Old Palace Yard
lies between the Palace of Westminster
and Westminster Abbey
Old Palace YardLicence:
was formerly the site of executions, including those of Sir Walter Raleigh and Guy Fawkes.
To the north is St Stephen’s Entrance, the public entrance into the Palace.
Conveyed from Buckingham Palace
in a horse-drawn carriage, the monarch passes through the Yard en route to the Sovereign’s Entrance for the annual State Opening of Parliament.
The western part of Old Palace Yard
is freely accessible to the public. Located here are the Henry VII Chapel
and the Chapter House of Westminster Abbey
, while to its south stands 6–7 Old Palace Yard
, the only survivor of the row of houses that used to surround the Yard.
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike Licence
Birdcage Walk, SW1H Birdcage Walk runs east from Great George Street, along the south side of St James’s Park. Bondway, SW8 Bondway is named after the late 18th century developers of the street, John and Sarah Bond. Broadway, SW1H Broadway - formerly the location of the headquarters of both London Transport and the Metropolitan Police. Carey Place, SW1V Carey Place is one of the streets of London in the SW1V postal area. Carlton House Terrace, SW1Y Carlton House Terrace consists of a pair of terraces - white stucco-faced houses on the south side of the street overlooking St. James’s Park. Caxton Street, SW1H William Caxton was responsible for the introduction of the printing press to England. Charing Cross, SW1A Charing Cross, long regarded as London’s central point, as an address is an enigma. Cockspur Street, SW1Y Cockspur Street is possibly after the cock fighting that formerly occurred here, cocks often having spurs attached to their feet during fights. Craven Passage, WC2N Craven Passage is named after William Craven, 3rd Baron Craven, who owned the land when the street was built in the 1730s. Craven Street, WC2N Craven Street is named after William Craven, 3rd Baron Craven, who owned the land when the street was built in the 1730s. Deans Yard, SW1P Dean’s Yard comprises most of the precincts of the former monastery of Westminster, not occupied by the Abbey buildings. Derby Gate, SW1A Derby Gate is one of the streets of London in the SW1A postal area. Dn, SE1 A street within the postcode Downing Street, SW1A Downing Street has been the home of British Prime Minsters since the eighteenth century. Duke Street, SW1Y Duke Street is one of the streets of London in the SW1Y postal area. Elm Lane, SW8 Elm Lane is one of the streets of London in the SW8 postal area. Haymarket, SW1Y Haymarket – site of a former market selling hay until the 1830s. Hide Place, SW1P Hide Place is one of the streets of London in the SW1P postal area. Hobhouse Court, WC2H Hobhouse Court is named after Sir John Cam Hobhouse, Victorian MP and arts patron. King Street, SW1Y King Street is one of the streets of London in the SW1Y postal area. Masons Yard, SW1Y Masons Yard is one of the streets of London in the SW1Y postal area. Miles Street, SW8 Miles Street was developed from 1778 onwards by the Sarah and John Bond. Millbank, SW1P Millbank is one of the streets of London in the SW1P postal area. Nine Elms Lane, SW8 Nine Elms Lane was named around 1645, from a row of elm trees bordering the road. North Court, SW1P North Court is one of the streets of London in the SW1P postal area. Northumberland Avenue, WC2N Northumberland Avenue runs from Trafalgar Square in the west to the Thames Embankment in the east. The road was built on the site of Northumberland House and on part of the parallel Northumberland Street. Northumberland Street, WC2N Northumberland Street commemorates the former Northumberland House, built originally in the early 17th century for the earls of Northampton and later acquired by the earls of Northumberland.
Ormond Yard, SW1Y Ormond Yard is one of the streets of London in the SW1Y postal area. Page Street, SW1P Page Street runs from Regency Street in the west to the junction of John Islip Street and Dean Ryle Street in the east. Pall Mall, SW1Y Pall Mall is one of the streets of London in the SW1Y postal area. Parliament Square, SW1A Parliament Square is one of the most important squares in Westminster, home to the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey. Ponton Road, SW8 Ponton Road is one of the streets of London in the SW8 postal area. Pulford Street, SW1V Pulford Street was a street between construction in 1848 and demolition after the Second World War. Spring Gardens, SW1A Spring Gardens derives its name from the Spring Garden, formed in the 16th century as an addition to the pleasure grounds of Whitehall Palace. St George’s Square, SW1V St Georges Square is a long narrow space reaching to the river with an enclosed garden in the centre. Suffolk Place, SW1Y The Earl of Suffolk (Thomas Howard) was the reason for the naming of Suffolk Place. Suffolk Street, SW1Y Suffolk Street was named after Thomas Howard, Earl of Suffolk, who owned a stable yard attached to Northumberland House which lay on this site. The Arches, WC2N The Arches is one of the streets of London in the WC2N postal area. The Mall, SW1Y The Mall is the processional route between Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace. Trafalgar Square, SW1Y Trafalgar Square commemorates Horatio Nelson’s 1805 victory at the Battle of Trafalgar. Vincent Square, SW1P Vincent Square is a large grass-covered square which provides playing fields for Westminster School, which owns it. Walcott Street, SW1P Walcott Street was named after Reverend MEC Walcott, curate of the St Margaret’s, Westminster in the 1840s. Waterloo Place, SW1Y Waterloo Place, a broad extension of Regent Street, is awash with statues and monuments that honour heroes and statesmen of the British Empire. It is framed by palatial buildings designed by John Nash, the famed Regency-era architect and Decimus Burton, his protégé. West Bridge, SW8 West Bridge is one of the streets of London in the SW8 postal area. Whitehall, SW1A Whitehall is recognised as the centre of the government of the United Kingdom. Wyvil Road, SW8 Wyvil Road is a short street running west from South Lambeth Road.
Westminster - heart of government.
While the underground station dates from 1868, Westminster itself is almost as old as London itself. It has a large concentration of London’s historic and prestigious landmarks and visitor attractions, including the Palace of Westminster, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral.
Historically part of the parish of St Margaret in the City and Liberty of Westminster and the county of Middlesex, the name Westminster was the ancient description for the area around Westminster Abbey – the West Minster, or monastery church, that gave the area its name – which has been the seat of the government of England (and later the British government) for almost a thousand years.
Westminster is the location of the Palace of Westminster, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which houses the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
The area has been the seat of the government of England for almost a thousand years. Westminster
is thus often used as a metonym for Parliament and the political community of the United Kingdom generally. The civil service is similarly referred to by the area it inhabits, Whitehall
, and Westminster
is consequently also used in reference to the ’Westminster System’, the parliamentary model of democratic government that has evolved in the United Kingdom.
The historic core of Westminster is the former Thorney Island on which Westminster Abbey was built. The Abbey became the traditional venue of the coronation of the kings and queens of England. The nearby Palace of Westminster came to be the principal royal residence after the Norman conquest of England in 1066, and later housed the developing Parliament and law courts of England. It can be said that London thus has developed two distinct focal points: an economic one in the City of London; and a political and cultural one in Westminster, where the Royal Court had its home. This division is still very apparent today.
The monarchy later moved to the Palace of Whitehall
a little towards the north-east. The law courts have since moved to the Royal Courts of Justice, close to the border of the City of London.
The Westminster area formed part of the City and Liberty of Westminster and the county of Middlesex. The ancient parish was St Margaret; after 1727 split into the parishes of St Margaret and St John. The area around Westminster Abbey formed the extra-parochial Close of the Collegiate Church of St Peter surrounded by—but not part of—either parish. Until 1900 the local authority was the combined vestry of St Margaret and St John (also known as the Westminster District Board of Works from 1855 to 1887), which was based at Westminster City Hall on Caxton Street
from 1883. The Liberty of Westminster, governed by the Westminster Court of Burgesses, also included St Martin in the Fields and several other parishes and places. Westminster had its own quarter sessions, but the Middlesex sessions also had jurisdiction. The area was transferred from Middlesex to the County of London in 1889 and the local government of Westminster was reformed in 1900 when the court of burgesses and parish vestries were abolished, to be replaced with a metropolitan borough council. The council was given city status, allowing it to be known as Westminster City Council.
The underground station was opened as Westminster Bridge
on 24 December 1868 by the steam-operated Metropolitan District Railway (MDR) (now the District line) when the railway opened the first section of its line from South Kensington. It was originally the eastern terminus of the MDR and the station cutting ended at a concrete wall buffered by timber sleepers. The approach to the station from the west runs in cut and cover tunnel under the roadway of Broad Sanctuary
and diagonally under Parliament Square
. In Broad Sanctuary
the tunnel is close to Westminster Abbey and St Margaret’s church and care was required to avoid undermining their foundations when excavating in the poor ground found there.
The station was completely rebuilt to incorporate new deep-level platforms for the Jubilee line when it was extended to the London Docklands in the 1990s. During the works, the level of the sub-surface platforms was lowered to enable ground level access to Portcullis House. This was achieved in small increments carried out when the line was closed at night.