The No. As part of the renovations begun in 1783, it was extended, giving the space its modern appearance. "The flues used to get so hot that the substance holding the window together would melt, causing the glass to fall out," according to the Downing Street history website. 10 Downing Street has been used as a home for British prime ministers since 1735, when King George II gave the house to then-Prime Minister Robert Walpole. (Today the title “First Lord of the Treasury” is still inscribed on the brass letter box on 10 Downing Street’s front door.) A Persian carpet covers almost the entire floor.  In 1654, he purchased the lease on land south of St James's Park, adjacent to the House at the Back within walking distance of parliament. The Duke of Wellington, for example, grudgingly lived there for eighteen months between 1828 and 1830 because his own home, Apsley House, was undergoing extensive renovations. At the entrance, a screen of two pairs of Corinthian columns was erected (to carry the extra span of the ceiling) supporting a moulded entablature that wraps around the room. The original residence, built on the site of a medieval brewery, is a portal to 100 rooms in several larger houses connected by a warren of hallways and staircases. , Number 10 is filled with fine paintings, sculptures, busts and furniture. A black ironwork fence with spiked newel posts runs along the front of the house and up each side of the step to the door. Although large, they were put up quickly and cheaply on soft soil with shallow foundations. The black-and-white chequerboard floor was added during Lord North's time, who was prime minister from 1770-1782.
History of the "House at the Back" before 1733, First politician and "head of government" in the house, Current positions within the Office of the Prime Minister.
The town house, from which the modern building gets its name, was one of several built by Sir George Downing between 1682 and 1684. Most lent it to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, others to lesser officials or to friends and relatives.
10 Political Office (party political liaison and constituency affairs); Press office: responsible for relations with the media, Research and information unit: provides factual information to No. [a] The reorganisation brought about the fusion of the old Prime Minister's Office and other Cabinet Office teams, with a number of units (including the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit) now reporting directly into the Prime Minister's Office.
 (See The Pillared Drawing Room c1927). Until the late 19th century, Prime Ministers were required to furnish Number 10 at their own expense with furniture, tableware, china, linens, curtains and decorations. After the terrace house and the adjacent mansion were joined together in 1735, Walpole moved into his new residence and office.
, Sparsely furnished with a few chairs and sofas around the walls, the Pillared Room is usually used to receive guests before they go into the State Dining Room. Early security consisted of two police officers.
The upper floors were modernised and the third floor extended over Numbers 11 and 12 to allow more living space. , One reason many First Lords chose not to live in Number 10 was that most owned London town houses superior in size and quality. Pt 3: The Dining Room) The arrangement became the standard practice. The Terracotta room is decorated with many famous artworks, on loan from the Government Art Collection. FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. It was here that Edward Heath kept his grand piano. Many rooms and sections of the new building were reconstructed exactly as they were in the old Number 10. The work done by Erith and Terry in the 1960s and 1980s represent the most extensive remodelling of Number 10 in recent times. The deterioration had been obvious for some time. With or without the Prime Minister present, visitors had their picture taken. 10. George II took this opportunity to offer it to Sir Robert Walpole, often called the first Prime Minister, as a gift for his services to the nation: stabilising its finances, keeping it at peace and securing the Hanoverian succession. "The whole project has been a frightful waste of money because it just has not been done properly. © 2015.  Seldom seen by anyone other than staff, the space is two storeys high with a huge arched window and vaulted ceiling. He insisted that the Treasury should bear the cost of furnishings at least in the public areas. The introduction of films and television would strengthen this association. Earlier, the government had taken over the other Downing Street houses: the Colonial Office occupied Number 14 in 1798; the Foreign Office was at Number 16 and the houses on either side; the West India Department was in Number 18; and the Tithe Commissioners in Number 20. Prime Ministers and world leaders have been photographed outside this famous door and important announcements have been made to the nation from here. Although 10 Downing Street appears to be a modest-looking terrace house from the outside, there’s more than meets the eye behind its gleaming black front door. As head of the Great Treasury Commission of 1667–1672, Albemarle transformed accounting methods and allowed the Crown greater control over expenses. For larger gatherings, a horseshoe-shaped table is brought in that will accommodate up to 65 guests. Steel was hidden inside the columns in the Pillared Drawing Room to support the floor above.  The resulting small space, framed by the pillars, serves as an anteroom to the larger area.
In the renovation of the 1980s Quinlan Terry introduced large Doric order columns to this room in the door surrounds and designed a very large Palladian overmantel for the fireplace with small double Doric columns on each side with the royal arms above. ", "Johnson adviser's housing role highlights lack of transparency", "Sir Edward Lister resigns as Homes England Chair", "Dominic Cummings is direct and decisive, but he's not the devil': the verdict from inside No 10 on the PM's chief strategist", https://www.ft.com/content/2c838e86-246b-431f-8133-90b869a7bd6d, "No 10 admits using false names on letters to the public", Second Lord of the Treasury (Chancellor of the Exchequer), Hungerford Bridge and Golden Jubilee Bridges, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=10_Downing_Street&oldid=984009174, Buildings and structures on Downing Street, Grade I listed buildings in the City of Westminster, Official residences in the United Kingdom, Prime Ministerial homes in the United Kingdom, Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia articles needing page number citations from April 2019, Articles containing potentially dated statements from May 2017, All articles containing potentially dated statements, Articles containing potentially dated statements from July 2019, Articles containing potentially dated statements from October 2018, Commons category link is defined as the pagename, Official website different in Wikidata and Wikipedia, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. The No.  (See North elevation of Number 10 with steps leading to the garden) The terrace and garden have provided a casual setting for many gatherings of First Lords with foreign dignitaries, Cabinet ministers, guests, and staff. In 1931, Mohandas Gandhi, wearing the traditional homespun dhoti, posed leaving Number 10 after meeting with Ramsay MacDonald to discuss India's independence.
You can also choose to be emailed when someone replies to your comment. 10, Downing Street: Official Dining Room, Plate 129: No. Despite its size and convenient location near to Parliament, few early prime ministers lived there. A note from Lord North to the Office of Works, dated September 1774, asks that the work on the front of the house, "which was begun by a Warrant from the Treasury dated 9 August 1766", should be finished. Now, it's often used as a meeting room for Downing Street staff. ", "QI: Quite interesting facts about 10 Downing Street", Plate 126: No. However, there have been numerous times when prime ministers have unofficially lived elsewhere out of necessity or preference. The existing Open Comments threads will continue to exist for those who do not subscribe to Independent Premium. , Walpole did not enter through the now-famous door; that would not be installed until forty years later. The new foundation was made of steel-reinforced concrete with pilings sunk 6 to 18 feet (1.8 to 5.5 m).  (See The Entrance Door c1930: As seen from the outside). 10, Downing Street, Cabinet Room", "The three state drawing rooms as reconstructed by Quinlan Terry 1988–1990", "Plate 126: No. The Green State Drawing Room contains mostly Chippendale furniture including a card table that belonged to Clive of India and a mahogany desk that is thought to have belonged to William Pitt the Younger and used by him during the Napoleonic Wars.
10, Downing Street, circa 1754. (See The State Dining Room c1930: View toward the entrance and View from the entrance and also a more modern view). One stood guard outside the door. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. 10, Downing Street: Official Dining Room, Plate 131: No.
By 1857 Downing Street's townhouses were all gone except for Number 10, Number 11 (customarily the Chancellor of the Exchequer's residence), and Number 12 (used as offices for Government Whips). Winston Churchill wrote that Number 10 was "shaky and lightly built by the profiteering contractor whose name they bear". The new prime minister, however, will be assuming stewardship of Larry, 10 Downing Street’s resident cat. By the middle of the 20th century, Number 10 was falling apart again. The same document confirmed that Number 10 Downing Street was: "meant to be annexed & united to the Office of his Majesty's Treasury & to be & to remain for the Use & Habitation of the first Commissioner of his Majesty's Treasury for the time being". You are mistaken in supposing that Mr. Vansittart is the only Chancellor of the Exchequer who, without being first Lord of the Treasury, occupied it. The room is usually furnished with a table surrounded by 20 reproduction Adam style chairs originally made for the British Embassy in Rio de Janeiro. HISTORY reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it is complete and accurate. One of the largest rooms was a study measuring forty feet by twenty with enormous windows overlooking St James's Park. Executed in the Georgian style by the architect Kenton Couse, it is unassuming and narrow, consisting of a single white stone step leading to a modest brick front. A guard's chair designed by Chippendale sits in one corner. International agreements have been signed in this room. Let's move onto the Small Dining room, or breakfast room, where a mahogany table seats 8.
Once used when policemen sat on watch outside in the street, it has an unusual "hood" designed to protect them from the wind and cold and a drawer underneath where hot coals were placed to provide warmth. Churchill called his secretaries the "garden girls" because their offices overlook the garden. And praying a Warrant for the said sum of £5,580—and also praying an Imprest of that sum to enable them to pay the Workmen". This structure can be seen today as the rear section of Number 10. To them, Number 10 was unimpressive. , Downing Street declined at the turn of the 19th century, becoming surrounded with run-down buildings, dark alleys, the scene of crime and prostitution.
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