Kennington tube station

Kennington London Underground

Station entrance
Location of Kennington in Central London
Location Kennington Park Road
Local authority Southwark
Managed by London Underground
Number of platforms 4
Fare zone 2
London Underground annual entry and exit
2012 Increase 4.59 million[1]
2013 Increase 4.68 million[1]
2014 Increase 4.96 million[1]
2015 Increase 5.53 million[1]
Key dates
1890 Opened (C&SLR)
1923 Closed for reconstruction
1925 Reopened
1926 Opened (Charing Cross branch)
Other information
Lists of stations
WGS84 51°29′19″N 0°06′20″W / 51.48861°N 0.10555°W / 51.48861; -0.10555Coordinates: 51°29′19″N 0°06′20″W / 51.48861°N 0.10555°W / 51.48861; -0.10555
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Kennington is a London Underground station on Kennington Park Road in Kennington on both the Charing Cross and Bank branches of the Northern line.[2] It is within the London Borough of Southwark. Its neighbouring stations to the north are Waterloo on the Charing Cross branch and Elephant & Castle on the Bank branch; the next station to the south is Oval.[2] The station is in Travelcard Zone 2.[2]


The station was opened on 18 December 1890 as part of London's first deep-level tube, the City & South London Railway (C&SLR) (now the Bank branch of the Northern line). The name 'Kennington' was adopted instead of 'Kennington Park Road' although in fact it was in the civil parish of Newington and thence became part of Southwark rather than in the Kennington part of Lambeth. The layout was originally similar to the current[n 1] arrangement at Borough, with one platform (the northbound) having level access to the lift, and the other (the southbound) being one floor below it.

The northbound platform (Bank branch), looking south. The door concealing the original platform entrance is just visible in the middle of this photograph, at the left.
The southbound (Bank branch) platform, looking north, showing one of the original entrances, now concealed behind a door

Two extra platforms were added in 1926, when the connection via Waterloo to Embankment on the former Charing Cross, Euston & Hampstead Railway (now the Charing Cross branch) was built. At that time the old northbound platform was reconstructed, so that the track runs down the other side of the tunnel (to allow cross-platform interchange), resulting in unusually large tunnel mouths; this also produced an apparently mysterious door in the wall opposite the platform - the original access to the platform is concealed behind the door.

Since the original access to the northbound platform had been level with the lifts, it would now have been necessary for passengers to ascend stairs, cross a bridge over the tracks, and then descend again. Therefore, to ease the burden on passengers, the lift landing was raised up, by one floor, to the bridge level; this is why there are now so many stairs to the southbound platform. The old entrances to this platform, which had a more decorative appearance than the current entrances, still survive; despite this, the existence of these abandoned areas is not generally known to the public.

Unlike the other original C&SLR stations at Stockwell, Oval and Elephant & Castle, which were all rebuilt during the 1920s modernisation, and despite the major works taking place underground, Kennington's surface building saw little in terms of a physical update at that time. It is therefore the only station of the C&SLR's original section still in a condition close to its original design.

In order to improve the ventilation facilities of the station, without harming the historic fabric of the surface station, additional staff access from the surface to the tunnels has recently[n 2] been built a short distance to the north, on the opposite side of the main road (adjacent to the pub). The station reopened after its first extensive refurbishment in more than eighty years.

Despite having a heavy footfall from all the transferring passengers from the Southbound Charing Cross branch service, the Southbound Bank branch platform has no advertising panels opposite the platform.


The station has two passenger lifts but no escalators.[3] The platforms can also be reached via the 79-step staircase.[3]

Refurbishment work at Kennington was completed in 2005.[4]


The 20 A1-sized panels inside the two lifts, normally used for posters, were occupied in 2010 by the work of the 16 MA students at the City & Guilds of London Art School.[5] This public art display was held to coincide with the City and Guilds MA Fine Art Show (9–12 September 2010), when the students showed their work in the Georgian surroundings of the school’s historic site on the edge of Cleaver Square just a two-minute walk from here.[5]

Since 2005 Art Below have set about changing the everyday travelling experience, transforming entire platforms and corridors using advertising space to display the works of emerging artistic talent. This was the first time that they had transformed a lift into an art gallery![5]

Services and connections

Train frequencies vary throughout the day but generally operate every 3–6 minutes between 06:01 and 00:19 northbound to Edgware or High Barnet via the Charing Cross[6] or Bank Branch[7] and every 2–5 minutes between 06:01 and 00:41 southbound.[8] During peak times, northbound trains are also scheduled to terminate at Mill Hill East.[6][7] An average time taken for a Northern line train to travel between Waterloo and Kennington is approximately 3 minutes and 50 seconds.[9]

London Bus routes 133, 155, 333 and 415 and night routes N133 and N155 serve the station.[10]

Kennington loop

A loop tunnel south of the station enables southbound Charing Cross branch trains to be terminated at Kennington, leave the station in a southward direction and, traversing the loop, enter the northbound Charing Cross branch platform.[11] Because of the arrangement of junctions, trains using the loop cannot reach the northbound Bank branch platform nor can trains from the southbound Bank branch reach the loop. For southbound Charing Cross branch or Bank branch trains to reach the northbound Bank branch platform a reversing siding between the two running tunnels must be used.

Because of the layout, it is almost always southbound Charing Cross branch trains that terminate at Kennington. One of the station's four platforms is thus mainly used by terminating trains and sees relatively few operational southbound departures.

Notes and references


  1. as of 2015
  2. 2010


  1. 1 2 3 4 "Multi-year station entry-and-exit figures" (XLS). London Underground station passenger usage data. Transport for London. April 2016. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  2. 1 2 3 Transport for London (January 2016). Standard Tube Map (PDF) (Map). Not to scale. Transport for London. Archived (PDF) from the original on 3 January 2015.
  3. 1 2 Tube Facts - Tube Stations that have no escalators and use lifts to get down to the platforms & Tube Stations with steps
  4. "Station Refurbishment Summary" (PDF). London Underground Railway Society. July 2007. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  5. 1 2 3 Art Below and City & Guilds of London Art School transform the 2 lifts at Kennington Tube into a public art gallery.
  6. 1 2 "Northern line timetable: From Kennington Underground Station to Waterloo Underground Station". Transport for London. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  7. 1 2 "Northern line timetable: From Kennington Underground Station to Elephant & Castle Underground Station". Transport for London. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  8. "Northern line timetable: From Kennington Underground Station to Oval Underground Station". Transport for London.
  9. Tube Facts - Stations that it takes the longest to travel between
  10. Kennington Underground Station - Bus
  11. Pedroche, Ben (2013). "Consolidating the Northern Line". Working the London Underground : from 1863 to 2013. Stroud, England: The History Press. ISBN 9780752494531.
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