Part of an abandoned tube station has been sold for conversion into apartments. The disused Brompton Road station, formerly on the Piccadilly Line between South Kensington and Knightsbridge, went to an unnamed buyer for £50 million — much more than the £20 million that previous reports speculated.
Unusually for a ghost station, the building was owned not by Transport for London, but by the Ministry of Defence, who used it for cadet training. Much of the development will undoubtedly be above ground in a complex that includes a sizeable drill-hall (used, among others, by Take That for rehearsals), office space and a bar area, plus a large roof terrace. The new owner also takes possession of numerous underground stairs, passages and tunnels still lined with grimy, glazed tiles from the early 20th century. It’s not known if the buyer will preserve these heritage features.
The station has a chequered history. It closed due to under-use in 1934 after just 26 years in service. The lower levels were later adapted as a command bunker for London’s air defences in World War Two, and some of the maps are still down there. Hitler’s deputy Rudolph Hess was supposedly interrogated here. The station has also claimed at least two lives: once in 1924 when a man shot himself in the head, and again in 1995 when a student’s body was found at the bottom of a ventilation shaft. The deepest levels, including the old platforms, are owned by Transport for London and presumably not part of the sale.