Barbican tube station
Looking east along the platforms.
Location of Barbican in Central London
|Local authority||City of London|
|Managed by||London Underground|
|Number of platforms||4 (2 in use)|
|London Underground annual entry and exit|
|National Rail annual entry and exit|
|23 December 1865||Opened as Aldersgate Street|
|1 November 1910||Renamed as Aldersgate|
|24 October 1924||Renamed as Aldersgate and Barbican|
|1 December 1968||Renamed as Barbican|
|1976||Services from Great Northern via Widened Lines cease.|
|1982||Electrified services from Bedford line commence|
|2009||Thameslink services cease|
|Lists of stations|
| London Transport portal
UK Railways portalCoordinates:
Barbican is a London Underground station serving the Barbican Estate and Centre in the City of London. It is on the Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines between Farringdon and Moorgate, in Travelcard Zone 1. Thameslink trains to and from Moorgate via Barbican ceased in March 2009.
The station was first called "Aldersgate Street", this being the name of the street on which it stands. This changed to "Aldersgate" on 1 November 1910, then to "Aldersgate and Barbican" in 1923, and to the present name from 1 December 1968.
The station replaced an earlier building at 134 Aldersgate Street, which for many years had a sign claiming "This was Shakespeare's House". Although the building was very close to the nearby Fortune Playhouse, there is no documentary evidence that Shakespeare lived here; a subsidy roll from 1598 shows a "William Shakespeare" as owner of the property, but there is nothing to indicate that it is the playwright.
On 4 April 1915, the body of seven-year-old Margaret Nally was found in the ladies' cloakroom at what was then Aldersgate Street Station; she had been sexually assaulted and suffocated with a cloth pushed down her throat.
Train services were disrupted during the Second World War when the station suffered severe bomb damage, particularly in December 1941. This led to the removal of the upper floors, and in 1955 the remainder of the street-level building was demolished.
Passenger trains from the Great Northern Line, via the York Road and Hotel curves at Kings Cross to the Widened Lines ran until the Great Northern Electrification of 1976 when platforms 3 & 4 were closed. Platforms 3 & 4 were reopened as part of the Midland City Line in 1982 with services from Luton and Bedford.
In late March 2009, Thameslink trains ceased to call at Barbican. This was part of the Thameslink Programme to allow Farringdon to have its mainline platforms extended across Thameslink's Moorgate branch. As a result, Barbican is no longer a multimodal station.
A display on the history of the station, including text and photographs, is just inside the barriers, on the southern side of the main entrance corridor.
The station lies in an east-west-aligned trench with cut-and-cover tunnels at either end. The modern entrance gives access from Aldersgate Street, through a 1990s building, to a much older footbridge leading to the eastern end of the platforms. To the north are backs of buildings that face onto Charterhouse Street, Charterhouse Square and Carthusian Street. To the south are the backs of buildings that face onto Long Lane. To the west is Hayne Street.
The station is mostly open to the elements, though there are some short canopies. The remains of the supporting structure for a glass canopy over all four platforms (removed in the 1950s) may still clearly be seen.
At the west end of the central island is a disused signal box. Also from this end of the platforms may be seen the beginnings of the complex of tunnels leading under Smithfield meat market. Livestock for the market was at one time delivered by rail and there was a substantial goods yard under the market.
Platform 1 is the most northerly, serving eastbound LUL services. Platforms 2 and 3 form an island platform. Platform 2 serves westbound LUL services. Platforms 3 and 4 are out of use, since the Moorgate branch is permanently closed.
When Crossrail is built, the Farringdon eastern ticket hall will be just to the west of Barbican station, and an interchange will be built here. This will involve significant changes at the western end of the station, including the demolition of the former signal box and the provision of a new footbridge spanning the tracks.
|Preceding station||London Underground||Following station|
|Hammersmith & City line||
|Farringdon||First Capital Connect
Peak Hours Only
|Farringdon||Great Northern Railway
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