“You’ve simply GOT to see the basement,” one imagines the estate agent will say. “Big enough to drive a train through it. What’s that? Yes, it is a bit dark, but stick a couple of bright lamps down here and it’ll be absolutely perfect for interrogating a Nazi. And it’s yours for a mere £60m.”
Deemed no longer an operational necessity by its owners, the Ministry of Defence, the disused Brompton Road Tube station in west London is to be sold on the open market.
It’s been almost 80 years since passengers last descended its traditional tiled staircase, having been shut in 1934, when, owing to its close proximity to other stations, an eventuality you might think eminently foreseeable, it ceased to be economically viable.
As well as a chunk of the Underground, buyers will get a serious slice of history. It was from here that the placement of anti-aircraft guns around London was co-ordinated. Churchill is thought to have visited the command centre, and later, when Hitler’s Deputy Führer Rudolf Hess crash-landed in Scotland, historians believe he was brought to Brompton Road for interrogation (before being moved on to the Tower of London).
It is hoped the building will become something of a tourist attraction, possibly involving the installation of restaurants and bars, though one thing should be made clear. Everything below 60 feet remains the property of Transport for London, which seems fair enough as Tube trains will continue to pass through, though it means that the slightly ambience-sapping “Danger of Death – Keep Out” signs across various doors will have to stay.