On Wednesday morning, September 25th, we took our first walk in Central London. After checking out Big Ben (click here if you missed that previous posting) and crossing Westminster Bridge for the terrific views we re-crossed the bridge and walked along the length of the Palace of Westminster, crossed the street and walked back and then continued along Parliament Street which soon turns into Whitehall Road. Our objective was Trafalgar Square but we never made it.
Statue of Boudica at the foot of Westminster Bridge. She was the queen of a Celtic tribe who fought the Romans during the time of Nero. The statue was erected in 1905 during a romantic period when QueenVictoria was often compared to Boudica.
The London Eye from Westminster Bridge.
Victoria Tower on the west end of the Palace of Westminster. The palace was once the residence of British royalty but now provides the home for both Houses of Parliament.
The Tower of Big Ben (officially Elizabeth Tower) looms over Westminster Hall and Oliver Cromwell.
The back of Westminster Abbey.
The palace was designed by Sir Charles Barry in 1835 in the perpendicular Gothic style. Construction began in 1840 and was completed in 1870. That’s Richard the Lion-hearted in front.
Sundial erected in 2002 in honor of the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.
The guards will usually pose for you if you ask for permission to photograph them.
The bronze statue of Cromwell was erected in 1899 amid considerable controversy. Across the street at St Margaret’s Church there’s a monument to King Charles I whose head was removed from his body by Cromwell in 1649. When the monarchy was resumed eleven years later Cromwell’s body was exhumed and his head was stuck on a pole and placed on the palace’s roof. It stayed there for twenty years. There’s a story widely circulated all over England that Cromwell is gazing down to avoid the stare of Charles. But the bust of Charles was erected in 1956, 57 years after the Cromwell statue.
Churchill monument in Parliament Square gardens. The statue is wired with a heating element so that pigeons won’t land on his head.
Another famous Prime Minister in Parliament Square.
St Margaret’s Church adjoins Parliament Square.
Government building pediment on Parliament Street.
Arch over King Charles Street.
Diana rides by the entrance to #10 Downing Street.
Monty. Whitehall is filled with monuments to former field marshals.
Three cheers for the women!
Horse Guards on Whitehall.
Nelson Monument. This is as close as we got to Trafalgar Square. At this spot we hopped on a Big Bus for a few more hours of sightseeing.
More on our Wednesday sightseeing tour in my next posting.