Knightsbridge tube station
Sloane Street entrance, 2004.
Location of Knightsbridge in Central London
|Local authority||Kensington & Chelsea|
|Managed by||London Underground|
|Number of platforms||2|
|London Underground annual entry and exit|
|Original company||Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway|
|15 December 1906||Station opened|
|Lists of stations|
|London Transport portalCoordinates:|
The station was opened on 15 December 1906 by the Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway (GNP&BR, now the Piccadilly Line). When opened, the platforms were accessed in the standard manner by four lifts and an emergency staircase connecting to parallel passageways and bridges to midway along the platforms. The original station building designed by Leslie Green was located on Brompton Road a short distance west of its junction with Knightsbridge and Sloane Street. A rear entrance was located on Basil Street.
The location of the station in a busy and fashionable shopping district meant that patronage at the station was high from the beginning, particularly due to the presence locally of the Harrods and Harvey Nichols emporiums. This contrasted with the next station on the line westward - Brompton Road, where passenger numbers were so low that from soon after its opening many trains were timetabled not to stop there.
In the early 1930s, the availability of government grants to stimulate the depressed economy enabled the Underground Group to carry out a major modernisation programme, during which many central London stations were brought up to date with escalators to replace the original lifts. Knightsbridge was one of the Piccadilly Line stations to benefit from the installation of escalators.
To enable the escalators to reach the existing platforms without excessive below ground reconstruction or interference with station operations a new ticket hall was constructed under the Brompton Road/Knightsbridge/Sloane Street junction and new circulation passages were constructed at the lower level. A new station entrance was inserted into the existing building on the corner of Brompton Road and Sloane Street Subway entrances on the other corners of the junction enabled pedestrians to avoid the traffic on the busy junction. The original entrances in Brompton Road and Basil Street were closed. The Brompton Road building was subsequently demolished, but the rear entrance at the corner of Basil Street and Hoopers Court entrance remains, although converted for use as offices.
To ease congestion, it was also decided to provide an additional entrance to the western end of the platforms closer to Harrods. The additional exit would further diminish the passenger numbers at Brompton Road so this station was scheduled to close. A separate ticket hall was provided for the western escalators which is accessed by a long subway from the surface entrance at the corner of Hans Crescent. This narrow subway was to be a regular problem, often becoming congested with groups of passengers trying to pass each other in the confined space.
Eventually, in 2004, this congestion was solved by the expansion of this exit into a large circular area, under the road towards Harrods, with the way out of the station being by a stairway in the midst of the road.
The station recently underwent the first major refurbishment of the platforms since the reconstruction with the 1930s cream-coloured tiles being concealed behind a modern metal cladding system.
The residential development of One Hyde Park opposite the station features an entrance to the station which is the diverted closed off exit. It re-opened in December 2010.
- It is the only tube station on the London Underground network to have six consecutive consonants in its name.
- The tunnel between Knightsbridge and South Kensington stations is said to follow a particularly twisting route to avoid a 17th-century plague pit "so dense with human remains that it could not be tunnelled through".
- In the tunnels between Knightsbridge and South Kensington there used to be Brompton Road, now permanently closed.
In popular culture
The station appeared in a 1992 episode of Rumpole of the Bailey (Rumpole and the Children of the Devil), as Horace Rumpole and his wife Hilda travel there separately from Temple and Gloucester Road stations respectively. They exit Knightsbridge station from the stairs at the former street level portico on the corner of Hans Crescent and Brompton Road, which has since been redeveloped as the main entrance to a Zara fashion shop at 79 Brompton Road.
The opening scene of the 1997 film version of Henry James's The Wings of the Dove was set on the east-bound platforms at both Dover Street and Knightsbridge stations, both represented by the same studio mock-up, complete with a working recreation of a 1906 Stock train.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Knightsbridge tube station.|
- London's Transport Museum Photographic Archive
- Original station building featuring non-standard decorative relief at high level, 1906
- Basil Street entrance, 1925
- Ticket hall, 1927
- New station building, 1934. Compare elevation with current image which shows changes have been made to increase the width of the façade and to the first floor windows
- New sub-surface ticket hall with ticket machines and top of escalators, 1934
- Western ticket hall from end of sub-way with ticket machines, 1934
- Sub-way to western ticket hall, 1934
- Sub-way to western ticket hall, alternative view, 1934
London bus route 9, 10, 14, 19, 22, 52, 74, 137, 414, C1, night route N9, N19, N22, N52, N74 and N137.
- "Customer metrics: entries and exits: 2008". London Underground performance update. Transport for London. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
- "Customer metrics: entries and exits: 2009". London Underground performance update. Transport for London. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
- "Customer metrics: entries and exits: 2010". London Underground performance update. Transport for London. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
- Arnold, C. Necropolis: London and Its Dead
|Preceding station||London Underground||Following station|
|Preceding station||London Underground||Following station|