Urban explorer captures Highgate’s phantom station on film

A rookie urban explorer has captured some rare images of Highgate Tube’s phantom sister station.

Freelance photographer Nelson Pereira saw a friend’s snaps of the station and thought it would be an ideal location for his very first “urbex” trip - street slang for the urban exploration movement.

The abandoned station sits directly above the current Highgate Underground station.

Mr Pereira squeezed through an opening in a fence at the mouth of an old tunnel to access the station, accompanied by a friend.

The 25-year-old said: “My heart was pumping with fear of what could be in there, but also excitement to get to the other side.

“For me it’s a sense of adventure doing urban exploration trips, but also it has a sense of privilege as you are seeing something beautiful that many people unfortunately do not get to see.”

Highgate Highlevel station, as it is known, has been closed for 50 years but was part of a railway line to Edgeware established in the 1860s.

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In the 1930s there were plans to electrify a new branch of the Northern Line running from Finsbury Park through Stroud Green, Crouch End, Highgate, Cranley Gardens and Muswell Hill, to Alexandra Palace.

The plans were shelved after the war, but a steam powered skeleton service from King’s Cross to Alexandra Palace passed through the station until 1954.

Devotees of the worldwide urban exploration movement shoehorn their way into boarded-up railway stations, factories, and hospitals for the photographic thrill and post their images online swapping historical anecdotes.

But Mr Pereira, who lives in south London, highlighted he has only entered buildings if he could do so without damaging or removing anything and that serious urban explorers stick to the motto “take only photographs, leave only footprints”.

He said: “The feeling you get when you arrive in a room with old d�cor or find old documents is amazing and really gets you thinking.”

Another target in Highgate for urban explorers in recent times has been Witanhurst, a derelict but decadent Georgian mansion overlooking Highgate Village.