The Geeky Hidden Gem at Temple Tube Station

Temple Tube Station has a special place in my heart. Not only was it the starting point for my first ever walking tour (Fleet Street Secrets, find out more here!) But it has a lovely little reward for those that look closely.

On the right hand side of the entrance you can admire this heritage tube map from 1932.

Temple Tube Station

The Heritage Map

The first thing you notice is that it’s nothing like the iconic London Underground map.

Temple Tube Station

This one has the lines overlaid on a geographically accurate map, one of the last to use this technique. Less than a year after this one was published, Harry Beck would unveil his new game-changing design that’s still used today.

But there are more anomalies.

The detail below shows a couple of now-lost tube stations.

Temple Tube Station

Strand was absorbed into Charing Cross (a confusing little episode of history explained in a separate blog post here). Aldwych is another Ghost Station which no longer serves commuters, however it is used frequently for filming and you can buy tickets for tours inside. Have a look from a trip I made in 2018 here.

And there’s more.

Looking at the picture below you’ll spot another two odd names. Firstly Aldersgate, originally this opened as Aldersgate Street in 1865, before becoming Aldersgate & Barbican in 1924 then finally Barbican in 1968.

Temple Tube Station

The other is Post Office, the previous name for today’s St Paul’s Station, given because the General Post Office HQ was nearby.

Further East, shown in the picture below, there’s another strange name; St Mary’s.

Temple Tube Station

St Mary’s opened in 1884 and was named after the huge white church that stood on Whitechapel Road.*

In 1938 Aldgate East station was moved further East, making St Mary’s redundant. It probably didn’t help that both the church and the station were badly damaged during the Blitz.

*Incidentally this was the ‘white chapel’ that gave the area its name. The first church recorded on this site was here 1250-1286 but rebuilt in 1340. Although it survived the Great Fire in 1666 it was rebuilt in 1673 and again in 1875.

So next time you’re by Temple Tube Station have a little look at this map. Any other geeky tune finds? Let me know in the comments!

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