Walk 20 - PALACES, PARKS AND POSH SHOPS

A walk from the site of the Palace of Whitehall to St James's
The walk is approximately 2.5 Miles / 4 Km - about 2 hours. 

The walk starts at Embankment Tube Station (Northern Line / Bakerloo / District and Circle Lines). It ends at Piccadilly Circus Tube Station (Piccadilly and Bakerloo Lines) to return home.

PALACES, PARKS AND POSH SHOPS
A walk from the site of the Palace of Whitehall to St James's, a central district in the City of Westminster, and part of the West End of London.

INTRODUCTION & OVERVIEW
This walk goes through the site of the Palace of Whitehall, originally built by Henry VIII and most of it lost by fires in 1691 and 1698 in the reign of William III (William of Orange) and Mary II for the first fire, and William for the second date (Mary died in 1694). The walk looks at the history of the Palace, and the traces now remaining.

The walk goes past the site of one of Henry VIII's tilting yards, and goes through where Henry's private deer hunting park was.  Afterwards, it continues past two palaces that are still used, and then explores some interesting buildings and passageways in the Georgian St James's area, finally going past some high class shops and finishing at Piccadilly.

USING THE WALK
The walk is designed to be used directly from your phone. 

There are links within the text to more information about things that are discussed in the walk. You can follow these up later if you wish. 

In the walk: 
- Directions are shown in black text.
- History notes are shown in blue text.
- Further info. links are shown in brown text.

WALK START

START OF WALK
- Start at Embankment Station - Turn right after ticket barriers
- Emerge onto the Embankment, turn right, go under bridge
- Cross Northumberland Avenue
- Enter Whitehall Gardens and walk through, parallel with river

WHITEHALL GARDENS
There are three statues in the park, of James OutramHenry Bartle Frere and William Tyndale. Tyndale, born in the mid 15th century, was an English biblical scholar and linguist. He was a leading figure in the Protestant Reformation. Outram and Frere were both 19th century Baronets involved with the colonies, Frere as an administrator, Outram as a Soldier.

Whitehall Gardens are built on the Embankment, designed by Joseph Bazalgette, and built in the 1860's to reclaim land at the edge of the Thames. The buildings of the Palace of Whitehall were built between the 16th century river bank, which is now approximately where the Royal Horseguards Hotel is (the building on the right, behind the gardens) and where St James's Park starts. 

- Turn right at Horse Guards Avenue

You are now walking down a road that goes through the middle of the area occupied by The Palace of Whitehall.

The first white building on the left, is the Ministry of Defence Main Building. It has a wine cellar from Whitehall Palace under it.

(Above) The Palace of Whitehall Wine Cellar under the MOD Building, Whitehall - Image owned by MOD
It is used under an OGL (Open Government License) http://www.defenceimagery.mod.uk

On the front left corner of the building there are some stone steps. These are called Queen Mary’s Steps, and are named after Mary of Modena, the wife of James II. These steps are the upper part of a longer flight. This led down to the river from a grand terrace, designed by Sir Christopher Wren in 1691, which fronted part of the Palace of Whitehall.

- Before continuing, you may like to read the following quick overview of the Palace of Whitehall, its creation and its demise, and who was involved.

PALACE OF WHITEHALL OVERVIEW
The Palace of Whitehall covered an area east to west from Queen Mary's Steps to Horseguards, and from Whitehall Place to the Cabinet Office north to south. 

By the 13th century, the Palace of Westminster was the centre of government in England, and had been the main London residence of the king since 1049. The surrounding area became a fashionable  location. Walter de Grey, the Archbishop of York, bought a nearby property as his Westminster residence soon after 1240, calling it York Place. 

Cardinal Wolsey inherited York Place in 1514. He greatly enlarged the buildings, rebuilding the great hall and the chapel. New state rooms were built, together new kitchens and a long gallery. York Place was approximately where Whitehall Court is now (This is the road opposite the entrance to the MOD building).

At this time in the 1520s Henry VIII was married to Catherine of Aragon but was concerned that she could not produce a male heir. Henry became enamoured of Anne Boleyn and so charged his Chancellor Thomas Wolsey to get him a divorce. 

When Wolsey was not able get the Pope's permission to arrange for Henry to divorce Catherine of AragonHenry was annoyed, and removed the Cardinal from power. Henry then confiscated York Place, enlarged it, and acquired land around it. Henry also acquired land to the west of there, to become a deer park. 

Westminster Palace, just down the road from York Place, had been gutted by fire in 1512. So Henry decided to have York Place further extended and improved to replace it, making it much grander. Also, on the west side of what is now called Whitehall (then called Kings Street) Henry got various leisure facilities installed. He had a bowling green laid, and had an indoor real tennis court  built, and a pit for cock fighting (this was on the site of what is now the Cabinet Office, at 70 Whitehall). There was also a tiltyard built for jousting (this is now the site of Horse Guards), see map picture below. 



(ABOVE) Palace of Whitehall in around 1561 - from the Agas Map

The name Whitehall Palace instead of the old name York Place was first recorded in 1532. The new name had its origins in the white stone used for some of the new buildings.

Henry VIII married two of his wives at the palace - Anne Boleyn in 1533 and Jane Seymour in 1536. Henry died there in January 1547.

Henry's son, Edward VI inherited the palace, as did Mary I when Edward died, aged 15.

Queen Elizabeth I then inherited Whitehall Palace, and used it more than at any of her other palaces.

When Elizabeth died in 1603, the throne passed to James VI of Scotland who then  became James I of England and Ireland.

James I made significant changes and additions to the Whitehall Palace buildings, notably the construction in 1622 of a new Banqueting House, built to a design by Inigo Jones in the Palladian style.  It would have stood out from the other Palace buildings, being one of the first in England to be built in this grand classical style, with columns of white stone. The decoration of the Banqueting House was finished in 1634 with the completion of a ceiling by Sir Peter Paul Rubens, which had been commissioned by Charles I. 

Charles I and Parliament became increasingly at odds in the 1630s, and in 1642 the English Civil war broke out between Charles and the Parliamentarians (Roundheads).  The latter won; they captured Charles, tried him and sentenced him to death. In 1649, Charles I was beheaded on a scaffold in front of the Banqueting House.

Oliver Cromwell moved into the Palace of Whitehall in 1654, having been installed as Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland at the end of the previous year. He also died of a fever there in 1658, aged 59.

In 1660 the monarchy was restored. Charles II then came to the throne. He commissioned minor works to the Palace of Whitehall

On coming to the throne, James II also ordered various changes to the Palace, which were organised via Sir Christopher Wren.

By 1691, during the reign of William and Mary, the Palace had become the largest and most complex in Europe. On 10 April of that year, a fire broke out damaging the older Palace structures, though not the state apartments.

A second fire on 4 January 1698 destroyed most of the remaining residential and government buildings. It was started inadvertently by a servant in an upper room who had hung wet linen around a burning charcoal brazier to dry. Christopher Wren, then the King's Surveyor of Works, was ordered by William III to focus manpower on saving the architectural jewel of the complex, the Banqueting House.

The diarist, John Evelyn, noted : "Whitehall burnt! nothing but walls and ruins left."

(Above) Palace of Whitehall looking from the west (St James's Park side). From a painting by Hendrick Danckerts 1675 (Public Domain Image). You will be walking that way soon. Later in the walk, when you get to St James's Park, you can look back to see what this view looks like today.

- Carry on walking down Horse Guards Avenue to its junction with Whitehall.

Stand here to read the text below. It's about the places around you here.

On your left at Whitehall is the Banqueting House, mentioned previously. It was built to house grand entertainments. James I had it built in 1619-22 to a design by Inigo Jones. It is the only complete surviving building from the Palace of Whitehall. There were two previous Banqueting Houses here. One a more flimsy version was built in the time of Elizabeth I, and James I also had a Banqueting House built before the current one, but was unsatisfied with it. 

(Above) Charles I being beheaded outside the Banqueting House (Open Source)

Charles I was beheaded here during the English Civil War (1642-1651). The parliamentarian High Court of Justice had declared Charles guilty of attempting to "uphold in himself an unlimited and tyrannical power to rule according to his will, and to overthrow the rights and liberties of the people", and he was sentenced to death. On a scafold level with the first floor of the Banqueting House, Charles I was beheaded, on the 30th of January 1649. 

On the right, on the corner of Horse Guards Avenue and Whitehall is the Old War Office building, now a hotel. When Winston Churchill was  Secretary of State for War (1919-1921), he had a suite of offices here. At various times, T E Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia), John Profumo and Sir Ian Fleming (Creator of James Bond) have worked here.

On the right, further up about 140 metres, is Great Scotland Yard. It is thought it is so named as it was the area in which Scottish Royalty were housed when they used to stay on visits. This was probably during the reign of James I.

Over the road is the Horse Guards building. The first Horse Guards building here was commissioned by King Charles II in 1663, on the site of cavalry stables which had been built on the Henry VIII’s tilt-yard in the Palace of Whitehall. The Guard House was destroyed in the Palace of Whitehall fire in 1698. It was replaced by the present Horse Guards building in 1753.

To the left of the Horse Guards building is the Scottish Office, and a little further down, the Cabinet Office. In the time of Henry VIII, there was a Real Tennis Court built here. Even further down to the left of the Horse Guards (about 190m), is Downing Street, home of the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer. This was where Henry VIII had a Cock-fighting Pit.   

- Cross over Whitehall and look back to get a better view of the Banqueting House.

- Carry on through the gate between the mounted soldiers.

The Guard House of the old Palace of Whitehall was on this site, and a royal guard has been mounted here since 1660. The Guard House was destroyed in the Palace of Whitehall fire in 1698. It was replaced by the present Horse Guards building in 1753.

- Go through the tunnel behind the mounted soldiers, pass The Household Cavalry Museum on your right, and emerge on the Horse Guards Parade.

- Head straight across the Horse Guards Parade, heading towards the Guards Memorial which has five statues across the front of it.

On the left you are passing the backs of the gardens of 10 and 11 Downing Street. On the edge of the parade ground in that direction there is a statue of Horatio Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener, the British Army officer and colonial administrator. His face became widely recognised through being on a First World War recruitment poster. 

On the right is the Old Admiralty Building. This is now the London Headquarters of the Department for International Trade. Some world-famous people have worked here, such as former Prime Minister Winston Churchill and James Bond creator Ian Fleming.  In the Second World War it was where “Operation Mincemeat”, the plan to convince Germany that the Allies were going to invade Greece instead of Italy in 1943, was created. The operation has recently been made into a film.

- Have a look at the Guards Memorial 

The Guards Memorial commemorates the war dead from the Guards Division and related units during the First World War. It also commemorates the dead of the Household Division in the Second World War and in other conflicts since 1918.

Above the five statues, there is an inscription starting "To the Glory of God..." which was written by Rudyard Kipling. Kipling's only son John was killed in action, while serving in the Irish Guards at the Battle of Loos in September 1915.

- There is a toilet near to the gate on the right of the memorial, if needed.

- Enter St James’s Park using the gate to left of memorial. Walk staight ahead along the path. Just before the park cafe, take the path on the right.

- When you get to the Mall, cross over the road and walk up the flight of stone steps towards and past the tall column with a statue of Frederick, Duke of York (1763-1827), second son of George III.

Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany, was the commander-in-chief of the British Army during the French Revolutionary Wars. He led the reform and modernisation of the army into being a more capable modernised force. The Duke is remembered in the children's nursery rhyme "The Grand Old Duke of York". When he died in 1827, the entire British Army, following a proposal of the senior officers, gave up one day's wages in order to pay for a monument to the Duke.

- Turn left along Carlton House Terrace. Walk past the Royal Society on the left.

The Royal Society is a learned society and the United Kingdom's national academy of sciences. The society promotes science and its benefits, and fosters international and global co-operation. It was founded on 28 November 1660, the date of the Royal Charter granted by King Charles II. It is the oldest continuously existing scientific academy in the world. Famous Fellows of the Royal Society include: Isaac Newton, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Boyle, Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking and Tim Berners-Lee.

- Turn first right into Carlton Gardens.

On the corner of Carlton House Terrace and Carlton Gardens you will pass a statue of George Nathaniel Curzon, a British statesman and a viceroy of India (1898–1905), and a foreign secretary (1919–24)George Nathaniel Curzon is not who Curzon St is named after. It is thought to be named after George Howe, 3rd Viscount Howe from the House of Curzon who lived in the 18th century, and was a soldier.

- At the end of Carlton Gardens you come to Pall Mall.

PALL MALL
The Pall Mall road was built in 1661, although it was not named Pall Mall at first. There  was an earlier road from the Haymarket to St James's Palace that the 1661 road replaced. When St. James's Park was laid out by order of Henry VIII in the 16th century, the park's northern boundary wall was built along the south side of the earlier road.

The name Pall-mall, comes from a ball game, similar to croquet, that was introduced to England in the early 17th century by James I. After the Restoration and King Charles II's return to London in 1660, a pall-mall court was built in St James's Park just south of Pall Mall.

(Above) Drawing of a game of "Pell-Mell" by Adriaen van de Venne (Public Domain)

In 1661 Samuel Pepys's recorded in his diary: "...went into St. James's Park, where I saw the Duke of York playing at Pelemele, the first time that I ever saw the sport".

- Cross over Pall Mall. Opposite Carlton Gardens, and a little to the right, is an entrance to St James's Square. Walk into it. 

ST JAMES’S SQUARE
On your right, some houses of particular interest are: 

Norfolk House – originally the London residence of the Dukes of Norfolk, it was demolished in 1938.  It was replaced by

No. 31: is Norfolk House – originally the London residence of the Dukes of Norfolk, it was demolished in 1938. It was replaced by a neo-Georgian office building of the same name which was U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower's headquarters during the Second World War, where Operation Torch and Operation Overlord were planned.

No. 33: Designed by Robert Adam in the early 1770s, it replaced an earlier house in the same spot. It was later altered by Sir John Soane between 1817–23. 

After passing Charles II street on your right, the numbering system then changes. 

No. 1: The BP company head office. It is a post-modern building dating from c.2000 which defers to the Georgian style of the street. It was built to be Ericsson's London office and was sold to BP for £117 million in 2001.

No. 4: The Naval and Military Club was built between 1726-28 by Edward Shepherd.  It was later the home of Nancy Astor, the first woman to take her seat in Parliament.  It is the only house in the square to retain its large garden and the original mews house to the rear.

No. 5: Wentworth House, built in 1748-51 by William Wentworth, 2nd Earl of Strafford.In 1854 it was refronted in stone, a porch was added and an attic converted into a full storey. It is now offices. In 1984 it was the Libyan "People's Bureau", when during the Libyan Embassy Siege gunshots were fired from the building killing WPC Yvonne Fletcher. There is a memorial to WPC Fletcher opposite to the building on the fence of the St James's Square gardens.

(Above) Left: 5 St James's Square, once the Libyan People's Bureau. Middle: WPC Yvonne Fletcher. Right: The memorial opposite to 5, St James's Square, on the railings on the gardens.

No. 7: is a Neo Georgian design, by architect Edwin Lutyens and built in 1911.

- Cross over Duke of York Street.

Before continuing around the Square, have a look on the wall, a few metres down Duke of York Street. A circular green plaque there explains about Henry Jermyn "Founder of the West End) who died in a house on this site. This will be expanded on later in the walk when we get to Jermyn Street.

- Return to the Square, and continue walking around it.

No. 10 is Chatham House, former home of British Prime Minister William Pitt the Elder and of the Earl and Countess of Blessington. There is a London County Council plaque on Number 10 stating "Here lived Three Prime Ministers William Pitt, Earl of Chatham 1708–1778. Edward Geoffrey Stanley EARL OF DERBY 1799–1869. William Ewart GLADSTONE 1809–1898". 

Chatham House is now used by "The Royal Institute of International Affairs", and is a British think tank. It's stated mission is to help governments and societies build a sustainably secure, prosperous and just world. The famous "Chatham House Rule" is that in meetings held under the Rule, participants can use any information received, but the identity of the participants in the meeting must not be revealed.

No. 12: was built 1836, probably by Thomas Cubitt. It is the former home of Augusta Ada Lovelace.  Augusta Ada King, the daughter of Lord Byron, was Countess of Lovelace 1815 – 1852, and was an English mathematician and writer. Today, she is mainly known for her work on Charles Babbage's proposed mechanical general-purpose computer, the Analytical Engine. She was the first to recognise that the machine had uses beyond just calculation.

No. 14: Has been the home of the London Library since 1845, and was rebuilt for them in the late 19th century. It has subsequently been extended at the rear. The London Library is an independent lending library. It was founded on the initiative of Thomas Carlyle, the writer, historian and philosopher. Membership is open to all, with  an annual subscription. The Library has over 7000 members.

No. 16 and site of former No. 17: is the East India Club, built in 1865 to designs by Charles Lee.

- When you get to King Street on the western side of the square, turn left and cross over to through the gates into the middle of the garden, in the centre of the square.

ST JAMES’S SQUARE GARDENS
The equestrian statue of William III is by John Bacon the Younger. It was erected in 1808. 

The gardens are maintained and cared for by the St James's Square Trust, which receives its financial support from the building freeholders in the square. The Trust was established by the Saint James' Square (Rates) Act of 1725.

- Exit the gardens from the same gate you entered, then turn left and continue walking around the square. 

On the right is No. 20, which Robert Adam reconstructed from 1771 to 1775. It is one of Adam's most praised smaller works. It is now offices for the Rolex company.

Carry straight on down to the intersection with Pall Mall, then turn right.

NELL GWYN
As you are walking, on the other side of the road, numbers 82, 80, 79 have blue plaques on them. These include plaques to Thomas Gainsborough and Nell Gwyn.  

Gwyn moved into this house in 1671 and died here in 1687 (aged 37). 

Eleanor Gwyn, better known as Nell Gwyn, was born in 1650. Her name was also sometimes spelled Gwynn or Gwynne. Nell Gwyn was an English stage actress and celebrity figure of the Restoration period. She was one of the first actresses on the English stage, and was praised by Samuel Pepys for her comic performances. She became best known for being a long-time mistress of King Charles II of England.

(Above Right) A portrait of Nell Gwyn as Venus. Pictured with her son, Charles Beauclerk, as Cupid. Painted by Peter Lely. (Public Domain)

Charles II had this painting hung behind a landscape. He would swung it back to allow favoured guests to peer at it.The entire south side of Pall Mall was owned by the Crown. This was because originally, instead of houses, it had the northern wall of Henry VIII’s Palace of Whitehall deer park built on it. The wall was later demolished and the land was leased to build houses on. However, in 1676 Nell Gwyn was given the freehold of this house and today it is still the only house on the south side which is not owned by the Crown estate.

- Move further down Pall Mall where we will explore some old passageways.  Just after 52 Pall Mall, on the right, is Angel Court. Turn right into it and walk through.

- At the junction with King Street, turn left.

- After 40 metres, turn left into Crown Passage and down it to the intersection with Pall Mall again, then turn right.

- At the end of the block, turn right into St James's Street. After a few metres, on the right is a passageway into Pickering Place, which leads behind the Berry Bros & Rudd Wine Shop. On the right of the passageway entrance is a small plaque. 

PICKERING PLACE
Read the small metal plaque on the right hand side of the passageway, and notice the old black painted oak panelling.

The plaque (see below) marks the fact that the Texas Legation (a sort of embassy) to the UK was based in Pickering Place (in the building that is now a wine shop) between 1842 and 1845. Texas broke away from being part of Mexico in 1836, and became an independent republic. In 1845 it was annexed by the US, and in 1846 formally became one of the United States of America. Apparently, when the Legation left the building, they omitted to pay their final rent bill. 

Left: Lord Palmerston monument. Right: Texas Legation memorial plaque.

- Go down the passageway.

The area at the end of the passage is London's smallest square. It has unspoiled Georgian buildings, and is still lit by gas lighting. It was built by the Berry family in 1734.  At that time, Pickering Place was notorious. It was used for dog-fighting, bear-baiting, cock-fighting and even bare knuckle boxing, giving extra passing trade for Berry Bros. & Rudd.

At the end of the 18th century the last duel to the death with swords was fought in the square. Duels with pistols were fought here too, up to the middle of the 19th century. It's said that Beau Brummel, the famous dandy and inventor of the cravat, and also a close friend of King George IV, once fought here.

Lord Palmerston, a former Prime Minister, lived in Pickering Place at one time. There is a stone monument with his head depicted on it which commemorates this (see above). 

- Leave Pickering Place, turn left on to St James's Street and walk back towards Pall Mall. Before you get there, cross over the zebra crossing to the other side of St James's Street. Turn left, then turn right into Cleveland Row. Here you can see the north-west side of St James's Palace.

ST JAMES’S PALACE
St James’s Palace was built on the site of what used to be an isolated leper hospital dedicated to Saint James the Less. A new building was commissioned by Henry VIII, and was originally to be a hunting lodge for St James’s Park, which had been newly enclosed with a high wall to be used as a deer park. The deer park stretched from the Palace of Whitehall to the south side of where Pall Mall now is. 

(Above) A View of St James's Palace, Pall Mall by Thomas Bowles, 1763. (Public Domain) 

The hunting lodge was enlarged between 1531 and 1536 and became a new palace, and again was improved and remodelled in 1544 with some new ceilings which were painted by Hans Holbein.

Henry Fitzroy, the Duke of Richmond, Henry’s VIII’s illegitimate son, died at St James’s Palace in 1536. 

Edward VI, son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour, was born in 1537 at Hampton Court, but later on lived at St James’s Palace, which is where he was living when Henry died in 1547 and Edward became King. Because of his youth, Edward had a Regency Council that governed on his behalf until he was old enough to rule alone. Unfortunately, Edward died at the age of 15 at Greenwich Palace on 6 July 1553, probably of tuberculosis.

Queen Mary I, Daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, signed the treaty to surrender Calais to the French at St James’s Palace in 1558. Mary famously remarked that "when I am dead and opened, you shall find Calais engraved on my heart".

Elizabeth IDaughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, was a resident of St James’s Palace during the threat posed by the Spanish Armada in 1588. She set out from St James’s to address her troops at Tilbury.

Charles I spent his last night at St James’s Palace. He took communion there on the morning of his execution, before being taken to be beheaded on the scaffold erected in front of the Banqueting House in Whitehall.

Following the destructive fires at Whitehall Palace which took place in 1691 and in 1698 during the reign of William and Mary, St James’s Palace took on more administrative functions for the monarchy. It’s importance increased during the reigns of the Hanoverian monarchs, but waned when Buckingham Palace (previously acquired by George III as Buckingham House) became the main London residence of the British monarch on the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837. 

Today St. James's Palace is the London residence of several members of the Royal Family. These include the Princess Royal (Anne), Princess Beatrice and Princess Alexandra. The palace complex is regularly used for official royal and government functions.

- Walk past St James's Palace with it on your left, until you get to Stable Yard.

STABLE YARD
Stable Yard has a police security checkpoint, because it leads to Lancaster House, a grand, government owned, events space. It also leads to the side of Clarence House, in 2023 still being used by King Charles III and Queen Camilla while work takes place on Buckingham Palace.  

- Turn right away from Stable Yard, then immediately left to remain on Cleveland Row. 

- Continue in the same direction until you emerge on to The Green Park.

THE GREEN PARK
In the medieval period, the area now called The Green Park was a swampy burial ground for lepers from the hospital, which was approximately where St James's Palace now is

In the 1660's, King Charles II wanted to be able to walk from St James's Park to Hyde Park in privacy, and on land that the Crown owned. He acquired about 40 acres of land between the two existing parks, and built a brick wall around it. The original name of Green Park was Upper St James's Park. in 1746 it was renamed The Green Park. 

During the 18th and 19th centuries, The Green Park was a popular place for ballooning attempts and for public firework displays. Handel's 'Music for the Royal Fireworks' was composed for a fireworks display held in The Green Park in 1749. 

The park was also used as a duelling ground.

The Royal Parks were gradually opened to the public, and by the 1800s they had all been opened.

- When you emerge on to Green Park, note your position here as you will return to it after viewing Buckingham Palace.

- Buckingham Palace is in front of you, through the park and a little to the left. 

- Use the paths to walk down to the Palace, but remember your route so that you can retrace your steps afterwards.

BUCKINGHAM PALACE
There have been buildings on this site from the early 17th century.  However, the first building of note, Buckingham House, was built for a certain John Sheffield.  It consisted of a large three-floored central block with two smaller flanking service wings. It was eventually sold to George III in 1762 for £21,000. It was renamed the Queen's House as it was intended as a private retreat for Queen Charlotte.

The house was remodelled in the later part of the 18th century and became refered to as Buckingham Palace. George IV employed architect John Nash to upgrade the Palace, but this grew too costly. William IV continued the work, but died before it was  finished. 

In 1837 Queen Victoria became the first monarch to use Buckingham Palace as the principal royal residence. The east wing public fa├žade, which is now the front of the Palace and which enclosed the courtyard of the original design, was built between 1847 and 1850. In 1913, in the reign of George V,  the frontage was remodelled to how it is appears today.

- Return through Green Park to the place that you first emerged on to it, then turn left and walk along the path, keeping the buildings on your right. 

- After 160 metres, keep your eye out for a narrow passageway on your right. This entry is called Queen's Passage. Turn right into it and walk through.

- Continue until you emerge on to St James's Place. Turn right. At the corner you come to, turn left to remain on St James's Place.

- On the right is a turning that leads to Dukes Hotel. Have a look down here, then return and continue walking along St James's Place.

DUKES HOTEL
On the right hand side of the road is a cul-de-sac housing Dukes Hotel, Opened in 1905, Dukes was a favourite of James Bond author Ian Fleming and is famed for its ice-cold, and rather large, martinis (shaken not stirred) at about £25 each. 

- At the end of St James's Place, turn left into St James's Street.

- Turn first left into Park Place. After about 55 metres, on the right is a cream coloured building with columns (5 Park Place). In the first part of the building that you get to there are some stairs. Walk up these stairs which go through the front of this building and emerge in Arlington Street. 

- Walk along Arlington Street then turn right into Bennet Street.

- At the end of Bennet Street, you get to St James's Street again. Cross over St James's Street at the crossing and turn left, and then first right into Jermyn Street.

JERMYN STREET
Jermyn street is named after Henry Jermyn, 1st Earl of St Albans. Jermyn is said to be the “founder” of London’s West End. 

In September 1662, Jermyn planned the construction of grand houses on open land in the area that would become St. James's Square. The support of Charles II for this plan discouraged opposition. St. James' Square was built by Jermyn, as were the surrounding streets, including Jermyn Street, King Street, Duke Street St James's and Charles II Street, soon afterwards. The success of his building in this area became the inspiration for developing  the whole of the West End of London.

- Walk down Jermyn Street. On the left hand side of the road pass Piccadilly Arcade with a statue of Beau Brummell outside. 

BEAU BRUMMELL
George Bryan "Beau" Brummell (1778–1840) was was born in Downing Street, off Whitehall of middle class parents, and was educated at Eton and Oxford, where he started to get a reputation for being very particular about the way he dressed, and for setting new fashions.

In 1794, George Brummell joined the Tenth Light Dragoons where he met, and forged a friendship with the son of George III, the Prince of Wales. The year after, when his father died, Brummell inherited around £30,000.

Staying in London after leaving the army, George Brummell's friendship with, and influence over, the Prince of Wales continued. 

Brummell dressed in understated but perfectly tailored bespoke clothes, spurning the more flashy fashions of the day. Influenced by Brummell's example, this restrained, but elegant form of male dress became widely popular. An immaculate linen shirt, with an elaborately knotted cravat, became George Brummell's trademark.

Brummell took a house in Mayfair, and moved in fashionable circles, with people that had much larger fortunes than him. Unfortunately, George refused to economise, and borrowed money to maintain his lifestyle. He also fell out with the Prince of Wales (later to become George IV). The falling out culminated at a party when Brummell came across the Prince of Wales and Lord Alvanley chatting. The Prince ignored Brummell, prompting the famous Brummell quote, "Alvanley, who's your fat friend?".

In 1816, George Brummell, owing thousands of pounds, and threatened with debtor's prison, fled to France to escape. He lived in northern France for the next 24 Years, earning a little money with the help of influential friends. Unfortunately, he continued borrowing and got put into a debtors prison in Calais in 1835. He was bailed out by friends in England, but remained in France, living a frugal and dissolute lifestyle. In 1840, George Bryan "Beau" Brummell died penniless and insane from syphilis, at an Asylum near Caen.  

- You may like to look at the very upmarket shops in the Picadilly Arcade, before continuing along Jermyn Street.

- Cross over Duke Street St James's and continue on Jermyn Street. 

- On your left you will pass Princes Arcade. Again, you may like to browse the Arcade before continuing along Jermyn Street.

- Continue onwards until you reach St James's Church, Piccadilly on the left side of the road. 

ST JAMES'S CHURCH
Henry Jermyn, previously mentioned as a developer of residential buildings in this area, also set aside land for the building of a parish church and churchyard. It was to serve the south side of what is now Piccadilly. Christopher Wren was appointed the architect in 1672 and St James's Church was built. In 1685 the parish of St James was created for the church.

The church was severely damaged by bombing in the Second World War. After the war ended, the church was restored, and Southwood Garden was created in the churchyard as a garden of remembrance, "to commemorate the courage and fortitude of the people of London". The garden was opened by Queen Mary in 1946.

- Walk through the rear entrance to the church and out of the front to emerge on Piccadilly. 

- Turn right and walk up to Piccadilly Circus.

END OF WALK

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