Exploration: Leslie Green Stations Of The Northern Line

The London Underground maybe a functional and sometimes frustrating piece of infrastructure for some, but for others it’s an architectural gem known the world over. Being over 150 years old, and made up of various former Victorian companies, the Tube has some of the most varied and interesting architectural designs of any mass transit system. None more prominent than the stations of Leslie Green.

In 1903 Leslie Green (born 1875) was appointed chief architect of the newly formed Underground Electric Railways Company of London who were busy in the process of building 3 new lines through the capital: Great Northern, Picadilly & Brompton Railway (Piccadilly Line), The Baker Street & Waterloo Railway (Bakerloo Line) and the Charing Cross, Euston & Hampstead Railway (Northern Line – Charing Cross Branch). Leslie Green was tasked with designing the stations for all 3 lines.

Green designed the stations in a bold uniform ‘Arts & Crafts’ style so that they would be instantly recognisable for the UERL’s new customers. Each station was constructed around a steel two story frame, with ox-blood red tiled façades with large semi-circular windows above wide entrance/exit gates. This December (2014) I went to take a closer look at some of the examples surviving on today’s Northern Line.

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Exploration: The Northern Heights

The Edgware London & Highgate Railway opened in 1867. It was almost immedately taken over by The Great Northern Railway and ran services from Edgware, High Barnet and Alexandra Palace to Finsbury Park via Highgate and then onto Moorgate on what is now the Thameslink Northern City Line.

In 1933 it was announced that the line would be amalgamated into London Underground’s Northern Line as part of The New Works Programme and the entire route was to be electrified during the 1930’s. The scheme became known as ‘The Northern Heights.’ Quick and efficient electric trains would then serve the line to The City, as well as the West End, via a newly constructed tunnel linking the line with the tube network at Archway.

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