Riding House Street commemorates a riding house and barracks of the First Troop of Horse Grenadier Guards.
In 1726, John Wood was granted a lease by the Cavendish–Harley Estate to build a riding house on the open ground north of the present line of Mortimer Street
. It was one of a number of such buildings to appear on the margins of London in the early eighteenth century. In them, military officers and gentlemen would learn equine comportment.
The riding house here was completed in 1727 and was about 120 feet long, barn-like and with a high-pitched roof. It stood immediately south of what became called Riding House Lane. Off Great Portland Street
, a passage gave access to the barracks at the back of the site.
In 1736, a stable range on its south side was added by John Lane, Surveyor of the Horse Guards. This left room for houses along Mortimer Street
The Troop was disbanded in 1788. In 1789, Isaac Stacey replaced the barracks and stables with a coach repository. The riding house itself was subsequently adapted for use as livery stables.
Riding House Street (then Riding House Lane) was originally straight and narrow, extending only as far east as Great Titchfield Street
. East of Great Titchfield Street
it was Union Street
, which became part of Riding House Street in 1937.