Arguably one of the most famous closed underground stations in London, Aldwych was originally opened in 1907 as Strand station. Construction of the station began in 1905 and the building that once stood here was the Royal Strand Theatre. The red-tiled frontage was the trademark of the young architect Leslie Green (1875-1908), who was responsible for this iconic material being used on over a dozen Tube Stations. It served as the terminus of the short Piccadilly line branch from Holborn.
Passenger numbers were very low from the 1920s on, and along with the branch it was considered for closure from time to time. During the both World War I and World War II, the empty parts of the station and its tunnels were used to shelter artwork from London’s public galleries and museums (including the famous Elgin marbles) and the general public from the Blitz bombing.
Service was offered only during weekday peak hours from 1962, and thanks to it the station was often used as a film set. In 1994, the station was finally decommissioned, when it was considered too expensive to replace the lifts, compared to the income it generated. Its use in film production did not cease when the station was closed for good. Some of the films shot here include Superman IV (1986), The Patriot Games (1992), V for Vendetta (2006), Atonement (2007), Fast & Furious 6 (2013), and Darkest Hour (2017), among others. Fans of the television series Sherlock may also recognise it as the fictional “Sumatra Road” station.
The station also appeared in a 2002 episode of the paranormal reality show Most Haunted, as some say it’s haunted by a number of spirits.
Know Before You Go
The station can be visited in some of the "Hidden London" tours held by London Transport Museum.
A smaller entrance facade can be located on The Strand, around the corner.