Barbican tube station

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London Underground
Barbican tube station MMB 02.jpg
Looking east along the platforms.
Barbican is located in Central London
Location of Barbican in Central London
Location Barbican
Local authority City of London
Managed by London Underground
Number of platforms 4 (2 in use)
Fare zone 1
London Underground annual entry and exit
2009 Decrease 9.261 million[1]
2010 Decrease 8.870 million[2]
2011 Increase 9.23 million[3]
National Rail annual entry and exit
2006–07 0.045 million[4]
Key dates
23 December 1865 (23 December 1865) Opened as Aldersgate Street[5]
1 November 1910 Renamed as Aldersgate[5]
24 October 1924 Renamed as Aldersgate and Barbican[5]
1 December 1968 Renamed as Barbican[5][6]
1976 Services from Great Northern via Widened Lines cease.
1982 Electrified services from Bedford line commence
2009 Thameslink services cease
Other information
Lists of stations
Portal icon London Transport portal
Portal icon UK Railways portalCoordinates: 51°31′13″N 0°05′52″W / 51.5202°N 0.0977°W / 51.5202; -0.0977

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,[5] then to "Aldersgate and Barbican" in 1923,[5] and to the present name from 1 December 1968.[5][6]

The station replaced an earlier building at 134 Aldersgate Street, which for many years had a sign claiming "This was Shakespeare's House".[7] 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.[8]

The station exterior view in 1981

Train services were disrupted during the Second World War when the station suffered severe bomb damage, particularly in December 1941.[9] This led to the removal of the upper floors, and in 1955 the remainder of the street-level building was demolished.[10]

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.[11] 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 Thameslink lines on the south side of the station are no longer in use.

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.

The cut-and-cover nature of the station can be seen by the steep walls and surrounding buildings.

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.[12] 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.[13]

Service patterns[edit]

Preceding station   Underground no-text.svg London Underground   Following station
towards Hammersmith
Circle line
towards Edgware Road (via Aldgate)
Hammersmith & City line
towards Barking
Metropolitan line
towards Aldgate
    Disused Railways    
Farringdon   First Capital Connect
Peak Hours Only
    Historic Railways    
Farringdon   Great Northern Railway
Widened Lines

Transport links[edit]

London bus routes 4, 56, 100 and 153.



  1. ^ "Customer metrics: entries and exits: 2009". London Underground performance update. Transport for London. Retrieved 26 December 2012. 
  2. ^ "Customer metrics: entries and exits: 2010". London Underground performance update. Transport for London. Retrieved 26 December 2012. 
  3. ^ "Multi-year station entry-and-exit figures" (XLS). London Underground station passenger usage data. Transport for London. 2013. Retrieved 15 April 2014. 
  4. ^ "Station usage estimates". Rail statistics. Office of Rail Regulation.  Please note: Some methodology may vary year on year.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Butt (1995), page 14
  6. ^ a b Butt (1995), page 26
  7. ^ Winter, William (1910). Seeing Europe with Famous Authors: Literary Shrines of London. London: Moffat, Yard & Co. Archived from the original on 2011-07-15. 
  8. ^ The Times (40821). 6 April 1915. p. 5, col. A. 
  9. ^ "Air raid damage on Aldersgate Street". London Transport Museum. Archived from the original on 2012-09-20. 
  10. ^ "The Underground at War". Nick Cooper. 2010. Archived from the original on 2011-04-29. 
  11. ^ "Thameslink Programme - FAQ". First Capital Connect. Archived from the original on 2009-02-06. 
  12. ^ "Crossrail - Farringdon (1)" (PDF). Crossrail. February 2005. Archived from the original on 2009-12-16. 
  13. ^ "Crossrail Context Report: City of London" (PDF). Crossrail. 


  • Butt, R. V. J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations: details every public and private passenger station, halt, platform and stopping place, past and present (1st ed.). Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 1-8526-0508-1. OCLC 60251199. 
  • Jowett, Alan (March 1989). Jowett's Railway Atlas of Great Britain and Ireland: From Pre-Grouping to the Present Day (1st ed.). Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 1-8526-0086-1. OCLC 22311137. 

See also[edit]