Downing Street London


A stroll down Downing Street London is a walk through history. The historic building bearing the address of 10 Downing Street is located in Whitehall in central London, a short walk from the House of Parliament and Buckingham Palace. Today, Ten Downing Street is the official residence of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

Downing Street was built in the late 1600’s by Sir George Downing, a diplomat and soldier serving under Charles II and Oliver Cromwell. His plan was to build townhouses to be inhabited by persons of good quality. However, the property was already the site of the Hampden House, but the Hampden family had a thirty-year lease which wouldn’t allow Sir Downing’s construction plans. However, when the lease expired, Downing was granted permission to begin construction. A townhouse built on a cul-de-sac became the historic Number 10 in 1787.10 Downing Street, London, England

Sir Downing’s portrait hangs in the foyer of 10 Downing Street to this day. For more than 200 years Downing Street has been the residence of the British Cabinet. In the beginning, the First Lord of the Treasury called number ten his home. Next door at number eleven was the Second Lord of the Treasury. Today, this is the domain of the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Downing Street London, EnglandThe building has approximately one hundred rooms. The private residence is situated on the third floor, and there is a kitchen in the basement. Other floors contain several offices, multiple reception, conference, drawing and sitting rooms. This space is where the Prime Minister works and where dignitaries and world leaders are greeted and entertained. A large indoor courtyard dominates the building and, in the back, a terrace overlooks a beautiful garden. The infamous black door reportedly opens only from the inside.

Since 1989, the entrance to Downing Street has required passing security measures. A barricade was erected due to the Irish Republic Army’s bombing in England. In February of 1991, an attempt was made by the IRA to assassinate then Prime Minister John Mayo as he was meeting with national leaders to discuss the Gulf War. Fortunately, no major injuries resulted.
When visiting London, Downing Street is a must for all sightseers and historians to absorb a memorable experience.



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