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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  • Maggie Keeble


    Fantastic little detail. Love it . Thanks

    May 15, 2019 at 8:17 am
  • David Farrell


    Temple is the only station on the London Underground that shares a name with one on the Paris Metro. Or is that a bit too quirky?!

    May 15, 2019 at 10:25 am
  • Alan Huntley


    Hi Katie, have you any info on the old Mark Lane station? I know there is a pedestrian subway under the road in Byward St and it looked like is could have been an entrance to the platforms as there were semi circular shapes like what you could see in Liv. St tube stairs between two platforms. I recall the station got a mention in an old novel I read, but dont recall its name.

    May 15, 2019 at 2:58 pm
  • Alan Huntley


    The entrance or exit is outside the church outside the twin modern low rise office block in Tower Place. Used to walk through it every working day but did not take in the details at the time!

    May 15, 2019 at 4:41 pm
  • Olga Bea Solé


    Hi, I love this kind of post. It’s very interesting…I like so much your histories about London. Thank you

    May 16, 2019 at 9:32 am
  • Patricia Golding


    I love London, history, architecture, quirky facts and strange places so you have the absolute Dream Job! Thank you so much for sharing all your information and photographs with all of us who can’t easily get to the city. 👍🤓

    October 26, 2019 at 4:27 pm
  • Margot ann marchant smith


    Hi! I was very proud when I saw this ..i was the supervisor at temple station..the ‘poster men’ used to come and slap up new ad. posters on this site. One time i was standing outside chatting to them and said it looked bad as they were not removing the old layers properly. They were not happy..but agreed to strip it down. There was a bit of the map! ..i told them to stop. Called my manager..and the london transport museum..they responded..and were very happy..the museum wanted to take it…and keep it! I fought my corner..I spent more time at that station than anywhere else over 17yrs! I also insisted on hanging baskets later..2 outside..and 3 in the booking hall..looked great! Happy memories! Thank you!

    February 27, 2020 at 7:28 pm
  • Margot ann marchant smith


    My pleasure! I worked at the old Westminster station as well..night shifts there were spooky..and of course there was that entrance to parliament there as well. There’s a pub. off whitehall that the MP s used to drink in..and. a bell would ring in there when they were called back to a vote etc. Can’t remember the name now! Mansion House another weird one..passengers only see the modern bit..all the rest of it..again..spooky! Keep doing it..and enjoy!

    March 1, 2020 at 9:53 pm
  • Edward Scoble


    It have another underground line on the maps which isn’t shown as part of the Underground; the Waterloo and City Line, which is very visible on the maps.

    August 27, 2020 at 7:48 pm
  • Christopher Harry


    A curious period on the history of the Underground Map. Note that there are no apostrophes in King’s Cross, Queen’s Road, Shepherd’s Bush, Earl’s Court, St John’s Wood and all the others that should have one – except, oddly, St Mary’s. It’s also at the time when it was Piccadilly, not Piccadilly Circus.

    January 20, 2021 at 2:17 pm
  • Geraldine Beare


    I still miss the Aldwych which was a very useful station and for me Charing Cross will always be Strand! Apropos of Westminster. My mother worked at Scotland Yard during the early 1960s and I seem to remember her taking me along a dedicated underground passage from Westminster station to the Yard.

    June 26, 2023 at 9:15 am

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