St Paul's tube station, with the cathedral in the background
St Paul's is a London Underground station in the City of London, near St Paul's Cathedral's north east corner. Visitors should note that the main entrance to the Cathedral is on the west side, a few minutes' walk from the station itself. The station is on the Central Line, between Bank and Chancery Lane stations, and is in Travelcard Zone 1.
The street above the station platforms was quite narrow (like most mediaeval streets) when the station was being built, and due to the necessity to place the tube lines directly under streets (to avoid compensation for vibration), the eastbound platform is directly below the westbound. For better, or worse, the street has since been widened, perhaps due to bomb damage, destroying what remained of the mediaeval and georgian street frontage, as well as the original station exit.
The station was named Post Office when it opened on 30 July 1900 as it was situated facing the headquarters of the Post Office in St Martin le Grand. However, on 1 February 1937, escalator access was provided, connecting the platforms with a new subterranean ticket office some way to the east. The new location was closer to the more well known St.Paul's Cathedral and so the name of the station was changed.
The original exit and lift access was converted to provide ventilation, and can still be seen (rebuilt) stranded on a traffic island by St. Martin le Grand. The access from platform level is also still highly visible at the foot of the escalators, since the lifts came to the level half-way between the platforms (to provide less steps to reach them than would otherwise be necessary), and the half-level has been cut through by the circulating area at the escalator base.
The station should not be confused with City Thameslink station which opened in 1990 as "St Paul's Thameslink" but is some distance from the tube station. That station was subsequently renamed "City Thameslink" to avoid confusion for the emergency services but for years afterwards many maps and guidebooks in circulation still carried the earlier name.