Friday, 4 April 2014

D is for Downing Street

D is for Downing Street

Today we are back in the United Kingdom to the capital of England, London.

The picture of 10 Downing Street is known all over the world as the headquarters of Her Majesty’s Government and is the official residence and office of the First Lord of the Treasury which is an office now invariably held by the Prime Minister. 

The building is situated in Downing Street in the City of Westminster in London. It is over three hundred years old and contains about one hundred rooms. There is a private residence on the third floor and a kitchen in the basement. The other floors contain offices and numerous conference, reception, sitting and dining rooms where the Prime Minister works, and where government ministers, national leaders and foreign dignitaries are met and entertained.
It has an interior courtyard; at the back there is a terrace that overlooks a garden of 0.5 acres (2,000 m2).  It is adjacent to St. James’ Park and near to Buckingham Palace, the official London residence of the British Monarch and the Palace of Westminster the meeting place of both houses of parliament. 

The building was originally three houses and was offered to Sir Robert Walpole by George II in 1732. Walpole accepted on the condition that they be a gift to the office of First Lord of the Treasury rather than to him personally. Walpole commissioned the architect William Kent to join the three houses together. 

Sir Robert Walpole  (1676 – 1745)

Architect William Kent (1685 – 1748)

Prime Minister Gordon Brown with US President Barack Obama in the Pillared Room, 2009.

Pictures from Wikimedia Commons.

Great statesmen and women throughout 300 years

Have used this building for secrets and fears

If the walls could talk they would spill their secrets

Spoken in seriousness or dining at state banquets

The British bobby stands proud outside the door

Protecting our democracy and all who enter there

Through peacetime and through war

From near and far

The building is home to Prime Ministers

People from other countries sit in grand chambers

Overlooked by fine paintings, sculptures and furniture

A wealth of history contained therein

Rules and regulations and discipline

National and international business is complete

At the famous address of 10 Downing Street.


  1. I have been all over Europe, but Great Britain is still on my list of places to discover. I love your describtion of this part of London, that we are all so aware off, but many here in the US never get to see, what a shame. Thanks for taking us there - have a wonderful day!

  2. Such a historiically significant building. As an American I'm not all that familiar with it's history or it's interior but that door and the street view is a familiar sight on the evening news here!

  3. I love historic buildings with a great story behind them, and they don't get any better than this one! Thanks for sharing, Sally!

  4. It's so amazing to think of all the history in London. I can imagine how wondrous it must be to actually live there.

  5. Hi, Sally,
    Now that's a huge building. I can't imagine 100 rooms in one house, other than a hotel.

    J.L. Campbell writes at The Character Depot and the Jamaican Kid Lit Blog.

  6. 10 Downing St and 1600 Pennsylvania Ave -- lots of history in those walls for sure.
    Wendy at Jollett Etc.