South Kensington station is one of the oldest on the London Underground network, initially constructed in 1865.
In its early years of operation it was the southern terminus of the Metropolitan Railway. At that time it had a vaulted glass ceiling across the whole station.
In 1884, South Kensington station was chosen as the location for the grand opening of the Circle line. The District and Metropolitan railways shared the station until they began operating independently, requiring separate tracks and platforms at the station in common with other stations such as Gloucester Road and High Street Kensington.
The station is no stranger to development. It was redesigned in1903, with a new retail arcade designed by George Sherrin. Additions were made to allow for the opening of the Piccadilly line, in 1907, with the ‘Ox-Blood’ building designed by Leslie Green, providing lift access down to the platforms.
There was a parade of shops and residential premises along the northern side of Pelham Street, which were subsequently demolished in the early 1970s, when piles were sunk for a mothballed hotel development.