London History

.’. The Duke of Wellington’s Mounting Steps .’.


The British Empire may be defunct, but Gentlemen’s Club still reign supreme in this upper crust corner of London. Both the Athenaeum Vlub and the Institute of Directors preside over Waterloo Place, their lavish interiors off limits to the hoi polloi. Outside each is a pair of kerb stones, bearing a rusty plaque: “This horseblock was erected by desire of the Duke of Wellington 1830”. Possibly recycled from materials from Carlton House or the Duke of York Steps, they allowed the Duke to mount and dismount from his horse with ease while visiting the Athenaeum. Whether the shorter members of the club were also permitted to take advantage of the Duke’s steps is unknown.


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