So you've got a date at Mansion House — that Palladian-style confection in the City, where the Lord Mayor of London officially hangs out.
Maybe you've got tickets for one of the Tuesday guided tours. Perhaps you're such a hot-shot, the Lord Mayor has personally requested you to attend a white tie dinner. (Good for you.)
But word of warning: don't alight at Mansion House tube station. You'll lose minutes off your life that you will never get back.
You see, Mansion House is not the closest station to Mansion House. It's not the second-closest either.
That's right — a succulent nugget of tube trivia to stash in your back pocket for a rainy day/pub quiz is that Mansion House tube station is only the third closest station to Mansion House.
It's a full three minutes' walk from the Mayor's residence, while Cannon Street is two, and Bank (assuming you use the correct exit) is just one.
The reason, of course, is the order in which the stations were built. Mansion House station opened as the new terminus for the then-Metropolitan District Railway (now District line) back in 1871 — and at the time, was the closest Underground station to the Mansion House. That changed in 1884, when Cannon Street's Underground station opened, followed by Bank's introduction on the Waterloo & City line in 1898.
So if you're headed to Mansion House via the Central, Northern, Waterloo & City line or DLR, alight at Bank. And if you're headed there via the District/Circle lines westbound, get off at Cannon Street. If you're heading in on the D&C eastbound, however, that's when it makes sense to hop off at Mansion House station (because of the extra time it'd take you to tube from here to Cannon Street). Clear as mud? Excellent.
More Mansion House trivia? Go on then:
- Passengers in 1926 were wowed by a newfangled 'mechanical booking clerk' trialled at the station, which gave you the ticket AND the correct change!
- 'Zebra lines' were painted in the station's subway in 1932, in an effort to get people to stick to the left. Not sure it worked, as haven't seen any zebra lines lately.
- In 1964, four students caused the station to be evacuated during rush hour, when they left a parcel on a train, labelled "Explosive". Hilarious bantz, chaps.
Research aided by the brilliant British Newspaper Archive.