The station was planned by the Great Northern and Strand Railway (GN&SR), which had received parliamentary approval for a route from Wood Green station (now Alexandra Palace) to Strand in 1899. After the GN&SR was taken over by the Brompton and Piccadilly Circus Railway (B&PCR) in September 1901, the two companies came under the control of Charles Yerkes' Metropolitan District Electric Traction Company before being transferred to his new holding company, the Underground Electric Railways Company of London (UERL) in June 1902. To connect the two companies' planned routes, the UERL obtained permission for new tunnels between Piccadilly Circus and Holborn. The companies were formally merged as the Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway following parliamentary approval in November 1902. The linking of the GN&SR and B&PCR routes at Holborn meant that the section of the GN&SR south of Holborn became a branch from the main route. The UERL began constructing the main route in July 1902. Progress was rapid, so that it was largely complete by the Autumn of 1906. Construction of the branch was delayed while the London County Council carried out slum clearances to construct its new road Kingsway and the tramway subway running beneath it and while the UERL decided how the junction between the main route and the branch would be arranged at Holborn.
The station is located at the junction of High Holborn and Kingsway and is in Travelcard Zone 1. Close by are the British Museum, Lincoln's Inn Fields, Red Lion Square, Bloomsbury Square and Sir John Soane's Museum. Before the closure of the original London tram network in 1952, Holborn provided an interchange between trams and tubes, via the underground Holborn tramway station located a little distance south of the underground railway station. This was the only part of London with an underground tram system, and Holborn tramway station (named Great Queen Street when first opened) is still extant beneath ground, though with no public access. The station has cash machines, Euro cash machines, payphones, wi-fi and (rather long) escalators.
Connections: Central Line. London Buses routes 1, 8, 19, 25, 38, 55, 59, 68, 91, 168, 171, 188, 242, 243, 341, 521 and X68 and night routes N1, N8, N19, N35, N38, N41, N55, N68, N91, N98, N171 and N207 serve the station. ST GILES STREET, WC1: From 1000 Tuesday 15 September until 1800 Saturday 31 October, route N68 will start and finish in Aldwych due to connection works at CentrePoint.