Hendon Central Underground Station


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Location Description:
Hendon Central Station, Central Circus, Hendon, Barnet, Greater London
Statutory Address:
Hendon Central Underground Station, CENTRAL CIRCUS, HENDON, BARNET


Ordnance survey map of Hendon Central Underground Station
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Statutory Address:
Hendon Central Underground Station, CENTRAL CIRCUS, HENDON, BARNET

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Location Description:
Hendon Central Station, Central Circus, Hendon, Barnet, Greater London
Greater London Authority
Barnet (London Borough)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:


Underground railway station, 1923, by Stanley Heaps. Hendon Central Station forms the central, ground-floor part of a much larger commercial and residential building, constructed after the station opened in 1923 and completed by 1929. The larger building is one of four quadrants forming Central Circus, at the junction of Watford Way and Queen's Road, and is not included in the listing.

Reasons for Designation

Hendon Central Station is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * Planning interest: designed and built to accommodate a mega set-piece of suburban planning, Hendon Circus (not included in the listing) * Architectural interest: grand Doric stone colonnade to the façade leading to a generously proportioned shopping arcade and lofty ticket hall: an exemplar of the traditionalist strand of London Underground architecture promoted by Stanley Heaps in the early 1920s * Intactness: good survival of original features and finishes including hardwood shop fronts and doors, ticket hall floors, ceilings and some tiles, and platform canopies and benches


Hendon Central Station opened on 19 November 1923 and formed part of the extension of what is now the Northern Line. For its first year after opening, until the extension to Edgware was completed in 1924, Hendon Central was the Northern Line terminus. In common with neighbouring stations on this north-western branch of the line, the station was built to designs by Stanley Heaps, architect to London Underground.

The Northern Line originated as the City & South London Railway (C&SLR), which opened in 1890 running from King William Street in the City to Stockwell, and the Charing Cross, Euston & Hampstead Railway (CCE&HR), which opened in 1907 between Golders Green and Charing Cross. An additional branch of the latter ran from Camden Town to Highgate. In 1924, by which time the C&SLR operated from Euston to Clapham Common via the City, the two railways were amalgamated. A new tunnel was built between Euston and Camden Town. The Hampstead branch was extended to Edgware in 1924, the southern branch to Morden in 1937 and the Highgate branch to Mill Hill East and High Barnet in 1935-40. A link was tunnelled between Kennington and Charing Cross in 1937 and it was at this time that the various branches became known as the Northern Line.

In 1907, the Underground Electric Railways Co of London Ltd (UERL) formed by the railway speculator Charles Tyson Yerkes, opened the CCE&HR terminus at the still-rural Golders Green. This provoked surprise, but in fact the new station stimulated development and the area quickly became a suburb. From then, the arrival of the tube in areas well beyond London's traditional hinterland villages such as Highgate, Hampstead and Clapham became a catalyst for the construction of new housing. The new underground railway network allowed the middle and working classes to commute to the capital and but inhabit detached houses with gardens in the spacious, semi-rural suburbs (at least as the advertising posters of the period cast it). The 'Metroland' suburbs built around stations on the Metropolitan line were made famous by John Betjeman, but a similar story could also be told of the five districts where the 'Hampstead tube' extended: Brent Cross, Hendon Central, Burnt Oak, Colindale and Edgware. All five stations arrived in advance of major house building. Most dramatic in its transformation of the area was Hendon Central Station, which opened as a single-storey pavilion, but was designed to be the central portico of a vast, quadrant block forming part of Hendon Circus; this grand piece of suburban planning was completed by 1929. All the 1920s stations on the branch of the line but Colindale, which was destroyed in the Second World War, survive.

Stanley Arthur Heaps FRIBA (1880-1962) was assistant to Leslie Green, the architect to the UERL from 1903. He succeeded Green on the latter's death in 1908. Heaps' first stations, such as those extending the Bakerloo line northwards in 1914-5, were similar to those designed by Green: Arts and Crafts in style and faced with ox-blood tiles. During the 1920s and 30s, Heaps worked closely with Charles Holden (1875-1960) on new tube stations. His work on the Edgware branch of the Northern Line extension most distinctively his own, and was a particular response to the aspirations of the new suburbs. Heaps described the design of the new stations as 'sufficiently dignified to command respect, and sufficiently pleasing to promote affection' but he rejected the need for 'buildings that blatantly advertis[e] the railway'.

Hendon Central Station has undergone some changes in recent years. In 1988 a lorry crashed into one side of the portico, which was consequently repaired to the original design. The introduction of the Underground Ticketing System in the 1980s involved the erection of barriers and automatic ticket machines. In 2008, a lift was inserted in place of one of two original staircases to the platforms. The ticket hall has also been re-tiled.


EXTERIOR: Hendon Central Station comprises a substantial single-storey surface level arcade and ticket hall, a footbridge over the tracks, platform staircases and a lift leading to a single island platform running south-east to north-west. The Portland stone-faced frontage, embedded in the larger Central Circus building, has a projecting full-storey-height Portland stone portico. This has eight paired Doric columns supporting an entablature with a cornice, surmounted by iron railings in a neo-classical design. Affixed to the entablature is original bronze lettering reading 'HENDON CENTRAL STATION'. The pole-mounted Underground roundel on the roof is a modern fixture. The entrance to the station is via the three central entrance bays beyond the colonnade, which are flanked by single bay shop fronts. The stone piers between the entrance bays retain the original black ceramic surrounds to former map or poster displays. The shop to the right of the entrance doors retains some old signage in the transom, which includes the words 'ESTATE AGENTS'. The station's rear elevations are utilitarian except for brick arches and stone keystones to the windows, which are timber sashes arranged in threes.

INTERIOR: the return walls of the shops form an arcade. The shops have the original polished timber display window surrounds and transom lights, divided by classical stone piers. The floor is black-and-white chequerboard quarry tiles and the ceiling has a coved cornice; the lighting is modern. Beyond the arcade is the ticket hall, separated by a set of original timber and glass doors and surrounds, the former with shallow timber pediments, marginal lights, paterae, and bronze fittings.

The interior of the ticket hall is a large cubic space, lit by an attic clerestory with near-square timber sash windows. The ticket hall has ceramic-faced black pilasters to the walls, a chunky dentil cornice below clerestory level, and a black-and-white chequerboard floor tiles. The ceiling has a coved cornice. The wall tiles, white with green and black edging (the house style for this part of the Northern Line), are in part modern replicas of the originals. The ticket counter, machines, barriers and lighting are all modern but there is an original timber surround where there were formerly public telephone booths. Doors between the ticket hall and the footbridge, in the same design as the ticket hall entrance doors, are original.

PLATFORM: The covered footbridge, with part-glazed walls, has arch-braced steel roof trusses bearing timber purlins and rafters, covered with tiles. The platform stairs are timber with metal stick balusters and timber handrails; one of the original two stairs has been replaced with a modern lift. The single island platform between the tracks is covered by the original shallow-gabled lattice girder canopy with timber and glass covering and timber scalloped valances decorated with shallow discs. The platforms retain four benches, set into the space under the platform stairs, two to each platform. In between each pair of benches is a wall-mounted enamel and timber sign, a modern replica of the original. These bear the Underground roundel, giving the name of the station 'HENDON CENTRAL', and a feathered directional arrow and the words 'WAY OUT'. The platform clock, manufactured by the Self-Winding Clock Company of New York, is original.




This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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