Kingsway telephone exchange

From Academic Kids

Kingsway telephone exchange was a Cold War-era hardened telephone exchange underneath High Holborn in London.

It was built as a deep-level shelter underneath Chancery Lane tube station in the early 1940s. Like many of the deep level shelters it was not used for its intended purpose (an air raid shelter) and was used as a government communications centre.

The site was given to the General Post Office (GPO) in 1949. The Post Office was then responsible for telephones as well as postage. The two-tunnel shelter was extended by the addition of four parallel tunnels at right-angles to the originals. It was completed by 1954.

In 1956 it became the termination point for the first transatlantic telephone cable - TAT1.

By 1995 only the main distribution frame was still in service. This reportedly has been removed.

Entrances

Kingsway Telephone Exchange had three entrances. One (still extant) is next to a shopfront at 32 High Holborn. Another is a goods lift on Furnival Street. The third one, a complex of ventilation towers and a passenger lift at Tooks Court, was demolished in 2001.

See also: Anchor Exchange, Guardian Exchange

External link


Note: This site should not be confused with Kingsway Underpass

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