The Athenaeum Club in Pall Mall has long been one of the country’s most famous gentlemen’s clubs, with members both past and present being some of most powerful people of the British establishment. Its distinguished list of past members includes Charles Dickens, Charles Darwin, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Winston Churchill and Cecil Rhodes, to name just a few.
However none of its members have had quite the same treatment as that of the Duke of Wellington, the “Iron Duke” who defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.
At his request, The Athenaeum ordered the construction of a pair of kerb stones to allow the Duke to mount and dismount his horse whilst visiting the club. The stones are still there today, lying relatively unnoticed for the past 170 years.