All 13 Surviving Green Cab Shelters Now Have Listed Status

By M@

Looks like this article is a bit old. Be aware that information may have changed since it was published.

Last Updated 09 April 2024

All 13 Surviving Green Cab Shelters Now Have Listed Status

If you like maps and history, then you'll love Londonist: Time Machine, our weekly newsletter about the city's past.

Green cabman's shelter in Wellington Place, St John's Wood at night
Image courtesy of Historic England

The green cab shelter in St John's Wood just got listed status, meaning all 13 surviving shelters are now protected.

These shelters were built as a place of respite for Victorian cabbies in horse-drawn vehicles. 150 years later, the cabbies still turn up to London's green cab shelters, only now they're in electric and hybrid vehicles, juggling mobile hailing apps.

The cab trade might have changed beyond recognition, but the green cab shelters have not. They still provide a hot meal, a steaming cuppa and a bit of camaraderie for any cabbie who stops by.

Historic England has just bestowed Grade II listed status on the shelter on Wellington Place, St John's Wood. It's the last of the 13 surviving shelters to receive this heritage status, which protects it from significant alteration or redevelopment. The shelter was one of the last to be built (sometime during the first world war), hence why it's a little late to the 'listed' party.

The buildings have become cherished landmarks around the city. You'll find them in Russell Square, Temple Place, Chelsea Embankment and Warwick Avenue among other locations (all north of the river, amusingly).

Although you have to be a cabbie to step inside, many will serve refreshments to the wider public through a side hatch (and they're much cheaper than a Pret).

A cab driver sits inside the green cab shelter on Pond Street
Inside a cab shelter. Image courtesy of Historic England

The first shelter was commissioned in 1875 by the philanthropic Cabmen’s Shelter Fund. The idea was dreamed up by Captain George C Armstrong, editor of The Globe newspaper, who'd struggled to find a sober cabman. Under his stewardship, the first green shelter was opened on Acacia Road, St John's Wood in 1875... just around the corner from this newly listed shelter from a generation later.

2025 will mark the 150th anniversary of the initiative, so it's good to see all 13 survivors are well protected for the future of the cab trade, whatever that may bring.