Paul Kilfoil's World of Travel, Technology & Sport

Posted on  by Paul Kilfoil.
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Fancy buying an unusual property in a prime location in London, England? Close to many central attractions like Harrod's, South Kensington, Hyde Park, the Victoria & Albert Museum and more? And it is literally on the Picadilly Tube line? Well, you can - Brompton Road underground station is for sale. First opened in 1906, this station was closed in 1934 because of declining passenger numbers. Shortly thereafter the station was acquired by the Ministry of Defence and the platforms were bricked up so that the station itself was completely sealed off from the railway tracks. From 1938 Brompton Road was used as a military anti-aircraft operations centre, first during World War II then later during the Cold War. But by the early 1950's it was deemed to be obsolete; since then the station and all its shafts, rooms and passageways have been locked up and abandoned.

Brompton Road tube station ... a relic from the 1950's

In July 2013 the Ministry of Defence announced that the station was up for sale as part of a cost-cutting measure. Quite what anybody will do with a property that is largely underground is anybody's guess, but they are expecting to get 100 million Pounds for it. There is an above-ground section, one of the familiar old red-brick buildings of the early 1900's, but the main factor driving the staggeringly high price is the prime location of the station - in central London, between Knightsbridge and South Kensington tube stations and within spitting distance of Harrod's department store. The cost of property in London is such that in all likelihood somebody will actually pay that much for it.

So if you fancy a "holiday dungeon" in central London and have a few Bob (quite a few) to spare, here's your chance; just be prepared to spend quite a lot on fixing it up inside because the station hasn't been used for about 60 years. That's a lot of dust to sweep up ... And don't think you'll be able to have your own private entrance to the Tube and avoid the usual London crush - the platforms are still the property of London Underground and will remain bricked up. So you'll have trains rumbling by all day and most of the night, just a few centimetres away, but no access to them if you want to go anywhere. No parking either, although I'm sure it will be possible to convert part of the above-ground building into a garage.

A 1912 Tube map showing the
location of Brompton Road station

Hmm, sounds like a steal. As long as you aren't a lover of sunlight ... at twenty metres below ground you aren't going to get much light in the place. But look on the bright side (pun intended) - at least you don't have to worry about whether your lounge is north- or south-facing.

  © Paul Kilfoil, Cape Town, South Africa