Victorian London - Districts - Streets - Whitehall

    The remains of Whitehall, like the majority of the buildings which surround them, have been converted into Government offices. Scotland Yard is the central office of the London police, and on the other side of the road is the Admiralty. A little lower down there are two of those splendid Horse Guards, mounted on black chargers, doing duty at the offices of the Ministry of War, and guarding the spot where Elizabeth, in un­chaste virginity, and at an advanced and wrinkled age, exacted the homage of her courtiers as Queen of Beauty. We turn the corner of the old Banquet—house and enter a blind alley~ it is narrow and deserted. That is Downing Street the famous, where the Colonial and Foreign Offices guide the destinies of the greater part of the globe. It is a curious street, small and dingy, beyond the smallness and dinginess of similar streets at Leipzig, Frankfort, or Prague, and desolate, vacant, deserted— a fit laboratory for political alchemists. At its further end is a small mysterious door, the entrance to the Foreign Office, in the keeping of a red-coated grenadier, with, I doubt not, a couple of newspaper reporters hidden in his cartridge-box, and intent upon ascertaining the names of those that enter the office.

Max Schlesinger, Saunterings in and about London, 1853

Victorian London - Publications - History - The Queen's London : a Pictorial and Descriptive Record of the Streets, Buildings, Parks and Scenery of the Great Metropolis, 1896 - The Royal United Service Museum, with Whitehall

The Royal United Service Museum, with Whitehall - photograph


 Our view shows (on the left) the front and north side of the famous Banqueting Hall, built by Inigo Jones for James I. in 1619-21. On a scaffold against the front Charles I. was beheaded. George I. turned the Hall into a royal chapel, though it was never consecrated; and in 1894 it was transferred to the Royal United Service Institute for its Museum. This Institute was founded in 1830, and its Museum consists of a very fine collection of arms and armour, of models of Waterloo, Trafalgar, and other battles, and of various interesting relics. In the adjoining new building lectures are given on naval and military topics Across Whitehall are the Horse Guards, Dover House (the headquarters of the Secretary for Scotland), and other Government offices, while in the distance rise the three towers of the Houses of Parliament.