Barbican Station first opened on 23rd December 1865 as Aldersgate Street, as part of a short extension of the Metropolitan Railway from Farringdon to Moorgate. It was then called Aldersgate(1910-24), Aldersgate and Barbican(1924-68) and Barbican thereafter.
The street level buildings for the station are rather uninspiring modern constructions, the previous ones having been damaged during the Second World War and then finally demolished in the 1950s. There are some more period features at platform level, such as the arches that are synonmous with much of the Circle/Metropolitan Line within inner London.
The station is currently served by the Hammersmith and City Line, Circle Line and Metropolitan Line. Crossrail will pass close by the station and an interchange is to be built here with the new Farringdon station on that line.
The Pub: The Fox and Anchor, 115 Charterhouse Street, EC1M 6AA
The first thing that greets you as you leave the station is the imposing Barbican Estate and Centre. You could dedicate an entire blog to the Barbican, its divided opinion ever since it was completed in the mid 1970s and looks like it will continue to do so. Whatever way you look at it, there is something eerily impressive about it all.
The pub we visited was a few minutes down the road, on Charterhouse Street, just by the historic Smithfields Market. The Fox and Anchor itself has a very impressive period exterior. Inside, the pub is decked out in a smart, classic style. It is quite thin and narrow, as many pubs within the city are. That said we did manage to get a seat.
It offers a wide selection of ales, beyond the usual London Pride/Doombar selection. My friend went for a Milk Stout for the novelty value but wasn’t overwhelmed by the flavour. I went for Seduction which had a more conventional ale taste. From a quick glance at their menu, they also offer rather posh looking pub food. The Fox is also a mini-hotel, with six rooms if you’re feeling suitably flush with cash. Unsurprisingly they aren’t cheap.
If you’re in this historic part of town, I strongly recommend a trip to The Fox and Anchor. If you’re feeling adventurous with the beers, I recommend asking for a sample first!