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Loughborough Junction station in 1903

This reconstruction of the station as it existed around 1903 is based in large part on a “Goad’s Insurance Map” of that date – more detail below. But some remnants of the station that existed then remain visible today. Looking at the collection of buildings around the station that still exist, it is tempting to assume that “Loughborough Hall” – which is tightly packed between the main lines and the curved viaduct that heads towards Denmark Hill – might at one point have been part of the station – an entrance and booking hall perhaps.

But all the evidence suggests this was never the case. When the station was at its peak, the entrance was located at the end of what is still named “Station Avenue”, in the V between the main viaduct and the curved viaduct that heads towards Brixton. Here, at ground level, was the booking office which appears to have been in a single storey building built onto the side of the viaduct. This may have had a ticket window, as it appears that the main access to the platforms would involve walking past the booking office, and up a short flight of stairs into a series of passageways connecting five platform access stairways via the viaduct arches.

Each platform had its own shelter and a waiting room of some form. But the main building at platform level seems to have been in the V between the main lines and the ones curving towards Denmark Hill. Here there was a waiting room as well as some “Refreshment Rooms”. This building would have been immediately to the rear of the “Loughborough Hall” building. There is virtually no trace of it now – except for some of the supporting brick walls, with arched openings, below it, which exist in a semi-ruined state.

Four of the platforms were supported on brick collonades, built alongside the viaducts. A couple of these remain largely intact today, but buried amongst other buildings. A third has partial remains. There is no trace of the fourth collonade, which ran along what is now Rathgar Road. For now, I have assumed that it was of a similar style to the ones that partially remain, as it is drawn in a similar way on the Goad map, but at this point I have not found any photographic evidence of it.

The images at right attempt to illustrate the portions of the station below the viaducts and the station buildings at platform level as they existed around 1903, and where remnants of them can still be seen today. Click on the images to see the different versions.

Click on the 3d images below to enlarge them. Click the left and right arrows to see changes through time, or to see different parts of the model highlighted.

More detail

The Goad insurance map

Goad Maps were produced to assist insurance companies in judging the risk associated with various property locations. They cover much of central London, and a few “congested areas” further out, of which Loughborough Junction was obviously considered to be one. The map dated 1903 shows quite a lot of detail, including the usage of most of the various railway arches, and is very useful in reconstructing the original station layout.

An extract from Goad’s insurance map, available from the British Library’s online collection here

 

Early photographs of the station

Although quite a few photographs of the station from the 1950s onwards exist, there are few images from earlier dates.

Below is one of the earliest I have found so far. This is dated around 1900, and it would appear to be taken on the platform for trains towards Brixton – part of the original “Loughborough Road” station. No trace of this platform exists now – it was located above Rathgar Road on what seems to have been a brick-piered collonade similar to the ones used for other platforms.

A view from the Brixton-bound platform. From the Lambeth archives, available online here

Another early photo is available in the London Transport Museum archives here. This is dated in the 1890s, and I believe it is a view of the southern end of the canopy building on the main platforms on the lines towards Herne Hill. Although it might look similar to the canopy building that exists today – in fact it is narrower, and sat in a different location, as you can see in the main images at the top of the page.

 

Parts of the original station visible today

In the 3d model images at the top of this page you can see some indication of where parts of the original station structure survive today.

There is no obvious sign of any of the original booking hall and entrance remaining.

A view (in 2019) of the location of the original booking office and entrance. The booking office would have sat to the right, in front of the portion of the viaduct which has since been replaced with a concrete structure.

However, some of the platforms survive in a partially ruined state, and can be seen from the platform of the current station:

This surviving fragment of one of the original platforms can be seen from the existing station. At the back, what is probably the original wall with parapet tops to the piers that support it below.

Taken from the current station platform again – in the foreground, what would have been the platform for trains towards Herne Hill, and in the background the platforms on the curve that leads towards Denmark Hill.

The ends of three platforms, each sitting atop a brick collonade, would originally have been visible from Coldharbour Lane. Two of them can still be seen.

The dotted lines indicate where the end of one of the platforms would once have been visible. Although part of this platform does survive, further along the viaduct, this end of it was demolished at some point.

Taken from Coldharbour Lane, just to the west of the bridge near the Flaxman Road junction. This is the end of the structure supporting the platform that would have served trains arriving from the Denmark hill direction. The arched collonade can be seen curving away from the camera. Beyond is the side of the “Loughborough Hall” building.

In the top right of this photo, taken from Coldharbour Lane at the junction with Flaxman Road, can be seen the end of the platform that would have served trains heading towards Denmark Hill.