Farringdon means 'fern covered hill'. William and Nicholas de Faringdon, whose name is likely to have originated from such a place, were two related prominent citizens and Aldermen in the early 13th century. Nicholas purchased the area of the Farringdon ward of the City of London in 1279 and became its Alderman in 1281. In 1394 the ward was split into the still extant Farringdon Within and Farringdon Without. The station was opened on 10 January 1863 as the terminus of the original Metropolitan Railway, the world's first underground metro line. The station, initially named Farringdon Street, was originally a short distance from the present station building. The line ran from the Farringdon area to Paddington, a distance of 4 mi (6 km). The station was relocated on 23 December 1865 when the Metropolitan Railway opened an extension to Moorgate. It was renamed Farringdon & High Holborn on 26 January 1922, and its present name was adopted on 21 April 1936. It was built in conjunction with a freight route to take livestock to a depot to its south to supply Smithfield Market; there are cattle ramps onto the street West Smithfield for this purpose. Smithfield was redesignated as a wholesale 'deadmeat' market only before the initiation of services; the freight station was last used in the 1920s but remains in situ. The lines from Farringdon to King's Cross run alongside the now culverted River Fleet, which was above ground here until 1734.
Farringdon Station has been rebuilt to accommodate longer Thameslink trains and to make other improvements to the station. The existing station building has been refurbished with a new roof canopy covering the north end of all four platforms and a new entrance and concourse facing Turnmill Street. An additional ticket hall has been built on the south side of Cowcross Street providing access to the Thameslink platforms, which have been extended southwards underneath this building, allowing the station to handle 240 m (12-carriage) trains. The Farringdon Crossrail station is being built between Farringdon and Barbican Underground stations and it will have interchanges with both of them. Access at the Farringdon end will be via the new Thameslink ticket hall. Work is anticipated to be completed in 2018. The station has a bridge, lifts, toilets, boarding ramps, payphones and a waiting room.
Connections: National Rail. Hammersmith + City, Metropolitan. London Buses route 63 and night route N63 serve the station.