Cabmen’s shelter, Grosvenor Gardens, London SW1

From the Historic England entry:

“Cabmen’s shelter first erected in 1906 on Hobart Place and later relocated to Grosvenor Gardens. A slightly modified version of the 1882 Maximilian Clarke ‘ornamental’ design for the Cabmen’s Shelter Fund.

MATERIALS: oak frame with deal cladding (painted green) and an oak shingle roof.

PLAN: rectangular footprint, with an open-plan galley kitchen and communal cabmen’s mess area.

EXTERIOR: a single-storey shelter of seven main bays with three end bays, set on an elevated platform which straddles the pavement and the road. Horizontal and vertical members of the timber frame are expressed with panels of vertical boarding set between. The entrance door is on the north-east side with a central pivoting serving window from the kitchen galley to the north-west end. Square-headed, six-light windows with glazing bars and pivoting hopper lights above (mostly replacement frosted plastic glazing) are distributed evenly along both sides of the shelter; two sets to the entrance side flanking the entrance and a trio on the opposing side, of which the northern pair have been painted over. The south-east end has a set of three windows, matching those to the side elevations, occupying each of its bays. Fretwork panels bearing the ‘CSF’ monogram embellished with ribboned garlands are set below the eaves course, positioned alternately between window bays on the sides of the shelter. The roof is half-hipped and has overhanging eaves with exposed joists. Louvered gablets are set to the ends and to each side, and a square, louvred ventilation lantern with ornamental dormers in the centre of the ridge is capped with a tented rooflet.

The building of new shelters continued throughout the 1880s, though started to tail off towards the end of the century. Between 1890 and 1911 the focus shifted towards upkeep and repair of existing cabins and consequently only seven new structures were built over the period, this taking the operating number to its peak of 47. Owing to the relatively small number of new shelters being built around the turn of the century, there was no attempt to make anything more than modest alterations to the 1882 prototype, despite Clarke being succeeded as the Honorary architect in 1898 by M Starmer Hack. The Grosvenor Garden example, which was originally erected on Hobart Place in 1906, reflects the longevity of the ‘ornamental’ model. The only notable modifications to the 1882 form being the simplified louvred boarding gablets (replacing decorative motifs) and some minor modifications to the proportions and detailing of the roof design.”

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