Bradshaw’s Hand Book to London, The West, Day 5, District III, St James’s Palace and Green Park, (no.21)

In the 1100s Henry II granted a charter to the Sisters in charge of the Hospital of St James for leprosy sufferers, in the parish of St Margaret’s, Westminster. (Fascinating Gresham Lecture on Medieaval Hospitals here.) The Hospital may have dated from much earlier, and was a somewhat curious establishment which was demolished in 1530 for the building of the palace commissioned by Henry VIII.

<St James’s Palace lies in the corner of the L formed by Pall Mall and St James’s Street. The Palace was laid out around four courtyards, and St James’s Park and Green Park were lands attached to the Palace and enclosed by the King for hunting.

St James's Palace, with Green Park and St James's Park, 1833 map by Schmollinger

St James’s Palace, with Green Park and St James’s Park, 1833 map by Schmollinger

St James's Palace, floor plan

St James’s Palace, floor plan

St James’s Palace is the official Royal Palace, used for official functions and not open to the public. Ambassadors to the UK are still accredited to ‘The Court of St James’. What can readily be seen is Friary Court, the original gatehouse, and the view down Cleveland Row. The Queen’s Chapel is separated from the Palace by Marlborough Road and this is open to the public for services, as is the Chapel Royal in the Palace.

Friary Court, St James's Palace

Friary Court, St James’s Palace

St James's Palace, looking down Cleveland Row

St James’s Palace, looking down Cleveland Row, with the gateway to Ambassadors’ Court

The original gatehouse of Henry VII's palace at St James'

The original gatehouse of Henry VII’s palace at St James’, leading to Colour Court

The Queen’s Chapel was designed by Inigo Jones and built in 1623, externally to the Palace, as a Roman Catholic Chapel. The photograph of the interior was commissioned by Queen Alexandra in 1895.

The Queen's Chapel, Marlborough Road

The Queen’s Chapel, Marlborough Road

The interior of the Queen's Chapel, St James's Palace

The interior of the Queen’s Chapel, St James’s Palace

The Chapel Royal was originally a body of priests and singers who served the needs of the sovereign. Over time the term became associated with physical buildings used by the sovereigns.

Choir rehearsing for the Royal Wedding in the Chapel Royal, St James's Palace

Choir rehearsing for the Royal Wedding in the Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace

Clarence Housewithin the Palace, was built between 1825-27 and designed by John Nash, and is now a home to members of the Royal Family. Lancaster Housepreviously known as York House and Stafford House, is a listed building used for government functions.

Clarence House

Clarence House, in St James’s Palace

Lancaster House

Lancaster House

Lancaster House, the grand staircase, John Nash, 1850

Lancaster House, the grand staircase, John Nash, 1850

Lancaster House, interior

Lancaster House, interior

St James’s Park lay to one side of the Palace (this post), and Green Park is to the west.

Green Park today

Green Park today

Green Park used to include a number of buildings, all gone now; today it is a green refuge in the centre of London.

Queen's Walk, Green Park

Queen’s Walk, Green Park

Green Park from Queen's Walk

Green Park from Queen’s Walk

Canada Gate on the south side of the Park, near Buckingham Palace

Canada Gate on the south side of the Park, near Buckingham Palace

The Canadian Memorial, just beyond Canada Gate

The Canadian Memorial, just beyond Canada Gate

Welcome shade in Green Park on a hot day

Welcome shade in Green Park on a hot day

At the top end of Green Park is Hyde Park Corner, a quiet spot on this Sunday morning because of the 10k charity run in central London. It is the setting for Wellington Arch and further war memorials.

The Marble Arch in the centre of the Hyde Park Corner roundabout

Wellington Arch in the centre of the Hyde Park Corner roundabout

Memorial with unfilled space

Australian War Memorial, with unfilled space

The New Zealand Memorial, Hyde Park Corner

The New Zealand Memorial, Hyde Park Corner

Bomber Command Memorial, on the corner of Piccadilly and Hyde Park roundabout

Bomber Command Memorial, on the corner of Piccadilly and Hyde Park roundabout

Inside the Bomber Command Memorial, Hyde Park Corner

Inside the Bomber Command Memorial, Hyde Park Corner

And keeping watch, the Duke of Wellington..

The Duke of Wellington. Hyde Park Corner

The Duke of Wellington. Hyde Park Corner