Like all stations on the Cockfosters extension, Bounds Green station which opened on 19 September 1932, set new aesthetic standards, not previously seen on London's Underground. During the planning period of the extension to Cockfosters, alternate names for this station, "Wood Green North" and "Brownlow Road" were considered but rejected.
Architecturally, this tube station, designed in the typical "Box-style" of the architect Charles Holden by his colleague C. H. James, is a well-preserved example of the modernist house style of London Transport in the 1930s. The octagonal frontage is flanked by a ventilation tower.
Two escalators take passengers from the ticket hall down to the platforms with a central fixed stairway. These machines were installed in 1989 and 1991, replacing the original 1932 machines. The current installations are Otis MH-B type of 15.8m vertical rise.
The sub-surface areas of the station are tiled in biscuit coloured tiles lined with red friezes. The station tunnels have, in common with those of Southgate, a diameter of 21 feet (6.4 metres). In contrast, the much busier Wood Green, Turnpike Lane and Manor House have 23 foot (7 metre) diameter platform tunnels. The construction of "suicide pits" between the rails was also innovative. These were built in connection with a system of passageways under the platforms to give access to the track.
On the night of 13 October 1940, a lone German aircraft dropped a single bomb on houses to the north of the station. The destruction of the houses caused the north end of the westbound platform tunnel to collapse, killing or injuring many people amongst those sheltering from the air raid. The train service was disrupted for two months. A memorial plaque (at the north end of the westbound platform) erroneously commemorates "sixteen Belgian refugees and... three British citizens who died" in the attack. The records of the civilian deaths held by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission indicate that in fact sixteen people died at the scene - only three of whom were Belgian -
with a seventeenth dying in hospital the following day. Approximately twenty people were injured, but survived.
The station was refurbished as part of Transport for London’s £10 billion Investment Programme. The works were completed overnight and in a series of weekend closures. New train indicators were placed and much of the flooring and tiling has been cleaned/replaced.