Free of the Clockmakers’ Company 1691-1730. In London until 1704 at least at ’his House, the Sign of the Clock, the Corner of Warwick St, Charing Cross’. See Brian Loomes The Early Clockmakers of Great Britain, NAG Press, 1981, p.188

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Born here
Jacqueline Mico   
Added: 14 Jan 2024 07:29 GMT   

Robert Bolam
This is where my grandad was born, he went on to be a beautiful man, he became a shop owner, a father, and grandfather, he lost a leg when he was a milkman and the horse kicked him, then opened a shop in New Cross and then moved to Lewisham where he had a Newsagents and tobacconists.

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Tom Hughes   
Added: 5 Jan 2024 14:11 GMT   

4 Edwardes Terrace
In 1871, Mrs. Blake, widow of Gen. Blake, died in her home at 4 Edwardes Terrace, leaving a fortune of 140,000 pounds, something like 20 million quid today. She left no will. The exact fortune may have been exaggerated but for years claimants sought their share of the "Blake millions" which eventually went to "the Crown."

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Holborn

Hol^born is both an area and also the name of the area’s principal street, known as High Holborn between St Giles’s High Street and Gray’s Inn Road and then Hol^born Viaduct between Hol^born Circus and Newgate Street .

The area’s first mention is in a charter of Westminster Abbey, by King Edgar, dated to 959. This mentions ’the old wooden church of St Andrew’ (St Andrew, Hol^born). The name Holborn may be derived from the Middle English hol for hollow, and bourne, a brook, referring to the River Fleet as it ran through a steep valley to the east.

It was at first outside the City’s jurisdiction and a part of Ossulstone Hundred in Middlesex. The original Bars were the boundary of the City of London from 1223, when the City’s jurisdiction was extended beyond the Walls, at Newgate, into the suburb here, as far as the point where the Bars where erected, until 1994 when the border moved to the junction of Chancery Lane. In 1394 the Ward of Farringdon Without was created, but only the south side of Holborn was under its jurisdiction with some minor properties, such as parts of Furnival’s Inn, on the northern side.

The Holborn District was created in 1855, consisting of the civil parishes and extra-parochial places of Glasshouse Yard, Saffron Hill, Hatton Garden, Ely Rents and Ely Place, St Andrew Holborn Above the Bars with St George the Martyr and St Sepulchre. The Metropolitan Borough of Holborn was created in 1900, consisting of the former area of the Holborn District and the St Giles District, excluding Glasshouse Yard and St Sepulchre, which went to the Metropolitan Borough of Finsbury. The Metropolitan Borough of Holborn was abolished in 1965 and its area now forms part of the London Borough of Camden.

In the 18th century, Holborn was the location of the infamous Mother Clap’s molly house but in the modern era High Holborn has become a centre for entertainment venues to suit more general tastes: 22 inns or taverns were recorded in the 1860s and the Holborn Empire, originally Weston’s Music Hall, stood between 1857 and 1960, when it was pulled down after structural damage sustained in the Blitz. The theatre premièred the first full-length feature film in 1914, The World, the Flesh and the Devil, a 50-minute melodrama filmed in Kinemacolour.

Charles Dickens took up residence in Furnival’s Inn, on the site of the former Prudential building designed by Alfred Waterhouse now named Holborn Bars. Dickens put his character Pip, in Great Expectations, in residence at Barnard’s Inn opposite, now occupied by Gresham College. Staple Inn, notable as the promotional image for Old Holborn tobacco, is nearby. The three of these were Inns of Chancery. The most northerly of the Inns of Court, Gray’s Inn, is in Holborn, as is Lincoln’s Inn: the area has been associated with the legal professions since mediaeval times, and the name of the local militia (now Territorial Army unit, the Inns of Court & City Yeomanry) still reflects that. Subsequently the area diversified and become recognisable as the modern street.

A plaque stands at number 120 commemorating Thomas Earnshaw’s invention of the Marine chronometer, which facilitated long-distance travel. At the corner of Hatton Garden was the old family department store of Gamages. Until 1992, the London Weather Centre was located in the street. The Prudential insurance company relocated in 2002. The Daily Mirror offices used to be directly opposite it, but the site is now occupied by Sainsbury’s head office.

Hatton Garden, the centre of the diamond trade, was leased to a favourite of Queen Elizabeth I, Sir Christopher Hatton at the insistence of the Queen to provide him with an income. Behind the Prudential Building lies the Anglo-Catholic church of St Alban the Martyr.

In the early 21st century, Holborn has become the site of new offices and hotels: for example, the old neoclassical Pearl Assurance building near the junction with Kingsway was converted into an hotel in 1999.

Holborn station is located at the junction of High Holborn and Kingsway. Situated on the Piccadilly and Central Lines, it is the only station common to the two lines, although the two lines also cross each other three times in West London.

The station was opened by the Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway (GNP&BR, now the Piccadilly Line) on 15 December 1906 with the name Holborn (Kingsway). Kingsway was a new road, cutting south from High Holborn through an area of cleared slums to Strand. The suffix was dropped from tube maps in the 1960s.


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