London underground's hidden symbols revealed as secret signs were once used to help illiterate travellers navigate Tube

LONDON’S underground is packed full of secret signs that were once used to help illiterate travellers navigate the tube.

Architect Leslie Green gave each station he designed a different, and beautiful, tiling so uneducated Londoners would recognise their home stations.

Here we take a look at some of the stations’ fabulous artwork – that busy Londoners might not notice.


Finsbury Park station is home to gorgeous orginial tiling.

The images show six vintage hot air balloons rising up.

Its thought that these represent the balloon flights held at Finsbury Fields which first began in 1784.

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Seven Sisters stationCredit: Flickr/Diamond Geezer

Seven Sister station on the Victoria line is home to this green tiled mural.

The design, by Hans Unger, shows seven trees on a green background.

This is a nod towards the tradition of seven sisters planting seven trees in the area.

Over the years the trees in Seven Sister have been replaced a number of times – including in 1996 by a group of five families, each with seven sisters.


The final stop of the Victoria line, Brixton, is home to a funny mural.

The titled design, also by Hans Unger shows a pile of bricks – a pun on Brixton.


Passengers disembarking at Stockwell station may notice a blue and white mural when getting off their train.

The blue and white pattern with a dash of orange, is supposed to represent a swan.

This is a nod to the nearby Irish nightclub/bar – The Swan – which has existed since the 1930s.


Pimlico's artwork links the station to the nearby Tate Britain.

The pattern is based on Peter Sedgley's painting called 'Go'.


Victoria station is home to one of the most simple tiled murals.

The design, created by Edward Bawden pays homage to Queen Victoria, whom the station and the Victoria line are named after.

The picture is based on a silhouette of the monarch by Benjamin Pearce.


Green Park boasts another colourful design created by Hans Unger.

His creation, which shows green, yellow, blue, black and yellow dots, aims to show an aerial view of Green Park.


Oxford Circus is home to a striking blue-tiled mural.

The clever pattern, by Hans Unger, is supposed to show the circle of the Oxford Circus road junction and how the Central (in red), Victoria (in blue) and Bakerloo (in brown) lines.

All of these lines interchange at the station.


King's Cross St Pancras has a mural designed by Tom Eckersley.

He made a play on words when he created the design – which shows five crowns in the shape of a cross.


Walthamstow Central station is home to a wallpaper-like tile design.

The pattern, by Julia Black, commemorates Victorian artist William Morris.

He lived nearby, and a gallery close to the station now shows his art.

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