Saturday, 3 January 2009

Whitehall

Whitehall is the name of the road which runs between Trafalgar Square and Parliament Square. Housing many buildings occupied by various Government departments and access to Downing Street (London residence of the Prime Minister) it is synonymous with Government in the UK.


The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)

There are several buildings along Whitehall other than Government offices - several of these being public houses!


The Red Lion

Other structures on Whitehall include war memorials - one of these being the Cenotaph, designed by Lutyens and constructed around 1920 following the First World War. It is now the location of the Remembrance Sunday ceremony annually.


The Cenotaph

The Cenotaph was joined in 2005 by a second memorial, which is to the women who contributed in many ways during World War II; this is located a little further up towards Trafalgar Square.


Women of World War II Memorial

Probably the most famous part of Whitehall, Downing Street. This is the official residence of both the Prime Minister (at No. 10) and the Chancellor of the Exchequer (at No. 11). Pictured here are the heavily guarded gates which block the end of the street from public access.


Downing Street

On the opposite side of Whitehall is located Banqueting House. Constructed in 1622 and designed by Inigo Jones it is the only surviving part of the palace of Whitehall. It was the location of the execution of Charles I and the restoration of the monarchy with Charles II. Much of the splendour of the building is on the inside rather than the outside, and it is open to the public.


Banqueting House

Back across the other side of Whitehall again is the front of Horse Guards Parade. This is the 'official' entrance to St James' and Buckingham Palaces. Mounted members of the Household Cavalry are stationed there from 10am to 4pm and before 8pm and after 7am an unmounted soldier is on duty. The Household Cavalary is made up from two regiments, the Life Guards (wearing red tunics) and the Blues and Royals (wearing navy blue). The changing of the guard can be seen on the parade ground between Whitehall and St James' Park every day at 11am (10am on Sundays). This area will be converted into an arena for Beach Volleyball during the 2012 Olympics.


Whitehall entrance to Horse Guards Parade

This brings us almost to Trafalgar Square, and the end of Whitehall. There are several more 19th Century buildings which still house various Government departments, committees and so on.


The Old Admiralty Building (now the Cabinet Office)


The Old War Office


55 Whitehall

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