Birdcage Walk, SW1E

Road in/near St. James's Park, existing between 1660 and now

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Road · St. James's Park · SW1E ·
November
13
2018

Birdcage Walk runs east-west from the Parliament Square area (as Great George Street) to Buckingham Palace.


The Royal Menagerie and Aviary which were located on the future route of Birdcage Walk in the reign of King James I. King Charles II expanded the Aviary when St James’s Park was laid out from 1660. Storey’s Gate, named after Edward Storey, Keeper of the King’s Birds, was originally the gate at the eastern end of Birdcage Walk.

Only the Royal Family and the Hereditary Grand Falconer were permitted to drive along the road until 1828, when it was opened to the public.

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St. James's Park

St James's Park station is not only a station but London Underground HQ - otherwise known as 55 Broadway.

The station was opened on 24 December 1868 by the Metropolitan District Railway (MDR, now the District Line) when the company opened the first section of its line between South Kensington and Westminster stations. The MDR connected to the Metropolitan Railway (MR, later the Metropolitan Line) at South Kensington and, although the two companies were rivals, each company operated its trains over the other's tracks in a joint service known as the Inner Circle.

The station has been reconstructed twice. In the first decade of the 20th century the original MDR station was reconstructed in conjunction with the building of Electric Railway House a headquarters building for the MDR's owners the London Electric Railway. The station was then rebuilt again between 1927 and 1929 as part of the construction of 55 Broadway the company's new headquarters building designed by Charles Holden and featuring statues and carved stone panels including ones by Sir Jacob Epstein, Eric Gill, and Henry Moore.

The platforms feature the green, blue, black and white tiling scheme first used for the reconstruction and extension to Morden of the City & South London Railway (now the Northern Line) also designed by Holden and opened between 1924 and 1926.

Together with 55 Broadway, the station is now a Grade I listed building.

Over time, the station name has been spelled differently, illustrating changing practice in punctuation. Tube maps up to the early 1930s show the name as St. James' Park. From Harry Beck's first map in 1933 until the early 1950s the name was shown as St. James Park. Since the 1950s it has had the current name.
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