Another building in Belgravia has just been awarded protected status, only this time it’s not a Regency townhouse nor a stately embassy building, but a small, humble cabbie shelter.
The green cabman’s shelter in Grosvenor Gardens, one of only 13 still in existence in London, has just had its status elevated to mark 70 years since the UK introduced the listed buildings system. The shelter is now a Grade II listed building, and joins the ranks of London’s Coliseum and Battersea Power Station as being ‘of special interest’.
Head of Listing at Historic England, Debbie Mays, said: “For 70 years the most special historic sites have been protected through listing”.
“Born from the destruction of World War Two, listing has allowed us to ensure thousands of places keep their special interest and help to tell England’s extraordinary story.”
The shelter, built in 1904 for hansom cab drivers and run by the Cabmen’s Shelter Fund, is still in use today.
The Cabmen’s Shelter Fund was set up in 1875 to manage shelters for the benefit of London’s cab drivers. For those in need of refreshment or sustenance, these buildings or ‘shelters’ provided an important function, as the law prohibited drivers from leaving their cab while parked in the cab stand.
The cabbie shelter in Grosvenor Gardens has been given listed status along with five other buildings.
Buildings are listed if they are considered to be of architectural or historical interest or of national value. Listed status protects a building in that it cannot be altered (or even demolished) without first securing listed building consent, helping to preserve it for future generations. There are many Grade I, Grade II*, and Grade II listed buildings in Belgravia. The Portuguese Embassy at 11 Belgrave Square is a Grade I listed building, which marks it out as being of ‘exceptional interest’.
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