The annual tradition of posting a different vintage image each day during advent, and this year, it’s of London’s old railway stations.


This is the second station in the area. The first opened in January 1863 as the terminus of the world’s first underground railway, a short distance from the current station.

Just a couple of years later, the current station opened, in December 1865 when the Metropolitan line was extended to Moorgate.

Renamed as Farringdon & High Holborn in 1922, as the tiles still show, it dropped the High Holborn in 1936, becoming plain Farringdon.

When Crossrail opens in December 2018, it will become one of the busiest stations in the UK, with a train departing from one of its six platforms every 20 seconds.


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  1. Alex McKenna says:

    The station is in a bad way, and the shops, but it can’t be WW2 bomb damage, before 1936. Difficult to date this photo, as there are no cars or ladies hats, which are always a good clue. But not a cloche anywhere. Plenty of horse manure, so could be rather earlier than 36.

  2. Chris H says:

    That one is the third station building which was started in 1922 and finished in 1923. The first was a temporary building a little to the west ready for the 1863 opening. The second on the site of the present one opened in 1865/6 (sources vary). It was getting busier and congested (and the Met also realised there were letting opportunities to be had from constructing a building incorporating kiosks, shops, and an upper floor.

    Along with several other Metropolitan Railway stations the original station buildings were replaced in the 20s all with the same distinctive off-white faience tiles. (See Aldgate, Great Portland St, Paddington, and Edgware road for some of the other examples of that style still standing.)

    I wonder if the picture was taken in 1923 when it was nearing completion with the two shop units nearest the entrance yet to be constructed, hence the hoardings there; the canopy over the entrance only partly completed; the shop nearest the camera has nothing in the window and is still waiting for a proper sign; and further along on the other side of the entrance a shop appears to have a curtain draped over the window whilst it is being fitted out.

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