The Knight Tube: A Map

By Londonist Staff Last edited 15 months ago
The Knight Tube: A Map

The night tube has changed London for the better. To celebrate in punning style, we've drawn up a 'knight tube' map — one featuring those stations that have a direct (and occasionally indirect) association with knighthood. Though many stations are linked to men who received knighthoods, there's some genuine shining armour along the way too.

Baker Street

Many say that Baker Street was named after its builder, William Baker. Yet others — including the redoubtable Brewer's Dictionary of London Phrase and Fable — believe Sherlock Holmes's street honours Sir Edward Baker, a friend of the Portman family, who helped them develop this estate in the late 18th, early 19th century.

Barons Court

Nothing to do with the link between a baron and a knight; rather, the tube station is named after the Barons Court estate, planned by Sir William Palliser.

Baker Street: possibly named after a air. Photo: Lee.

Bond Street

Named after Sir Thomas Bond of Peckham, whose motto 'orbis non sufficit' (The world is not enough) was used centuries later for a Bond film.

Chancery Lane

The thoroughfare itself was constructed in the 12th century by the Knights Templar. A Wetherspoon pub around the corner from the station remembers this. Head north instead and you'll find the Sir Christopher Hatton pub.

The Knights Templar are behind a few tube station names. Photo: Matt Brown.

Elephant and Castle

In Denmark, recipients of the Order of the Elephant become knights and are awarded a badge with an elephant and castle design.

Embankment

Named after the huge land reclamation project spearheaded by Sir Joseph Bazalgette.

Holland Park

Holland Park gets its name from Holland House, owned by Sir Henry Rich, who later became Earl of Holland. Before this, the building was nicknamed 'Cope's Castle', and was home to the government official Sir Walter Cope. Two knights for the price of one then.

Sir Jospeh Bazalgette: perhaps there'd be no Embankment without him. Photo: Steve Poole.

Knightsbridge

The most fantastical, and least likely, story behind Knightsbridge's name is that two knights locked horns and killed one another on a bridge here. There was indeed a bridge (crossing the River Westbourne), but 'knight' was once slang for 'lad', and the crossing may just have been a hangout for unenthused teens. Still, its moniker is enough to get this tube station on our map.

Maida Vale

When Sir John Stuart defeated French troops in the Italian town of Maida in 1806, little did he expect to have an area of north London, and then its tube station named after the victory.

Did knights once fight on a bridge that became Knightsbridge? Probably not. Photo: ArUK5.

Moorgate

The tube station stands opposite Armourers' Hall, the traditional home of all things armourial. The interior is decked out with knightly goodies, including this helmet of Sir Henry Lee, Elizabeth I's Master of the Armouries.

Image by M@.

Monument

Named after Sir Christopher Wren's (and Robert Hooke's) Catholic-chiding conflagration column. The adjoining Bank station is named after the Bank of England, many of whose governors have been knights of the realm. The first, Sir John Houblon (1632-1712), featured on the £50 note between 1994 and 2014.

St John's Wood

The name first appeared (in Latin) in the 13th century, after the land around here was gifted to the Knights of St John of Jerusalem.

St John's Wood was once a stomping ground for knights. Photo: Steve Reed.

St Paul's

Another tube station that owes its name to a Sir Christopher Wren monument. Knightrider Street can be found a little to the south.

Sloane Square

From Sir Hans Sloane — 18th century physician and chocolate magnate.

Sir Hans Sloane has left his mark around west London. Photo: Londonist.

Temple

After those Knights Templar again, who set up shop in the area during the mid-12th century.

Tower Hill

If you're willing to hark back 950 odd years, you might argue that the Tower of London and Tower Hill only exist because of one William the Conqueror and his many knights, as immortalised in the Bayeux Tapestry.

Temple station: it wouldn't exist had knights not settled here centuries ago. Photo: Mike Murphy.

Vauxhall

From the 13th century mercenary Sir Falkes de Breauté, who built Falkes' Hall here, later Fox Hall, and later still, Vauxhall. The station also neighbours the well-to-do St George's riverside development.

Warren Street

The street was named in honour of Anne, daughter of Sir Peter Warren, in 1799.

Last Updated 27 February 2017