Victorian London - Buildings, Monuments and Museums - Horse Guards

HORSE GUARDS, WHITEHALL ... The seat of administration of the Army. The building was erected in 1753. In the rear is the parade ground. The relief of the troop of Life Guards performing sentinel duty here takes place at 11 a.m. daily, and is an attractive sight.

source: Reynolds' Shilling Coloured Map of London, 1895


It must be a painful ordeal at first to shy Life Guardsmen, if any such there be, to act as sentinel at the entry to the Commander-in-Chief's office; for the curious generally halt to take stock of them, and audibly to criticise them, and when they are relieved a crowd is invariably attracted. The building is picturesque from its very complexity. It was erected in 1753, on the site of an old Tilt-yard, and owes its name to the fact that it was once used as a guard-house for the palace of Whitehall. The short cut through the archway from Whitehall to St. James's Park is much used by pedestrians, but only royal and privileged carriages are permitted to pass through. The War Office, of course, is in Pall Mall.

source: The Queen's London, 1896