The first set of stables to be referred to as a mews was at Charing Cross at the western end of The Strand. The royal hawks were kept at this site from 1377 and the name derives from the fact that they were confined there at moulting (or "mew") time. The building was destroyed by fire in 1534 and rebuilt as a stables, keeping its former name when it acquired this new function. On old maps, such as the "Woodcut" map of London of the early 1560s, the Mews can be seen extending back towards the site of today's Leicester Square. This building was usually known as the King's Mews, but was also sometimes referred to as the Royal Mews, the Royal Stables, or as the Queen's Mews when there was a woman on the throne. It was rebuilt again in 1732 to the designs of William Kent, and in the early 19th century it was open to the public. It was an impressive classical building, and there was an open space in front of it which ranked among the larger ones in central London at a time when the Royal Parks were on the fringes of the city and the gardens of London's squares were open only to the residents of the surrounding houses. The present Royal Mews is in the grounds of Buckingham Palace, to the south of Buckingham Palace Gardens, near Grosvenor Place.
In the 1760s George III moved some of his day-to-day horses and carriages to the grounds of Buckingham House, which he had acquired in 1762 for his wife's use, but the main royal stables housing the ceremonial coaches and their horses remained at the King's Mews. However, when his son George IV had Buckingham Palace converted into the main royal residence in the 1820s the whole stables establishment was moved. The old Mews at Charing Cross was demolished and Trafalgar Square was built on the site. The current Royal Mews was built to designs by John Nash and were completed in 1825 (though the Riding School, thought to be by William Chambers, dates from the 1760s). The buildings have been modified extensively since. The Mews houses a stunning collection of carriages including the Gold State Coach, other state coaches, Landaus, Barouches, Sociables, Broughams, Clarences, Phaetons, Victorias, sporting carriages, including a rare Curricle, recreational vehicles, such as the Louis-Philippe Charabanc and a variety of pony carriages, drags and exercise vehicles. In less regular use is Queen Victoria's State Sledge, one of a number of royal sleighs in the Mews. There are also the state cars as well as the horses, liveries and harnesses. Manual wheelchairs are available to borrow free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis for the duration of a visit. Mobility scooters can be used at the Royal Mews. All areas of the Royal Mews have level access. As the Royal Mews is an historic site the floors are uneven and cobbled in places and visitors should take care. Benches are available throughout the visitor route. Accessible lavatories are located half way round the visitor route. Guided tours of the Royal Mews are available free of charge. Verbal description tours are available but must be pre-booked by contacting the Learning bookings team, email@example.com, +44 (0)303 123 7323. A complimentary descriptive audio tour is also available in English. The Visitor Information leaflet, audio tour transcript and interpretation panels are available in large print. Assistance dogs are welcome and water is available on request. Provision is made for visitors on the autism spectrum.
Location : Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1W 0QH
Opening Times: Feb., March, Nov. Monday to Saturday 10:00 to 16.00
Opening Times: 26th March - 1st Nov. Monday to Sunday 10:00 to 17.00
Tickets : Adult £9.30.
Under 17/Disabled £5.50 Carer Free
Tel: 0303 123 7302