Embankment station first opened as Charing Cross on 30th May 1870 on the Metropolitan District Railway. What is now the Bakerloo Line arrived here in 1906, but confusingly called itself Embankment while the MDR platforms were still Charing Cross. The Northern Line followed soon after and after a variety of name changes, it finally settled on Embankment in 1976.
This station always reminds me of my early trips to London, when we used to get off here to go to the now sadly defunct Museum of the Moving Image on the Southbank. It’s now the BFI Cinema.
The station also has some very 80s artwork on the Northern line platforms, as you can see in the gallery. This is also where you can still( as of May 2013) here the old style ‘Mind the Gap’ announcements. This was recently reinstated at the request of the widow of the man who voiced the original recording.
Embankment station was built at the same time as Sir Joseph Bazalgette’s Victoria Embankment. The project was originally spurred on by London’s ever growing need for a modern sewerage system. His great great grandson, Peter Bazalgette, of the production company Endemol, was responsible for bringing TV shows such as Big Brother to our screens. I’ll leave you to come up with your own metaphors there…
The Pub: Princess of Wales, 27 Villiers Street, WC2N 6ND
The journey between Embankment and Charing Cross on the Northern Line must surely be one of the shortest on the network, so finding a pub closest to Embankment isn’t as easy as it seems.
The Princess of Wales is suitably at the southern end of Villiers Street to qualify. It’s a Nicholsons pub but seems quite fresh and contemporary in comparison to some of their more ‘heritage by numbers’ places you can find elsewhere in Central London. There is a dining room upstairs but we didn’t venture up there. According to the display on the walls, Benjamin Franklin had an association with the pub. It wasn’t immediately clear to me what it was though.
On top of the usual ales there was also a welcome reappearance of ‘Hoptimus Prime’. In short, this is a decent enough place to have a quick drink. But unless you have to have a drink right by Embankment, there are plenty better places closer to Trafalgar Square.