Pall Mall

Pall Mall map location

Pall Mall address

Pall Mall, St. James’s

How to get to Pall Mall

Find car parks near Pall Mall
Find minicab firms near Pall Mall
3, 6, 9, 12, 13, 15, 22, 23, 29, 88, 94, 139, 159, 453
Bus fares in London
Leicester Square NRN PCL, Piccadilly Circus BKL PCL
The nearest train station to Pall Mall is Charing Cross
Train fares in London
The Athenaeum Gentleman’s Club in Pall Mall Athenaeum Club, Pall Mall

When James II brought his court down from Scotland he introduced a new ballgame to London – Palle Maille. This was a French game similar to croquet, and was played with much vigour up and down Catherine Street. The road soon became known as ‘Pall Mall’, as did the grand Mall nearby – a name which stuck for several centuries.

Pall Mall’s Gentlemen’s Clubs

Pall Mall is home to London’s gentlemen’s clubs. Distinguished men assemble in their Sunday best and tailored clothes to chat about the weather over slow rounds of whiskey and cigars. Admittance is strictly by invitation only – so don’t try and blag your way in.

The oldest clubs are White’s, Brooke’s and Boodle’s. They soon made a name as places were gentlemen could go and gamble away the interest on their fortunes. Nothing was too bad to bet on. Horace Walpole once regaled a tale about a man dropping dead at the door: A man dropped down dead at the door, he said, and the club immediately made bets on whether he was dead or not.

History of the Athenaeum, and Reform Club

The most famous club of all is probably the Athenaeum at 107, home to several famous authors including Thackeray, Dickens and Anthony Trollope. It was also home to Kipling, Conrad and Charles Darwin. It started up at Somerset House, but moved to its Pall Mall premises in 1828.

The admittance procedure to the Athenaeum is almost as famous as the club itself. It operates a secret ballot, followed by the dreaded black ball vote. Members can veto an application by ‘black-balling’ the candidate. Bertrand Russell, for example – Britain’s greatest-ever philosopher – had to wait forty years after getting a no.

Another fine venue is the Reform Club at 104–5, opened by the Liberals in 1841. It was here that the fictional Phileas Fogg made a bet that he could travel around the world in 80 days.

Other clubs on the street include the Traveller’s Club at 106 (members must have travelled at least a thousand miles from London), and the Oxford and Cambridge Club at 71. This is only open to the Universities’ graduates.

Thomas Gainsborough – 82 Pall Mall
“Artist, lived here.”
  • Be the first person to ask a question

Ask a question about this attraction

Copyright © 2018 London Drum · Contact us · Cookies / Privacy policy · Search / Site map
London city guide