Westminster Abbey

Cathedral in/near Westminster, existing until now

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Cathedral · Westminster · ·
MAY
8
2019
Westminster Abbey, formally titled the Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, is one of the world’s greatest churches.

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According to a tradition first reported by Sulcard in about 1080, a church was founded at the site, then known as Thorn Ey (Thorn Island), in the 7th century, at the time of Mellitus (d. 624), a Bishop of London. The island was a marshy retreat from the City of London, flanked by two channels of the Tyburn River, which flowed where Downing Street and Great College Street now run. Construction of the present church was begun in 1245, on the orders of Henry III.

It is a designated World Heritage Site and ‘Royal Peculiar’, which means the Dean is directly answerable to the monarch. The coronation of Kings and Queens has taken place here since 1066, and many of the nation’s Kings and Queens are buried in the Abbey. Principal among them is St Edward the Confessor, King of England from 1042 to 1066, whose shrine is at the heart of the Abbey. The Abbey has hosted many royal weddings.

Apart from the royal graves, there are many famous commoners interred here, especially in Poets’ Corner, where you’ll find the resting places of Chaucer, Dickens, Hardy, Tennyson, Dr Johnson and Kipling as well as memorials to the other greats (Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Brontë etc). Nearby are the graves of Handel and Sir Isaac Newton.

The octagonal Chapter House dates from the 1250s and was where the monks would meet for daily prayer before Henry VIII’s suppression of the monasteries some three centuries later. Used as a treasury and ’Royal Wardrobe’, the cryptlike Pyx Chamber dates from about 1070. The neighbouring Abbey Museum has as its centrepiece the death masks of generations of royalty.

In the Abbey precincts lies St Margaret’s Church (the Church of the House of Commons), the Great and Little Cloisters, the Chapter House and Museum, and College Garden, the oldest garden in England. The Abbey Library and Muniments Room offer research facilities by appointment. Also here are Westminster School, strongly associated with the Abbey, and Westminster Abbey Choir School, which educates the Abbey’s choristers.


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CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE LOCALITY


The Underground Map   
Added: 8 Dec 2020 00:24 GMT   

Othello takes a bow
On 1 November 1604, William Shakespeare’s tragedy Othello was presented for the first time, at The Palace of Whitehall. The palace was the main residence of the English monarchs in London from 1530 until 1698. Seven years to the day, Shakespeare’s romantic comedy The Tempest was also presented for the first time, and also at the Palace of Whitehall.

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Linda Webb   
Added: 27 Sep 2021 05:51 GMT   

Hungerford Stairs
In 1794 my ancestor, George Webb, Clay Pipe Maker, lived in Hungerford Stairs, Strand. Source: Wakefields Merchant & Tradesmens General Directory London Westminster 1794

Source: Hungerford Stairs

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TUM   
Added: 27 Aug 2022 10:22 GMT   

The Underground Map
Michael Faraday successfully demonstrated the first electrical transformer at the Royal Institute, London.

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Roy Batham   
Added: 7 Jan 2022 07:17 GMT   

Smithy in Longacre
John Burris 1802-1848 Listed 1841 census as Burroughs was a blacksmith, address just given as Longacre.

Source: Batham/Wiseman - Family Tree

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Scott Hatton   
Added: 11 Sep 2020 19:47 GMT   

Millions Of Rats In Busy London
The Daily Mail on 14 April 1903 reported "MILLIONS OF RATS IN BUSY LONDON"

A rat plague, unprecedented in the annals of London, has broken out on the north side of the Strand. The streets principally infested are Catherine street, Drury lane, Blackmore street, Clare Market and Russell street. Something akin to a reign of terror prevails among the inhabitants after nightfall. Women refuse to pass along Blackmore street and the lower parts of Stanhope street after dusk, for droves of rats perambulate the roadways and pavements, and may be seen running along the window ledges of the empty houses awaiting demolition by the County Council in the Strand to Holborn improvement scheme.

The rats, indeed, have appeared in almost-incredible numbers. "There are millions of them," said one shopkeeper, and his statement was supported by other residents. The unwelcome visitors have been evicted from their old haunts by the County Council housebreakers, and are now busily in search of new homes. The Gaiety Restaurant has been the greatest sufferer. Rats have invaded the premises in such force that the managers have had to close the large dining room on the first floor and the grill rooms on the ground floor and in the basement. Those three spacious halls which have witnessed many as semblages of theatre-goers are now qui:e deserted. Behind the wainscot of the bandstand in the grillroom is a large mound of linen shreds. This represents 1728 serviettes carried theee by the rats.

In the bar the removal of a panel disclosed the astonishing fact that the rats have dragged for a distance of seven or eight yards some thirty or forty beer and wine bottles and stacked them in such a fashion as to make comfortable sleeping places. Mr Williams. the manager of the restaurant, estimates that the rats have destroyed L200 worth of linen. Formerly the Gaiety Restaurant dined 2000 persons daily; no business whatever is now done in this direction.

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Bruce McTavish   
Added: 11 Mar 2021 11:37 GMT   

Kennington Road
Lambeth North station was opened as Kennington Road and then Westminster Bridge Road before settling on its final name. It has a wonderful Leslie Green design.

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Scott Hatton   
Added: 30 Jan 2023 11:28 GMT   

The Beatles on a London rooftop
The Beatles’ rooftop concert took place on the rooftop of the Apple Corps building in London. It was their final public performance as a band and was unannounced, attracting a crowd of onlookers. The concert lasted for 42 minutes and included nine songs. The concert is remembered as a seminal moment in the history of rock music and remains one of the most famous rock performances of all time.

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Jessie Doring   
Added: 22 Feb 2021 04:33 GMT   

Tisbury Court Jazz Bar
Jazz Bar opened in Tisbury Court by 2 Australians. Situated in underground basement. Can not remember how long it opened for.

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Lived here
Brian J MacIntyre   
Added: 8 Jan 2023 17:27 GMT   

Malcolm Davey at Raleigh House, Dolphin Square
My former partner, actor Malcolm Davey, lived at Raleigh House, Dolphin Square, for many years until his death. He was a wonderful human being and an even better friend. A somewhat underrated actor, but loved by many, including myself. I miss you terribly, Malcolm. Here’s to you and to History, our favourite subject.
Love Always - Brian J MacIntyre
Minnesota, USA

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Pauline jones   
Added: 16 Oct 2017 19:04 GMT   

Bessborough Place, SW1V
I grew up in bessborough place at the back of our house and Grosvenor road and bessborough gardens was a fantastic playground called trinity mews it had a paddling pool sandpit football area and various things to climb on, such as a train , slide also as Wendy house. There were plants surrounding this wonderful play area, two playground attendants ,also a shelter for when it rained. The children were constantly told off by the playground keepers for touching the plants or kicking the ball out of the permitted area, there was hopscotch as well, all these play items were brick apart from the slide. Pollock was the centre of my universe and I felt sorry and still do for anyone not being born there. To this day I miss it and constantly look for images of the streets around there, my sister and me often go back to take a clumped of our beloved London. The stucco houses were a feature and the backs of the houses enabled parents to see thier children playing.

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Robert smitherman   
Added: 23 Aug 2017 11:01 GMT   

Saunders Street, SE11
I was born in a prefab on Saunders street SE11 in the 60’s, when I lived there, the road consisted of a few prefab houses, the road originally ran from Lollard street all the way thru to Fitzalan street. I went back there to have a look back in the early 90’s but all that is left of the road is about 20m of road and the road sign.

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Lived here
Richard Roques   
Added: 21 Jan 2021 16:53 GMT   

Buckingham Street residents
Here in Buckingham Street lived Samuel Pepys the diarist, Charles Dickens and Rudyard Kipling

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Jude Allen   
Added: 29 Jul 2021 07:53 GMT   

Bra top
I jave a jewelled item of clothong worn by a revie girl.
It is red with diamante straps. Inside it jas a label Bermans Revue 16 Orange Street but I cannot find any info online about the revue only that 16 Orange Street used to be a theatre. Does any one know about the revue. I would be intesrested to imagine the wearer of the article and her London life.

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Born here
sam   
Added: 31 Dec 2021 00:54 GMT   

Burdett Street, SE1
I was on 2nd July 1952, in Burdett chambers (which is also known as Burdett buildings)on Burdett street

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LATEST LONDON-WIDE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE PROJECT


Scott Hatton   
Added: 30 Jan 2023 11:28 GMT   

The Beatles on a London rooftop
The Beatles’ rooftop concert took place on the rooftop of the Apple Corps building in London. It was their final public performance as a band and was unannounced, attracting a crowd of onlookers. The concert lasted for 42 minutes and included nine songs. The concert is remembered as a seminal moment in the history of rock music and remains one of the most famous rock performances of all time.

Reply

Michael Upham   
Added: 16 Jan 2023 21:16 GMT   

Bala Place, SE16
My grandfather was born at 2 Bala Place.

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Added: 15 Jan 2023 09:49 GMT   

The Bombing of Nant Street WW2
My uncle with his young son and baby daughter were killed in the bombing of Nant Street in WW2. His wife had gone to be with her mother whilst the bombing of the area was taking place, and so survived. Cannot imagine how she felt when she returned to see her home flattened and to be told of the death of her husband and children.


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Lived here
Brian J MacIntyre   
Added: 8 Jan 2023 17:27 GMT   

Malcolm Davey at Raleigh House, Dolphin Square
My former partner, actor Malcolm Davey, lived at Raleigh House, Dolphin Square, for many years until his death. He was a wonderful human being and an even better friend. A somewhat underrated actor, but loved by many, including myself. I miss you terribly, Malcolm. Here’s to you and to History, our favourite subject.
Love Always - Brian J MacIntyre
Minnesota, USA

Reply
Lived here
Robert Burns   
Added: 5 Jan 2023 17:46 GMT   

1 Abourne Street
My mother, and my Aunt and my Aunt’s family lived at number 1 Abourne Street.
I remember visitingn my aunt Win Housego, and the Housego family there. If I remember correctly virtually opposite number 1, onthe corner was the Lord Amberley pub.

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Comment
   
Added: 30 Dec 2022 21:41 GMT   

Southam Street, W10
do any one remember J&A DEMOLITON at harrow rd kensal green my dad work for them in a aec 6 wheel tipper got a photo of him in it

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Fumblina   
Added: 26 Dec 2022 18:59 GMT   

Detailed history of Red Lion
I’m not the author but this blog by Dick Weindling and Marianne Colloms has loads of really clear information about the history of the Red Lion which people might appreciate.


Source: ‘Professor Morris’ and the Red Lion, Kilburn

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BG   
Added: 20 Dec 2022 02:58 GMT   

Lancing Street, NW1
LANCING STREET

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NEARBY LOCATIONS OF NOTE
Westminster Westminster - heart of government.
Westminster Abbey Westminster Abbey, formally titled the Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, is one of the world’s greatest churches.

NEARBY STREETS
Abbey Orchard Street, SW1P Abbey Orchard Street was the heart of a former slum area.
Abingdon Street, SW1P Abingdon Street has linked Old Palace Yard and Millbank since at least 1593.
Artillery House, SW1P Artillery House is a block on Artillery Row.
Artillery Place, SW1P Artillery Place was named after a former nearby artillery practice ground which stood here in the 19th century.
Asquith House, SW1P Asquith House is a block on Monck Street.
Barton Street, SW1P Barton Street is one of the streets of London in the SW1P postal area.
Bennett’s Yard, SW1P Bennett’s Yard is a road in the SW1P postcode area
Birdcage Walk, SW1H Birdcage Walk runs east from Great George Street, along the south side of St James’s Park.
Blue Bridge, SW1A Blue Bridge crosses St James’s Park lake.
Bridge Street, SW1A Bridge Street is one of the streets of London in the SW1A postal area.
Broad Sanctuary, SW1P Broad Sanctuary is a road in the SW1H postcode area
Broadway, SW1H Broadway - formerly the location of the headquarters of both London Transport and the Metropolitan Police.
Butler Place, SW1H Butler Place is one of the streets of London in the SW1H postal area.
Canon Row, SW1A Canon Row is at least one thousand year’s old.
Carteret Street, SW1H Carteret Street is one of the streets of London in the SW1H postal area.
Caxton House, SW1H Caxton House is a block on Tothill Street.
Caxton Street, SW1H William Caxton was responsible for the introduction of the printing press to England.
Central Buildings, SW1P Central Buildings is a block on Matthew Parker Street.
Chadwick Street, SW1P Chadwick Street is one of the streets of London in the SW1P postal area.
Chubb Court, SW1P Chubb Court is a road in the SW20 postcode area
Church House, SW1P Church House is a block on Great Smith Street.
Clutha House, SW1P Clutha House is a block on Storey’s Gate.
Cockpit Steps, SW1H Cockpit Steps leads from Birdcage Walk to Old Queen Street.
Commissioner’s Yard, SW1A Commissioner’s Yard is a small street behind New Scotland Yard.
Cowley Street, SW1P Cowley Street is one of the streets of London in the SW1P postal area.
Curtis Green Building, SW1A Curtis Green Building can be found on Victoria Embankment.
Dacre House, SW1H Dacre House is a block on Dacre Street.
Dacre Street, SW1H Dacre Street is named after Lady Anne Dacre.
Dartmouth Street, SW1H Dartmouth Street is one of the streets of London in the SW1H postal area.
Dean Farrar Street, SW1H Frederic William Farrar was a canon of Westminster Abbey.
Dean Stanley Street, SW1P Dean Stanley Street is one of the streets of London in the SW1P postal area.
Dean Trench Street, SW1P Dean Trench Street is one of the streets of London in the SW1P postal area.
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.
Downing Street, SW1A Downing Street has been the home of British Prime Minsters since the eighteenth century.
Eglise House, SW1 Eglise House is a block on Little Smith Street.
Elizabeth Court, SW1P Elizabeth Court is a block on Elizabeth Court.
Fielden House, SW1P Fielden House is a block on Little College Street.
Fludyer Street, SW1A Fludyer Street used to be a street which lay parallel to, and south of, Downing Street.
Gayfere Street, SW1P Gayfere Street is one of the streets of London in the SW1P postal area.
Great College Street, SW1P Great College Street borders the south side of Westminster School.
Great George Street, SW1P Great George Street is one of the streets of London in the SW1P postal area.
Great Peter Street, SW1P Great Peter Street bears the name of the patron saint of Westminster Abbey.
Great Smith Street, SW1P Great Smith Street is one of the streets of London in the SW1P postal area.
Greycoat Gardens, SW1P Greycoat Gardens is one of the streets of London in the SW1P postal area.
Greycoat Place, SW1P Greycoat Place is one of the streets of London in the SW1P postal area.
Greycoat Street, SW1P Greycoat Street is one of the streets of London in the SW1P postal area.
Greycote Place, SW1P Greycote Place is a location in London.
Horse Guards Road, SW1A Horse Guards Road runs along the eastern edge of St James’s Park.
King Charles Street, SW1A King Charles Street is a street of government buildings, one block south of Downing Street.
King Street, SW1A King Street was an ancient thoroughfare between the regions of the Court and the Abbey in Westminster.
Lesley Court, SW1P Lesley Court is a building on Strutton Ground.
Lewisham Street, SW1H Lewisham Street is a Westminster alleyway.
Little College Street, SW1P Little College Street is one of the streets of London in the SW1P postal area.
Little Deans Yard, SW1P Little Deans Yard is one of the streets of London in the SW1P postal area.
Little George Street, SW1P Little George Street is one of the streets of London in the SW1P postal area.
Lord North Street, SW1P Lord North Street is one of the streets of London in the SW1P postal area.
Matthew Parker Street, SW1H The Most Reverend Matthew Parker was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1559 until 1575.
Millbank House, SW1P Millbank House is a block on Millbank.
Monck Street, SW1P Monck Street is one of the streets of London in the SW1P postal area.
Mulberry House, SW1P Mulberry House can be found on Dean Trench Street.
Municipal Insurance House, SW1H Municipal Insurance House can be found on Old Queen Street.
New Palace Yard, SW1P New Palace Yard was built by William II (William Rufus).
NIOC House, SW1H NIOC House is a block on Victoria Street.
North Court, SW1P North Court is one of the streets of London in the SW1P postal area.
Old Pye Street, SW1P Old Pye Street gets its name from Sir Robert Pye, member of parliament for Westminster in the time of Charles I.
Old Queen Street, SW1H Old Queen Street is parallel to Birdcage Walk.
Palmer Street, SW1H Palmer Street is one of the streets of London in the SW1H postal area.
Parker Street, SW1H Before being renamed to Matthew Parker Street, old Parker Street was a Westminster slum.
Parliament Square, SW1A Parliament Square is one of the most important squares in Westminster, home to the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey.
Parliament Street, SW1A Parliament Street is the name of the southernmost stretch of Whitehall as it meets Parliament Square.
Post Office Way, SW1H Post Office Way is a road in the SW1P postcode area
Price’s Court, SW1P A street within the SW1P postcode
Queen Annes Gate Buildings, SW1H Queen Annes Gate Buildings is one of the streets of London in the SW1H postal area.
Queen Anne’s Gate, SW1H Queen Anne’s Gate runs parallel to Birdcage Walk.
Richmond House Whitehall, SW1A Richmond House Whitehall is one of the streets of London in the SW1A postal area.
Richmond Terrace Mews, SW1A Richmond Terrace Mews originally led to New Scotland Yard.
Richmond Terrace, SW1A Richmond Terrace is on the site of Richmond House, destroyed by a fire on 21 December 1791.
Smith Square, SW1P Smith Square was originally developed by Sir James Smith around 1726.
St Anns Street, SW1P St Anns Street is one of the streets of London in the SW1P postal area.
St Ermin’s Hill, SW1H St Ermin’s Hill is a small side street off Broadway.
St Matthew Street, SW1P St Matthew Street is one of the streets of London in the SW1P postal area.
St. Margaret Street, SW1P St Margaret Street is the road immediately outside Westminster Hall.
St. Matthew Street, SW1P St. Matthew Street is a road in the SW1P postcode area
Storey’s Gate, SW1H Abraham Storey, one of Wren’s master-masons, built Storey’s Gate that now commemorates his name.
Strutton Ground, SW1P Strutton Ground is one of the streets of London in the SW1P postal area.
The Queen’s Steps, SE1 The Queen’s Steps is a road in the SE1 postcode area
The Queen’s Walk, SE1 This is a street in the SE1 postcode area
The Queen’s Walk, SE1 The Queen’s Walk is a road in the SE1 postcode area
The Sanctuary, SW1P The Sanctuary is one of the streets of London in the SW1P postal area.
The Terrace, SW1P The Terrace is a road in the SW1P postcode area
Tothill Street, SW1H Tothill Street is one of the streets of London in the SW1H postal area.
Tufton Street, SW1P Tufton Street is one of the streets of London in the SW1P postal area.
Victoria Street, SW1P Victoria Street is one of the streets of London in the SW1H postal area.
Westminster Bridge, SE1 Westminster Bridge links Westminster on the west side with Lambeth on the east side.
Westminster Central Hall, SW1H Westminster Central Hall is one of the streets of London in the SW1H postal area.
Westminster Mansions, SW1P Westminster Mansions is one of the streets of London in the SW1P postal area.
Westminster Palace Gardens, SW1P Westminster Palace Gardens is one of the streets of London in the SW1P postal area.
Westminster Pier, SW1A Westminster Pier is one of the streets of London in the SW1A postal area.


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We now have 549 completed street histories and 46951 partial histories
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Westminster

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.


LOCAL PHOTOS
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William Shakespeare
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Hungerford Stairs circa 1828
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Broadway SW1
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In the neighbourhood...

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William Shakespeare
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Overflow of the Thames at Lambeth Stairs on Tuesday 29 January 1850. Lambeth Stairs was near to Lambeth Palace. Poor river wall maintenance meant that the area was flooded whenever there was an unusually high tide.
Credit: Illustrated London News
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The original, Brunel-built Hungerford Bridge.
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Broadway SW1
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Newspaper seller on Horse Guards Avenue (1937) From the archive of amateur London photographer, John Turner
Credit: John Turner/Museum of London
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Cockpit Steps in Westminster once led down to the Royal Cockpit - an 18th century cockfighting venue. The Royal Cockpit disappeared in 1810 but the stairs have remained.
Credit: GoArt/The Underground Map
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Whitehall, just before the 1953 Coronation. View northwards from Horse Guards Avenue towards Trafalgar Square. Decorations are already going up for the Queen’s Coronation six days later.
Credit: Ben Brooksbank
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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
Credit: Wiki Commons
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Horse Guards
Credit: IG/gemmak500
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Parliament Square (1980) Parliament Square features a large open green area in the centre with trees to its west, and it contains twelve political statues of statesmen and other notable individuals.
Credit: Wiki Commons/Misterweiss
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