Tuesday, 25 September 2012

The 300th Bollard of London...

A sturdy white painted bollard...
The 300th bollard of London just so happens to be outside the Chelsea Gate of the Royal Hospital home of the most humble gracious proud loyal citizens I've ever had the pleasure of meeting, the Chelsea Pensioners.

The bollard(s) in this instance describe themselves rather well but what of the Chelsea Pensioners and their home the Royal Hospital ?

The 17th century was a very unsettled time for England with a civil war between the King (Charles I) and Parliament. The English Civil War ended in 1651, Oliver Cromwell the Lord Protector passed away in 1658 and the Restoration in 1660 placed Charles II back on the throne after the position between the King and Parliament was settled.

In 1681 King Charles II issued a Royal Warrant authorising the building of the Royal Hospital. Sir Christopher Wren was the King's Surveyor-General of Works and was commissioned to design/build the hospital which was completed in 1692, the first pensioners moved in in the February of that year.

I drive a London taxi-cab for a living and within the trade it is well known (unwritten rule) that if you come across a Chelsea pensioner in the locality of the Royal Hospital (in uniform) you'll give them a lift back on the house. The first 'Hackney Carriages' were licensed in 1662 in 1685 Sir Christopher Wren (also an MP) proposed that income gained from the licensing of 'Hackney Carriages' should be used to help fund the Royal Hospital. This measure was approved but no income has ever been received. It appears we may owe a few more taxi-cab rides !

If you wish to find out more about the Chelsea Pensioners and the Royal Hospital please do click on the following link 'Chelsea Pensioners' you can also follow them on the twitter @meninscarlet #thankyou !

The Chelsea pensioner in the background is actually a model...
The 300th post (bollard) is certainly another milestone for the blog/site and I do hope you enjoy these objects that we walk past everyday. Now I experimented with another blog/site 'Bollards of Britain' which has done ok but could have done a lot better so I'm closing that particular site down shortly and transferring all the wonderful #guestbollards over to this main blog/site.

With one door closing another opens and I've opened up a facebook account www.facebook.com/bollards.london it's another platform and who knows it may spread the word of bollards a little further around the city/globe.

Who to thank well the list gets longer but I'd like to personally thank on the twitter @DaveHill of the 'Guardian' @peter_watts 'The Great Wen' @AboutLondon and her latest work at 'Laura's London' @patrickbaty 'Historical Paint Consultant'  @FLASC_ 'Anomalies of Lost Street Furniture' plus the many more bollardarians @bathcat @itsyourlondon @WappingLondon @LondonStone @LondonHistorians @sophontrack @urberwoot @londonwalks @phillipkelly29 @Rigsbyhatstand @nancyco @LondonDreamtime @PeteBSW1 @clareangela @DMARIESTL and all who have contributed #guestbollards which I have plenty to still post.

Plus you, thank you all so very much.

The Chelsea Gate complete with a pair of white bollards protecting the piers/columns...

Bollards of London (300th)...


  1. Congratulations on your blogging milestone! You chose a perfect way to celebrate the 300th: fine upstanding bollards and a dose of history about the Royal Hospital and the fine upstanding Chelsea Pensioners. Very helpful indeed for this reader from across the pond. I look forward to many more bollards in your next 300 posts!

  2. I you ever visit London it really is worth taking the time to visit the Royal Hospital in Chelsea and just say a hello to one or two of the pensioners.

    Thank you for the kind words and all those wonderful #guestbollards.

    John Kennedy.

    1. That's a great idea for my next visit to your fair city!

  3. Fantastic! I remember walking by this a few years ago when I was staying at a B & B nearby.