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Knightsbridge tube station

Knightsbridge
Sloane Street entrance, 2004.
Knightsbridge is located in Central London
Knightsbridge
Location of Knightsbridge in Central London
Location Knightsbridge
Local authority Kensington & Chelsea
Managed by London Underground
Number of platforms 2
Fare zone 1
London Underground annual entry and exit
2011 20.70 million[1]
2012 21.57 million[1]
2013 21.47 million[1]
2014 21.47 million[1]
Railway companies
Original company Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway
Key dates
15 December 1906 Station opened
Other information
Lists of stations
London Transport portal

Knightsbridge is a London Underground station in Knightsbridge, London. It is on the Piccadilly line between South Kensington and Hyde Park Corner, and is in Travelcard Zone 1.

Contents

  • History 1
    • Reconstruction 1.1
  • In popular culture 2
  • Gallery 3
  • Connections 4
  • Notes 5
  • External links 6

History

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.

Reconstruction

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 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.

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.

Gallery

Connections

London Buses routes 9, 10, 14, 19, 22, 52, 74, 137, 414 and C1 and night routes N9, N19, N22, N74 and N137 serve the station.

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d "Multi-year station entry-and-exit figures" (XLS). London Underground station passenger usage data.  

External links

  • "Photographic Archive". London Transport Museum. Archived from the original on 2008-03-18. 
    • 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
Preceding station   London Underground   Following station
Piccadilly line
towards Cockfosters
  Former Route  
Preceding station   London Underground   Following station
towards Uxbridge or Hounslow West
Piccadilly line
1906-34
towards Cockfosters
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