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The Stables and related features

The stables complex includes the five stables ranges that were built in Stables Yard; the horse roads, ramps and galleries; the retaining wall that separated Stables Yard from the street; the single entrance to Stables Yard; and the granite sett pavements. It also includes the horse tunnels, although the significance of these tunnels merits a separate description. 

[Image of Retaining wall ]
Retaining wall
(Peter Darley, 2010) 
The stables complex in Camden is a more complete example of Victorian industrial stabling than anything else that survives in London - and probably the country - in terms of scale, complexity and quality of surviving structures. It illustrates the development of stabling over the second half of the 19th century. 

A massive retaining wall, described by David Thomson in his book In Camden Town (1983) as “..higher and blacker than the wall of Manchester’s gaol..”, ran along Chalk Farm Road from the railway bridge at Camden Lock Place to the Roundhouse and beyond. It was also known as “The Great Wall of Camden”. Where it is pierced by the new road to Morrison’s supermarket and the garage forecourt the thickness of the base of the retaining wall reaches 6ft 9in (2.1 m). 

Although Stables Market can now be entered from several access points, for over 100 years the only entrance to Stables Yard was from Chalk Farm Road. This remains the main entrance to Stables Market (see photograph) 

Stables Yard had a pavement of granite setts which has largely been retained. 

[Image of Entrance to Stables Yard ]
Entrance to Stables Yard
(Eric Braun, 2007) 

There are five ranges of Victorian industrial stabling in Stables Yard now known as The Stables, Provender Stores, Long Stable and Tack Room to the southeast and the Horse Hospital to the northwest. The first four form a group that dates from 1856. 

[Image of Provender Stores (left), Tack Room (facing) and Long Stable (right)]
Provender Stores (left), Tack Room (facing) and Long Stable (right)
(Eric Braun, 2007) 
, 2009
[Image of Long Stable (left), The Stables (centre) and Provender Stores ]
Long Stable (left), The Stables (centre) and Provender Stores
(Howard Spencer, 2009) 

All of the four stables ranges are part of the Stables Market complex, which includes retail outlets, workshops, bars and restaurants, and various leisure activities. The former horse-keeper’s dwelling in the Tack Room is now offices for Stables Market Limited, who own and manage the market. 

[Image of Horse Hospital view from west ]
Horse Hospital view from west
(Eric Braun, 2007)
The Horse Hospital dates from 1883 and is located in the north western corner of Stables yard. It has retail units, offices and stores on the ground storey and a bar, music venue, restaurant and photo gallery on the upper storey.

For more on the history of the stables see  Camden Goods Depot and Horses and Stables