Do you know about every hidden abandoned London Underground station there is?
Even if you love exploring London’s lost tunnels and stations, we bet there’s a few hidden gems you haven’t yet discovered which we’ll try to uncover for you.
There’s one in particular that you wouldn’t even recognise if you saw it today as it’s now a beautiful country house in the middle of virtually nowhere.
READ MORE:The last ever bar on the Tube which cost 2p to get into and closed in 1985
The story of the station is related by a blogger who has visited it and explored it extensively.
It’s way out in rural Essex and maps of the Central Line from 1963 show it perched on the line just before it terminated at Ongar.
Quite why it was decided to build a station out so far out in the sticks is a bit of a mystery.
The lovely Epping Ongar Railway now runs on a former part of the tube network past Blake Hall station
(Image: Essex Live)
But seeing as Blake Hall station was named after a country house about a mile away from it, it’s likely the owner of the house persuaded the rail company to stop there so he could send his farm goods into London to sell.
When the station itself was built in 1865, it was indeed provided with a goods yard.
The line running past Blake Hall was a single-track extension from Loughton to Ongar managed by the Eastern Counties Railway company.
It provided a direct route from Ongar, through Epping and Loughton, and then to central London, with 14 trains a day making the full journey out to Ongar.
Even in the 1950s, when the rest of the line was modernised and electrified, goods trains were still operated by steam on this stretch and continued to call at Blake Hall, the station in the middle of nowhere.
In 1966 though as more and more transport of goods was moved from rail to road, the goods yard at the station closed and freight trains were stopped.
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From then on, the station struggled to attract enough passengers as well and had the unwanted accolade of being the least used station on the network.
Unfortunately its fate was inevitable and it was announced it would close in 1981.
But you can still see the lovely old station building and platform to this day.
Only a novelty railway runs from Ongar Station now
It’s a beautiful setting and the station is now a private house with the owner having rebuilt part of the demolished platform.
But the line that once served the station was also under threat.
The Epping to Ongar extension of the Central Line continued in operation until the September 1994 when it was finally closed.
Nowadays you van only get as far as Epping on the Central Line.
There was talk of bringing it back as part of a private venture but instead a volunteer group of enthusiasts have restored the line between Ongar and North Weald and now the Epping Ongar Railway Volunteer Society run a weekend steam service on the line during the spring and summer months.
So you can enjoy this stretch of rural railway and the amazing old station at Blake Hall thanks to the volunteers, many of whom are former TfL staff.
It’s the perfect spot for a summer holiday railway adventure.
You can check out the railway and book tickets here