HOME

TheInfoList




Whitehall is a road and area in the
City of Westminster The City of Westminster is a City status in the United Kingdom, city and London boroughs, borough in Inner London which forms a core part of Central London. It is the site of the United Kingdom's Houses of Parliament and much of the British gov ...

City of Westminster
,
Central London Central London is the innermost part of London London is the Capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of England and the United Kingdom. It stands on the River Thames in south-east England at the ...
. The road forms the first part of the
A3212 road List of A roads in zone Zone or The Zone may refer to: Places Climate and altitude zones * Death zone (originally the lethal zone), altitudes above a certain point where the amount of oxygen is insufficient to sustain human life for an extend ...
from
Trafalgar Square Trafalgar Square ( ) is a public square in the City of Westminster, Central London, established in the early 19th century around the area formerly known as Charing Cross. The Square's name commemorates the Battle of Trafalgar, the Royal Navy, ...

Trafalgar Square
to
Chelsea Chelsea or Chelsey may refer to: Places Australia * Chelsea, Victoria Canada * Chelsea, Nova Scotia * Chelsea, Quebec United Kingdom * Chelsea, London, an affluent area of South West London, bounded to the south by the River Thames ** Chelsea ...
. It is the main thoroughfare running south from Trafalgar Square towards
Parliament Square Parliament Square is a town square, square at the northwest end of the Palace of Westminster in the City of Westminster in central London. It features a large open green area in the centre with trees to its west, and it contains twelve statues o ...
. The street is recognised as the centre of the
Government of the United Kingdom ga, Rialtas na Ríochta Aontaithe sco, Govrenment o the Unitit Kinrick , image = HM Government logo.svg , image_size=220px, date_established = , state = United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, comm ...
and is lined with numerous departments and ministries, including the
Ministry of DefenceMinistry of Defence or Ministry of Defense may refer to: * Ministry of defence, a type of government department responsible for matters of defence Current ministries * Ministry of Defense (Afghanistan) * Ministry of Defence (Albania) * Ministry ...
, Horse Guards and the
Cabinet Office The Cabinet Office is a department Department may refer to: * Departmentalization, division of a larger organization into parts with specific responsibility Government and military *Department (country subdivision), a geographical and admini ...

Cabinet Office
. Consequently, the name 'Whitehall' is used as a
metonym Metonymy () is a figure of speech A figure of speech or rhetorical figure is a word or phrase that entails an intentional deviation from ordinary language use in order to produce a rhetoric Rhetoric () is the Art (skill), art of pe ...
for the British
civil service The civil service is a collective term for a sector of government composed mainly of career civil servants hired on professional merit rather than appointed or elected, whose institutional tenure typically survives transitions of political leader ...
and
government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Departmen ...
, and as the geographic name for the surrounding area. The name was taken from the
Palace of Whitehall The Palace of Whitehall (or Palace of White Hall) at Westminster, Middlesex, was the main residence of the Kingdom of England, English List of British monarchs, monarchs from 1530 until 1698, when most of its structures, except notably Inigo ...
that was the residence of Kings
Henry VIII Henry VIII (28 June 149128 January 1547) was King of England This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on the island of Great Britain from 12 July 927, when it emerged fro ...
through to
William III
William III
, before its destruction by fire in 1698; only the
Banqueting House In English architecture 's 'Gherkin' (2004) rises above the sixteenth century St Andrew Undershaft in the City of London The City of London is a City status in the United Kingdom, city, Ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial county and l ...
has survived. Whitehall was originally a wide road that led to the front of the palace; the route to the south was widened in the 18th century following the destruction of the palace. As well as government buildings, the street is known for its memorial statues and monuments, including the UK's primary war memorial,
the Cenotaph The Cenotaph is a war memorial on Whitehall Whitehall is a road and area in the City of Westminster, Central London. The road forms the first part of the A roads in Zone 3 of the Great Britain numbering scheme, A3212 road from Trafalgar S ...
. South of the Cenotaph the thoroughfare becomes ''Parliament Street.'' The Whitehall Theatre, now the
Trafalgar Studios Trafalgar Theatre is a new West End theatre in Whitehall, near Trafalgar Square, in the City of Westminster, London. It is set to open in spring 2021 following a major multi-million pound restoration project aiming to reinstate it back to its orig ...
, has been popular for
farce Farce is a comedy Comedy (from the el, wikt:κωμῳδία, κωμῳδία, ''kōmōdía'') is a genre of fiction that consists of discourses or works intended to be humorous or amusing by inducing laughter, especially in theatre, film, sta ...
comedies since the mid-20th century.


Geography and name

The name Whitehall was used for several buildings in the
Tudor period The Tudor period occurred between 1485 and 1603 in and includes the during the of until 1603. The Tudor period coincides with the dynasty of the in England whose first monarch was (b.1457, r.14851509). Historian (1988) argued that "Englan ...
. It either referred to a building made of light stone, or as a general term for any festival building. This included the Royal
Palace of Whitehall The Palace of Whitehall (or Palace of White Hall) at Westminster, Middlesex, was the main residence of the Kingdom of England, English List of British monarchs, monarchs from 1530 until 1698, when most of its structures, except notably Inigo ...
, which in turn gave its name to the street. The street is about long and runs through the
City of Westminster The City of Westminster is a City status in the United Kingdom, city and London boroughs, borough in Inner London which forms a core part of Central London. It is the site of the United Kingdom's Houses of Parliament and much of the British gov ...

City of Westminster
. It is part of the A3212, a main road in Central London that leads towards
Chelsea Chelsea or Chelsey may refer to: Places Australia * Chelsea, Victoria Canada * Chelsea, Nova Scotia * Chelsea, Quebec United Kingdom * Chelsea, London, an affluent area of South West London, bounded to the south by the River Thames ** Chelsea ...
via the
Houses of Parliament The Palace of Westminster serves as the meeting place for both the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, House of Commons and the House of Lords, the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Informally known as the Houses of Parliame ...

Houses of Parliament
and
Vauxhall Bridge Vauxhall Bridge is a Grade II* listed steel and granite deck arch bridge in central London. It crosses the River Thames in a southeast–northwest direction between Vauxhall on the south bank and Pimlico on the north bank. Opened in 1906, it rep ...

Vauxhall Bridge
. It runs south from
Trafalgar Square Trafalgar Square ( ) is a public square in the City of Westminster, Central London, established in the early 19th century around the area formerly known as Charing Cross. The Square's name commemorates the Battle of Trafalgar, the Royal Navy, ...

Trafalgar Square
, past numerous government buildings, including the old
War Office The War Office This article contains text from this source, which is available under th Open Government Licence v3.0 © Crown copyright was a Departments of the British Government, Department of the British Government responsible for the adminis ...
building, Horse Guards, the
Ministry of DefenceMinistry of Defence or Ministry of Defense may refer to: * Ministry of defence, a type of government department responsible for matters of defence Current ministries * Ministry of Defense (Afghanistan) * Ministry of Defence (Albania) * Ministry ...
, the
Cabinet Office The Cabinet Office is a department Department may refer to: * Departmentalization, division of a larger organization into parts with specific responsibility Government and military *Department (country subdivision), a geographical and admini ...

Cabinet Office
and the
Department of Health A health department or health ministry is a part of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In the case of its broad associative definition, gover ...

Department of Health
. It ends at the
Cenotaph A cenotaph is an empty tomb at Hierapolis Hierapolis ( grc, Ἱεράπολις, lit. "Holy City") was an ancient Greek city located on hot springs in Greco-Roman culture, classical Phrygia in southwestern Anatolia. Its ruins are a ...
, the road ahead being Parliament Street.
Great Scotland Yard Great Scotland Yard is a street in the St. James's district of Westminster Westminster is a district in central London London is the capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of England and the ...
and
Horse Guards Avenue Horse Guards Avenue is a road in the City of Westminster City of Westminster is an Inner London, inner London City status in the United Kingdom, city and London boroughs, borough. It has been the capital city, ''de facto'', of multiple Briti ...
branch off to the east, while
Downing Street Downing Street is a street in the City of Westminster that houses the official residence An official residence is the House, residence at which a nation's head of state, head of government, governor, Clergy, religious leader, leaders of ...

Downing Street
branches off to the west at the southern section of the street. The nearest tube stations are
Charing Cross Charing Cross () is a junction in London London is the capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of England and the United Kingdom. The city stands on the River Thames in the south-east of England, a ...
at the north end, and
Westminster Westminster is a district in Central London Central London is the innermost part of London London is the capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of England and the United Kingdom. The city sta ...
at the south. Numerous London bus routes run along Whitehall, including 12, 24, 88, 159 and 453.


History

There has been a route connecting Charing Cross to Westminster since the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
; the 12th-century historian
William Fitzstephen William Fitzstephen (also William fitz Stephen), (died c. 1191) was a cleric and administrator in the service of Thomas Becket. In the 1170s he wrote a long biography of Thomas Becket—the ''Vita Sancti Thomae'' (Life of St. Thomas). Fitzstephen ...
described it as "a continued suburb, mingled with large and beautiful gardens, and orchards belonging to the citizens". The name Whitehall was originally only used for the section of road between Charing Cross and
Holbein Gate The Holbein Gate was a monumental gateway across Whitehall in Westminster, constructed in 1531–32 in the English Gothic style. The Holbein Gate and a second less ornate gate, Westminster Gate, were constructed by Henry VIII to connect parts of t ...
; beyond this it was known as The Street as far as King Street Gate, then King Street thereafter. It had become a residential street by the 16th century, and had become a popular place to live by the 17th, with residents including
Lord Howard of Effingham Image:Charles howard nottingham admiral.jpg, 300px, Charles Howard, 1st Earl of Nottingham Earl of Effingham, in the County of Surrey, is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. Its United Kingdom version was created in 1837 for Kenneth H ...
and
Edmund Spenser Edmund Spenser (; 1552/1553 – 13 January 1599) was an English poet best known for ''The Faerie Queene ''The Faerie Queene'' is an English Epic poetry, epic poem by Edmund Spenser. Books IIII were first published in 1590, then republished i ...

Edmund Spenser
. The Palace of Whitehall, to the east of the road, was originally named York Palace, but was renamed during the reign of
Henry VIII Henry VIII (28 June 149128 January 1547) was King of England This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on the island of Great Britain from 12 July 927, when it emerged fro ...
. The palace was redesigned in 1531–32 and became the King's main residence later in the decade. He married
Anne Boleyn Anne Boleyn (; 1501 – 19 May 1536) was Queen of England from 1533 to 1536 as the second wife of King Henry VIII Henry VIII (28 June 149128 January 1547) was King of England This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of En ...

Anne Boleyn
here in 1533, followed by
Jane Seymour Jane Seymour (c. 150824 October 1537), also known as Jane Semel, was the third queen consort A queen consort is the wife of a reigning king King is the title given to a male in a variety of contexts. The female equivalent is , ...

Jane Seymour
in 1536, and died at the palace in 1547.
Charles ICharles I may refer to: Kings and emperors * Charlemagne (742–814), numbered Charles I in the lists of French and German kings * Charles I of Anjou (1226–1285), also king of Albania, Jerusalem, Naples and Sicily * Charles I of Hungary (1288 ...

Charles I
owned an extensive art collection at the palace and several of
William Shakespeare William Shakespeare (bapt. 26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) was an English playwright, poet and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's greatest dramatist. He is often called England's national p ...

William Shakespeare
's plays had their first performances here. It ceased to be a royal residence after 1689, when
William III
William III
moved to
Kensington Palace Kensington Palace is a royal residence set in Kensington Gardens, in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London, England. It has been a residence of the British royal family since the 17th century, and is currently the official Lond ...

Kensington Palace
. The palace was damaged by fire in 1691, following which the front entrance was redesigned by
Sir Christopher Wren Sir Christopher Wren President of the Royal Society, PRS Fellow of the Royal Society, FRS (; – ) was one of the most highly acclaimed English architects in history, as well as an anatomist, astronomer, geometer, and mathematician-physicist. H ...

Sir Christopher Wren
. In 1698, most of the palace burned to the ground accidentally after a fire started by a careless washerwoman. Wallingford House was constructed in 1572 by
William Knollys, 1st Earl of Banbury William Knollys, 1st Earl of Banbury, Order of the Garter, KG, Privy Council of the United Kingdom, PC (1544 – 25 May 1632) was an English nobleman at the court of Elizabeth I of England, Queen Elizabeth I and James I of England, King James I. ...
along the western edge of Whitehall. It was subsequently used by Charles I. During the reign of William III, it was bought for the
Admiralty Admiralty usually refers to: * Admiralty (United Kingdom), military department in command of the Royal Navy from 1707 to 1964 *The rank of admiral Admiral is one of the highest ranks in some navy, navies, and in many navies is the highest rank ...
. The Old Admiralty Buildings now sit on the house's site.
Banqueting House In English architecture 's 'Gherkin' (2004) rises above the sixteenth century St Andrew Undershaft in the City of London The City of London is a City status in the United Kingdom, city, Ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial county and l ...
was built as an extension to the Palace of Whitehall in 1622 by
Inigo Jones Inigo Jones (; 15 July 1573 – 21 June 1652) was the first significant Architecture of England, architect in England in the Early modern Europe, early modern period, and the first to employ Vitruvius, Vitruvian rules of proportion and symmetry ...
. It is the only surviving portion of the palace after it was burned down, and was the first
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in ...

Renaissance
building in London. It later became a museum to the
Royal United Services Institute The Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI), sometimes still referred to by its pre-2004 name, the Royal United Service Institution, is a British defence and security think tank A think tank, or policy institute ...
and has been opened to the public since 1963.
Oliver Cromwell Oliver Cromwell (25 April 15993 September 1658) was an English general and statesman who, first as a subordinate and later as Commander-in-Chief, led armies An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via Old French ''armée'', "armed" e ...

Oliver Cromwell
moved to the street in 1647, taking up residence in Wallingford House. Two years later, Charles I was carried through Whitehall on the way to his trial at
Westminster Hall The Palace of Westminster serves as the meeting place for both the House of Commons The House of Commons is the name for the elected lower house of the bicameral parliaments of the United Kingdom and Canada. In the UK and Canada, the Common ...
. Whitehall itself was a wide street and had sufficient space for a scaffold to be erected for the King's execution at Banqueting House. He made a brief speech there before being beheaded. Cromwell died at the Palace of Whitehall in 1658. During the
Great Plague of London The Great Plague of London, lasting from 1665 to 1666, was the last major epidemic of the bubonic plague Bubonic plague is one of three types of plague caused by the plague bacterium Bacteria (; common noun bacteria, singular ba ...
in 1665, people boarded coaches at Whitehall, then at the edge of urban London, in an attempt to escape. The King and court temporarily moved to
Oxford Oxford () is a city in England. It is the county town In the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' u ...

Oxford
to avoid the plague, while
Samuel Pepys Samuel Pepys ( ; 23 February 1633 – 26 May 1703) was an English diarist and naval administrator. He served as administrator of the Navy of England and Member of Parliament A member of parliament (MP) is the representative of the people ...

Samuel Pepys
remarked in his diary on 29 June, "By water to Whitehall, where the Court is full of waggons and people ready to go out of town. This end of town every day grows very bad with plague". By the 18th century, traffic was struggling along the narrow streets south of Holbein Gate, which led to King Street Gate being demolished in 1723. Holbein Gate, in turn, was demolished in 1759. Meanwhile, Parliament Street was a side road alongside the palace, leading to the
Palace of Westminster The Palace of Westminster serves as the meeting place for both the House of Commons The House of Commons is the name for the elected lower house A lower house is one of two chambers Chambers may refer to: Places Canada: *Chambers Towns ...

Palace of Westminster
. After the Palace of Whitehall was destroyed, Parliament Street was widened to match Whitehall's width. The present appearance of the street dates from 1899 after a group of houses between Downing Street and
Great George Street Great George Street is a street in Westminster, London, leading from Parliament Square to Birdcage Walk. The area of the current street was occupied by a number of small roads and yards housing inns and tenements. In the 1750s these were demolis ...

Great George Street
were destroyed.


Government buildings

By the time the palace was destroyed, separation of crown and state had become important, with
Parliament In modern politics and history, a parliament is a legislative A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of ...
being necessary to control military requirements and pass laws. The government wanted to be some distance from the monarch, and the buildings around Whitehall, physically separated from St James's Palace by
St James's Park St James's Park is a park in the City of Westminster, central London. It is at the southernmost tip of the St James's area, which was named after a leper hospital dedicated to St James the Less. It is the most easterly of a near-continuous c ...

St James's Park
, seemed to be a good place for ministers to work. The Horse Guards building was designed by
William Kent William Kent (c. 1685 – 12 April 1748) was an eminent English architect, landscape architect A landscape architect is a person who is educated in the field of landscape architecture Landscape architecture is the design of outdoor areas ...

William Kent
, and built during the 1750s on a former
tiltyard A tiltyard (or tilt yard or tilt-yard) was an enclosed courtyard for jousting. Tiltyards were a common feature of Tudor era castles and palaces. The Horse Guards Parade Horse Guards Parade is a large parade ground off Whitehall in central Lond ...
site, replacing an earlier guard-house erected during the Civil War. The building includes an archway for coach traffic and two pedestrian arches that provide access between Whitehall and
Horse Guards Parade Horse Guards Parade is a large parade groundA parade is a procession of people, usually organized along a street, often in costume, and often accompanied by marching bands, floats, or sometimes large balloons. Parades are held for a wide rang ...

Horse Guards Parade
. The central archway is marked with "SMF" and "StMW", and denotes the boundary between
St Martin-in-the-Fields St Martin-in-the-Fields is an English Anglican Anglicanism is a Western Christianity, Western Christian tradition that has developed from the practices, liturgy, and identity of the Church of England following the English Reformation. A ...

St Martin-in-the-Fields
and St Margaret's church parish boundaries. During the 19th century, as private leases ran out on residential buildings, ownership reverted to the Crown, which began to use them as public offices. The name "Whitehall" is now used as a
metonym Metonymy () is a figure of speech A figure of speech or rhetorical figure is a word or phrase that entails an intentional deviation from ordinary language use in order to produce a rhetoric Rhetoric () is the Art (skill), art of pe ...
to refer to that part of the
civil service The civil service is a collective term for a sector of government composed mainly of career civil servants hired on professional merit rather than appointed or elected, whose institutional tenure typically survives transitions of political leader ...
which is involved in the
government of the United Kingdom ga, Rialtas na Ríochta Aontaithe sco, Govrenment o the Unitit Kinrick , image = HM Government logo.svg , image_size=220px, date_established = , state = United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, comm ...
. The street's central portion is dominated by military buildings, including the
Ministry of DefenceMinistry of Defence or Ministry of Defense may refer to: * Ministry of defence, a type of government department responsible for matters of defence Current ministries * Ministry of Defense (Afghanistan) * Ministry of Defence (Albania) * Ministry ...
, with the former headquarters of the
British Army The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' us ...
and
Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare Naval warfare is combat Combat ( French for ''fight'') is a purposeful violent conflict meant to physically harm or kill the opposition. Combat may be armed (using weapon A ...
, the
Royal United Services Institute The Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI), sometimes still referred to by its pre-2004 name, the Royal United Service Institution, is a British defence and security think tank A think tank, or policy institute ...
, the Horse Guards building and the
Admiralty Admiralty usually refers to: * Admiralty (United Kingdom), military department in command of the Royal Navy from 1707 to 1964 *The rank of admiral Admiral is one of the highest ranks in some navy, navies, and in many navies is the highest rank ...
, on the opposite side. Government buildings on Whitehall, from north to south, include The Admiralty Buildings, the
Department for International Development , type = Department , logo = DfID.svg , logo_width = 180px , logo_caption = , picture = File:Admiralty Screen (411824276).jpg , picture_width = 180px , picture_caption = Department for International Development (London office) (far right ...
at No. 22, the
Department of Energy and Climate Change The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) was a British government department created on 3 October 2008, by Prime Minister Gordon Brown to take over some of the functions related to energy of the Department for Business, Enterprise and Re ...
at No. 55, the Old
War Office The War Office This article contains text from this source, which is available under th Open Government Licence v3.0 © Crown copyright was a Departments of the British Government, Department of the British Government responsible for the adminis ...
, the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel at No. 36, the Horse Guards, the Ministry of Defence Main Building, Dover House (containing the
Scotland Office The Office of the Secretary of State for Scotland ( gd, Oifis Rùnaire Stàite na h-Alba), often referred to as, and formerly called the Scotland Office, is a UK government department headed by the Secretary of State for Scotland The s ...
), Gwydyr House (containing the
Wales Office , agency_type = Department of HM Government , type = Department , logo = Wales Office logo.png , seal = , seal_width = , seal_caption = , picture = Gwydyr House, Whitehall (geograph 5590927).jpg , picture_width = , picture_caption = ...
), the
Cabinet Office The Cabinet Office is a department Department may refer to: * Departmentalization, division of a larger organization into parts with specific responsibility Government and military *Department (country subdivision), a geographical and admini ...

Cabinet Office
at No. 70, the
Foreign and Commonwealth Office The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) is a Departments of the United Kingdom Government, department of the Government of the United Kingdom. It was created on 2 September 2020 through the merger of the Foreign & Commonwealth Of ...
and the
Government Offices Great George Street Government Offices Great George Street (GOGGS) is a large UK government office building situated in Westminster between Horse Guards Road, Great George Street, Whitehall, Parliament Street, King Charles Street and Parliament Square. The western e ...

Government Offices Great George Street
(
HM Treasury Her Majesty's Treasury (HM Treasury), sometimes referred to as the Exchequer, or more informally the Treasury, is the department of the Government of the United Kingdom responsible for developing and executing the government's public finance ...
,
HM Revenue and Customs , type = Non-ministerial government department Non-ministerial government departments (NMGDs) are a type of Departments of the Government of the United Kingdom, department of the Government of the United Kingdom that deal with matters for whic ...
and parts of the Cabinet Office).
Scotland Yard Scotland Yard (officially New Scotland Yard) is a metonym Metonymy () is a figure of speech in which a thing or concept is referred to by the name of something closely associated with that thing or concept. Etymology The words ''metonymy'' ...

Scotland Yard
, the headquarters of London's
Metropolitan Police Service The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), formerly and still commonly known as the Metropolitan Police and informally as the Met Police, the Met, Scotland Yard, or the Yard, is the territorial police force responsible for law enforcement in the ...
, was originally located in
Great Scotland Yard Great Scotland Yard is a street in the St. James's district of Westminster Westminster is a district in central London London is the capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of England and the ...
off the north-eastern end of Whitehall. The buildings had been lodgings for the Kings of Scotland, on part of the old Palace of Whitehall's grounds; by the 19th century, Little and Middle Scotland Yard had been merged into Whitehall Place, leaving only Great Scotland Yard. No. 4 Whitehall Place had become vacant by the 1820s, which allowed
Sir Robert Peel Sir Robert Peel, 2nd Baronet, (5 February 1788 – 2 July 1850) was a British Conservative Conservatism is an aesthetic Aesthetics, or esthetics (), is a branch of philosophy that deals with the nature of beauty and taste (socio ...

Sir Robert Peel
to use it as the main headquarters when forming the police in 1829. It was formally named the Metropolitan Police Office, but became quickly known as Great Scotland Yard, and eventually Scotland Yard. The buildings were damaged in a series of bombings by Irish Nationalists in 1883, and an explosion from a
Fenian The word ''Fenian'' () served as an umbrella term for the Irish Republican Brotherhood The Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB; ) was a secret oath-bound fraternal organisation dedicated to the establishment of an "independent democratic ...
terrorist attack on 30 May 1884 blew a hole in Scotland Yard's outer wall and destroyed the neighbouring Rising Sun pub. The headquarters was moved away from Whitehall in 1890.
Downing Street Downing Street is a street in the City of Westminster that houses the official residence An official residence is the House, residence at which a nation's head of state, head of government, governor, Clergy, religious leader, leaders of ...

Downing Street
leads off the south-west end of Whitehall, just above Parliament Street. It was named after Sir George Downing, who built a row of houses along the street around 1680 leading west from Whitehall. Following a number of terrorist attacks, the road was closed to the public in 1990, when security gates were erected at both ends. On 7 February 1991, the
Provisional IRA The Irish Republican Army (IRA; ), also known as the Provisional Irish Republican Army, and informally as the Provos, was an Irish republican paramilitary Paramilitary forces usually tend to wear similar but different uniforms to the mili ...
fired mortars from a van parked in Whitehall towards , one of which exploded in the gardens. Additional security measures have been put in place along Whitehall to protect government buildings, following a £25 million streetscape project undertaken by
Westminster City Council Westminster City Council is the local authority for the City of Westminster in Greater London, England. It is a London borough council and is entitled to be City status in the United Kingdom, known as a city council, which is a rare distinction ...
. The project has provided wider pavements and better lighting, along with installing hundreds of concrete and steel security barriers.
Richmond House 250px, Richmond House, 79 Whitehall, London, completed in 1987 as the headquarters of the Department of Health. Entrance on Whitehall Richmond House is a government building in Whitehall Whitehall is a road and area in the City of Westminster ...

Richmond House
, at No. 79, has held the
Department of Health A health department or health ministry is a part of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In the case of its broad associative definition, gover ...
since 1987. The building is scheduled to be a temporary debating chamber from 2020, while the
Houses of Parliament The Palace of Westminster serves as the meeting place for both the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, House of Commons and the House of Lords, the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Informally known as the Houses of Parliame ...

Houses of Parliament
undergo a £7 billion refurbishment and modernisation programme.


Memorials

A number of statues and memorials have been built on and around Whitehall, commemorating military victories and leaders. The Cenotaph was designed by
Sir Edwin Lutyens Sir Edwin Landseer Lutyens ( ; 29 March 1869 – 1 January 1944) was an English architect known for imaginatively adapting traditional architectural styles to the requirements of his era. He designed many English country house An Engli ...

Sir Edwin Lutyens
and erected at the southern end in 1919, commemorating victory in
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
and later used as a memorial for both World Wars. It is the main war memorial in Britain and an annual service is held here on
Remembrance Sunday Remembrance Sunday is held in the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for ...
, led by the reigning monarch and leading politicians. In 2005 a national
Monument to the Women of World War II The Monument to the Women of World War II is a United Kingdom, British national war memorial situated on Whitehall in London, to the north of the The Cenotaph, Whitehall, Cenotaph. It was sculpted by John W. Mills, unveiled by Elizabeth II, Queen El ...

Monument to the Women of World War II
was erected a short distance north of the Cenotaph in the middle of the Whitehall carriageway. The is at the north east end of Whitehall, where Whitehall Court meets Whitehall Place. Erected in 2000, it commemorates the use of tanks in both World Wars and depicts five World War II tank crew members. The Gurkha Memorial is to the south of this, on
Horse Guards Avenue Horse Guards Avenue is a road in the City of Westminster City of Westminster is an Inner London, inner London City status in the United Kingdom, city and London boroughs, borough. It has been the capital city, ''de facto'', of multiple Briti ...
to the east of Whitehall. Whitehall is also home to six other monuments. From north to south, these are of
Prince George, Duke of Cambridge A prince is a male ruler (ranked below a king of the King of the Romans (variant used in the early modern period) File:Nezahualpiltzintli.jpg">Aztec King Nezahualpiltzintli of Texcoco King is the title given to a male monarch in a ...

Prince George, Duke of Cambridge
( Commander-in-Chief of the British Army),
Liberal Party The Liberal Party is any of many political parties A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a particular country's elections. It is common for the members of a party to hold similar ideas about politics, ...
,
Liberal Unionist Party The Liberal Unionist Party was a British political party that was formed in 1886 by a faction that broke away from the Liberal Party The Liberal Party is any of many political parties A political party is an organization that coordinates c ...
and leader
Spencer Cavendish, 8th Duke of Devonshire Spencer Compton Cavendish, 8th Duke of Devonshire (23 July 183324 March 1908), styled Lord Cavendish of Keighley between 1834 and 1858 and Marquess of Hartington between 1858 and 1891, was a British statesman. He has the distinction of having h ...

Spencer Cavendish, 8th Duke of Devonshire
,
Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig Field Marshal Field marshal (or field-marshal, abbreviated as FM) is the most senior military rank, ordinarily senior to the general officer A general officer is an officer of high rank in the armies, and in some nations' air f ...

Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig
(known as the Earl Haig Memorial),
Field Marshal Montgomery Field marshal (United Kingdom), Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, (; 17 November 1887 – 24 March 1976), nicknamed "Monty" and "The Spartan General", was a senior British Army Officer (armed forces ...
(commander of the 8th Army, the
21st Army Group The 21st Army Group was a World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: ...
and
Chief of the Imperial General Staff Chief of the General Staff (CGS) has been the title of the professional head of the British Army since 1964. The CGS is a member of both the Chiefs of Staff Committee and the Army Board. Prior to 1964 the title was Chief of the Imperial Genera ...
),
William Slim, 1st Viscount Slim Field Marshal Field marshal (or field-marshal, abbreviated as FM) is the most senior military rank, ordinarily senior to the general officer A general officer is an officer of high rank in the armies, and in some nations' air f ...
, Commander of the
14th ArmyFourteenth Army or 14th Army may refer to: * 14th Army (German Empire), a World War I field Army * 14th Army (Wehrmacht), a World War II field army * Italian Fourteenth Army * Japanese Fourteenth Army, a World War II field army, in 1944 converted to ...
and
Governor-General of Australia The governor-general of Australia is the representative of the monarch A monarch is a head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona who officially embodies a state (polity), state#Foakes, Foakes, pp. 110 ...
, and
Alan Brooke, 1st Viscount Alanbrooke Field marshal (United Kingdom), Field Marshal Alan Francis Brooke, 1st Viscount Alanbrooke, & Medal bar, Bar (23 July 1883 – 17 June 1963), was a senior officer of the British Army. He was Chief of the General Staff (United Kingdom), Chief of ...
,
Chief of the Imperial General Staff Chief of the General Staff (CGS) has been the title of the professional head of the British Army since 1964. The CGS is a member of both the Chiefs of Staff Committee and the Army Board. Prior to 1964 the title was Chief of the Imperial Genera ...
.


Culture

The
Whitehall Theatre Trafalgar Theatre is a new West End theatre in Whitehall Whitehall is a road and area in the City of Westminster, Central London. The road forms the first part of the A roads in Zone 3 of the Great Britain numbering scheme, A3212 road from T ...
opened in 1930 at the north west end of the street, on a site that had previously been Ye Old Ship Tavern in the 17th century. The revue ''Whitehall Follies'' opened in 1942, which drew controversy over its explicit content featuring the stripper and actress
Phyllis Dixey Dixey at the height of her fame Phyllis Dixey (10 February 1914 – 2 June 1964) was an English singer, actress, dancer and impresario An impresario (from the Italian ''impresa'', "an enterprise or undertaking") is a person who organizes and ofte ...
. The theatre became known for its
farces Farce is a comedy that seeks to entertain the audience through situations that are highly exaggerated, extravagant, ridiculous, absurd, and improbable. Farce is also characterized by heavy use of physical comedy, physical humor; the use of deliber ...
, reviving a tradition on Whitehall that had begun with
court jester A jester, court jester, or fool was a member of the household of a nobleman or a monarch A monarch is a head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on th ...
s at the palace during the 16th century; these included several plays featuring
actor-manager Actor-manager Henry Irving An actor-manager is a leading actor An actor is a person who portrays a character in a performance (also actress; #The term actress, see below). The actor performs "in the flesh" in the traditional medium of the ...
Brian Rix Brian Norman Roger Rix, Baron Rix, (27 January 1924 – 20 August 2016) was an English actor-manager, who produced a record-breaking sequence of long-running farces on the London stage, including ''Dry Rot'', ''Simple Spymen'' and ''One for t ...
throughout the 1950s and 60s, and 1981's satirical ''
Anyone for Denis The "Dear Bill" letters were a regular feature in the British satirical magazine ''Private Eye ''Private Eye'' is a British fortnightly satirical Satire is a genre Genre () is any form or type of communication in any mode (wr ...
'', written by John Wells and ''
Private Eye ''Private Eye'' is a British fortnightly satirical Satire is a genre Genre () is any form or type of communication in any mode (written, spoken, digital, artistic, etc.) with socially-agreed-upon conventions developed over time. In ...
'' editor
Richard Ingrams Richard Reid Ingrams (born 19 August 1937 in Chelsea, London) is an English journalist, a co-founder and second editor of the British satirical magazine '' Private Eye'', and founding editor of '' The Oldie'' magazine. He left the latter job ...
. The venue was
Grade II listed A listed building, or listed structure, is one that has been placed on one of the four statutory lists maintained by Historic England Historic England (officially the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England) is an executive ...
in 1996 and renamed the
Trafalgar Studios Trafalgar Theatre is a new West End theatre in Whitehall, near Trafalgar Square, in the City of Westminster, London. It is set to open in spring 2021 following a major multi-million pound restoration project aiming to reinstate it back to its orig ...
in 2004. Because of its importance as a centre of British government, several political comedies are based in and around Whitehall. These include the BBC's ''
Yes Minister ''Yes Minister'' is a British political satire Political satire is satire Satire is a of the , , and s, usually in the form of and less frequently , in which vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, often ...
'' and ''
The Thick of It ''The Thick of It'' is a British comedy television series that satirises the inner workings of British government The Government of the United Kingdom, domestically referred to as Her Majesty's Government, is the central government of t ...
''. Whitehall is one of three purple squares on the British ''
Monopoly A monopoly (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxi ...
'' board, along with Pall Mall and
Northumberland Avenue Northumberland Avenue is a street in the City of Westminster, Central London, running from Trafalgar Square in the west to the Thames Embankment in the east. The road was built on the site of Northumberland House, the London home of the House o ...
. All three streets converge at Trafalgar Square.


See also

*
Curtis Green Building New Scotland Yard, formerly known as the Curtis Green Building, and before that Whitehall Police Station, is a building in Westminster, London. Since November 2016, it has been the Scotland Yard headquarters of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS ...
* Whitehall Study


References

Notes Citations Sources * * * * * * Further reading * ''Whitehall Through the Centuries'' by George S Dugdale (Assistant at the London Museum) with black and white reproductions and plans. A foreword by Sir Edward Bridges. First published by Phoenix House (London) in 1950 with no ISBN. * Stone to Build London: Portland's Legacy, Gill Hackman, Folly Books, Monkton Farleigh, 2014, . Book includes details of many of the Portland stone buildings in Whitehall, including the Cenotaph, Banqueting House, Horse Guards, Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Ministry of Defence.


External links


Whitehall_in_1669,_showing_the_Banqueting_House
_and_Holbein_Gateway.html" ;"title="Banqueting House">Whitehall in 1669, showing the Banqueting_House">Whitehall_in_1669,_showing_the_Banqueting_House
_and_Holbein_Gateway
History_of_the_Whitehall_Theatre_built_on_Whitehall_in_1930
{{Good_article Whitehall.html" ;"title="Banqueting House
and Holbein Gateway">Banqueting House">Whitehall in 1669, showing the Banqueting House
and Holbein Gateway
History of the Whitehall Theatre built on Whitehall in 1930
{{Good article Whitehall"> Areas of London National government buildings in London Streets in the City of Westminster