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The Cabbies Shelters Of Old London

June 27, 2018
by the gentle author

Created between 1875 and 1914, sixty of these structures were built by the Cabmen’s Shelter Fund established by the Earl of Shaftesbury¬†to enable cabbies to get a meal without leaving their cabs unattended and were no larger than a horse and cart so they might stand upon the public highway.

Today, only thirteen remain but all are grade II listed and, on my pilgrimage around London in the sunshine, I found them welcoming homely refuges where a cup of tea can be had for just 50p.

Thurloe Place, SW7

Embankment Place, Wc2

Wellington Place, NW8

Chelsea Embankment, SW3

Grosvenor Gardens, SW1

St Georges Sq, SW1

Kensington Park Rd, W11

Temple Place, WC2

Warwick Ave, W9

Russell Sq, WC1

Kensington Rd, W8

Pont St, SW1

Hanover Sq, W1

The shelter attendant at Wellington Place has special spoon-bending powers

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The Pumps of Old London

10 Responses leave one →
  1. Judi Jones permalink
    June 27, 2018

    Thank you for bringing them to our attention: I remember the embankment one from many years ago when I worked nearby, but didn’t know there were others. So pleased they are still up and running, next time I’m in London I’ll look out for them.

  2. Jill Wilson permalink
    June 27, 2018

    Great pictures! One of the things I really enjoy about your blogs (as opposed to reading about this sort of thing in a book or magazine) is your ability to attach as many photos as the subject requires, and this was a classic case in point. I will be visiting the one in Grosvenor Square next week with renewed interest!

  3. June 27, 2018

    The cabmen’s shelters in the nineteenth century were also focussing on temperance for the cab drivers. In some ways this drew analogies with the Metropolitan Drinking Fountain (as well as Cattle Troughs) that ended up taking cattle drovers away from pubs where there were troughs and into a temperance place.

  4. Judith Baxter permalink
    June 27, 2018

    I remember seeing these when I was growing up. Thank you for bringing them to our attention.

  5. June 27, 2018

    How can I share your letters on fb so friends can read them as well. Just want to do occasionally, and Im sure some friends would join your regular letters. Cheers

    Best wishes
    Tony

  6. June 27, 2018

    I have written extensively about London Cabbies’ Shelters:
    I have broken this down to sux sub-sections. This is tge first:
    http://www.cabbieblog.com/green-cab-shelters/
    If any of your readers have any information or reminiscences about these little cafes I would appreciate the input, contacting me on my blog.

  7. Terry permalink
    June 27, 2018

    I am one of your avid reader from NYC. I have dear friends who live on Ladbroke Rd right across the way from the cabbie shelter on Kensignton Park Road. When I visit and look out the window, it bring a smile to me face that they exist

  8. Nicola J permalink
    June 27, 2018

    I’d never heard of cabbies’ shelters. Thank you GA yet again. My education gets better and better.

  9. Dave NoLionsinENgland permalink
    June 27, 2018

    Did you deliberately duck the challenge of where to place the apostrophe? I’m with David Styles above.

  10. Mike Levy permalink
    June 28, 2018

    Wasn’t there one in Whitechapel at one time?

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