Tucked away on a little side street, not far from Paddington Station, you’ll find Bathurst Mews. Hidden by overhanging plants and a little way away from the main road, this hidden gem is well worth a peek… if only for a quick drop by on the way to the train station!
Wandering around the city, you’ll find plenty of little side streets such as this. Most of the streets were constructed for equestrian use in the 17th and 18th Centuries. The houses consisted of a stable with living quarters above. These streets were in use to stable horses right up until the 19th-Century when motor cars were introduced.
Today, cobbled little lanes lie hidden behind street corners, just waiting to be explored. One of the prettiest mews in London asides from that of Bathurst is Kynance Mews. Come springtime, the streets are filled with wisteria, while in the winter the colourful façades are a welcome break from the grey skies that hang over the city.
Mews lanes find their origins in equestrian use. The small houses were once used as stables for horses, and are a throwback to a time when the entire city ran on horsepower. Altogether, there are 63 converted stable houses lining this pretty street. Almost all have been converted to domestic use. That is, apart from one.
Bathurst Mews is particularly interesting as it still runs two stable schools, the last of their kind. Apart from two years during the Second World War (during which time the area was used for housing motor cars), the stables here have been in constant use since 1835. During the war, nearby Westbourne Terrace was hit by a devastating bomb. Somehow, Bathurst Mews escaped largely unscathed.
Today, the little lane is filled with flowers and painted in vibrant colours. Although this street is reminiscent of many other mews throughout the city, it has its own unique vibe partly through its preservation of a slice of its history.
Though the houses may be old, and their history rich, the majority of the dwellings aren’t actually listed buildings. This means that the residents can change them in whichever way they like, making them excellent dwellings. As such, the mews are now some of the most exclusive and coveted addresses in central London.