The only historic London cabbies' shelter left unprotected has finally been given listed status.

The green hut in Wellington Place, St John’s Wood, was the last of 13 surviving cabmen's shelters to be given official protection against demolition.

It was finally given Grade II listed status by the Department for Culture, Media and Sports on the advice of Historic England on Friday.

The distinctive green huts first offered a resting place for horse-drawn cab drivers in Victorian London to grab a bite to eat at a time when they were prohibited by law from leaving their carriages unattended.

They were built by the Cabmen’s Shelter Fund between 1875 and 1914 — but fewer than a quarter of the 61 constructed survive in 2024, where they continue to serve today's London taxi drivers.

“The shelters are distinctive relics of the horse-drawn age,” Historic England listing adviser Luke Jacob said. “They’re full of intrigue, history, tea and bacon sarnies.

Ham & High: Relic of Victorian Age in St John's Wood still used by cabbies today

“It is fitting that the final shelter in Wellington Place, lucky number 13, has been recognised as we approach the 150th anniversary of the Shelter Fund.”

The shelters can only be used by those who have passed 'The Knowledge', a test to see whether would-be cabbies have mastered London’s street layout and landmarks, which dates back more than 150 years.

Ham & High: Inside a cabman's shelterInside a cabman's shelter (Image: Historic England)

All 13 surviving shelters were restored in the in the 1980s and 90s by Heritage of London.

The Wellington Place shelter, nicknamed The Chapel, was listed on April 5 by the Department for Culture as “a building of historic importance”, and is now legally protected from demolition or alteration without specific local planning authority permission.

Ham & High: A cabmen's shelter in the 1930sA cabmen's shelter in the 1930s (Image: Historic England)

The idea of shelters at taxi ranks was dreamed up by Captain George Armstrong, a newspaper editor, after he was to get a cab during a storm because the drivers had all sought shelter in pubs.

He helped establish the Cabmen’s Shelter Fund in 1875 and the Seventh Earl of Shaftesbury provided rest stops at ranks along major thoroughfares. The charity still operates today.

Ham & High: The cabmen's shelter in Wellington PlaceThe cabmen's shelter in Wellington Place (Image: Historic England)

The shelters have a small kitchen and space for 10 drivers to sit and have a meal — but “gambling, drinking and swearing are strictly forbidden”.

The first shelter was erected in Acacia Road in St John’s Wood, outside Capt Armstrong’s home!