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As part of a scheme to rationalise its estate by selling off unused property and land, the Ministry of Defence has sold a former London Underground station, which was used during the Second World War as a command centre, for £53 million. Image shows original tiling at the platform level. Picture credit Shell Daruwala, Crown copyright

Historic MoD property goes down the tube for £53m

As part of a scheme to rationalise its estate by selling off unused property and land, the Ministry of Defence has sold a former London Underground station, which was used during the Second World War as a command centre, for £53 million.

Brompton Road former undergound station library image open gov licence fmj March 14

Brompton Road former underground station

The unique property at 206 Brompton Road was put on the market in September 2013 by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation. It is expected the property will now be used for a predominantly residential development.

The tube station opened in 1906 and was designed by English architect Leslie Green. It closed in 1934 after London Underground decided it was no longer financially viable. The building was later taken over by the War Office and used as an anti-aircraft operations room. 

The site is located next to the Grade II* listed Brompton Oratory, Brompton Square, and is metres away from Harrods. The 28,000-square-foot property contains a drill hall, garages, offices and a mess above ground.

The sign on this doorway deep underground in Brompton Road station still warns of wartime hazards long after their removal Picture credit Shell Daruwala, Crown copyright

The sign on this doorway deep underground in Brompton Road station still warns of wartime hazards long after their removal Picture credit Shell Daruwala, Crown copyright

It has recently has been occupied by the University of London Air Squadron, the London Universities Royal Naval Unit, and air cadets of 46F Squadron Air Training Corps.  

There are also several subterranean areas, previously used as part of the former Brompton Road underground station, but these have been left largely unused since the end of the Second World War.

There are few relics left other than a large map of London (pictured below) and MOD is working with the National Archives to ensure the map is recorded. MOD has worked with both the National Archives and English Heritage on the preservation of artefacts at Brompton Road.

The tube platform and tube line itself are the property of Transport for London and the new owner will have no access to either.

A huge anti-aircraft operations map for central London in a lift well deep underground is one of the last remaining signs of the station wartime history library image Picture- Shell Daruwala Crown copyright

A huge anti-aircraft operations map for central London in a lift well deep underground is one of the last remaining signs of the station wartime history library image Picture- Shell Daruwala Crown copyright

Defence Minister Andrew Murrison, said:

“The Ministry of Defence is committed to selling off its surplus land and property in order to provide the best possible value for money to the taxpayer. At the same time we take our role as a custodian of the nation’s history very seriously and have been working to record the historic significance of the building.”

It is expected the property will now be used for a predominantly residential development, while the money raised will be ploughed back into the defence budget.

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