|Palace of Whitehall|
|Location||City of Westminster, Middlesex, Kingdom of England|
|Coordinates||51°30′16″N00°07′32″W / 51.50444°N 0.12556°W|
|Built||c. 1240, 15–17th cent.|
|Demolished||1698 (due to fire)|
The Palace of Whitehall (also spelt White Hall) at Westminster was the main residence of the English monarchs from 1530 until 1698, when most of its structures, except notably Inigo Jones's Banqueting House of 1622, were destroyed by fire. Henry VIII moved the royal residence to White Hall after the old royal apartments at the nearby Palace of Westminster were themselves destroyed by fire. Although the Whitehall palace has not survived, the area where it was located is still called Whitehall and has remained a centre of government.
White Hall was at one time the largest palace in Europe, with more than 1,500 rooms, overtaking the Vatican, before itself being overtaken by the expanding Palace of Versailles, which was to reach 2,400 rooms.  The palace gives its name, Whitehall, to the street located on the site on which many of the current administrative buildings of the present-day British government are situated, and hence metonymically to the central government itself. At its most expansive, the palace extended over much of the area bordered by Northumberland Avenue in the north; to Downing Street and nearly to Derby Gate in the south; and from roughly the elevations of the current buildings facing Horse Guards Road in the west, to the then banks of the River Thames in the east (the construction of Victoria Embankment has since reclaimed more land from the Thames)—a total of about 23 acres (9.3 ha). It was about 710 yards (650 m) from Westminster Abbey.
By the 13th century, the Palace of Westminster had become the centre of government in England, and had been the main London residence of the king since 1049. The surrounding area became a popular and expensive location. Walter de Grey, Archbishop of York, bought a nearby property as his London residence soon after 1240, calling it York Place. 
King Edward I stayed at York Place on several occasions while work was carried out at Westminster, and enlarged it to accommodate his entourage. York Place was rebuilt during the 15th century and was expanded so much by Cardinal Wolsey that it was rivalled by only Lambeth Palace as the greatest house in London, the King's London palaces included. Consequently, when King Henry VIII removed the cardinal from power in 1530, he acquired York Place to replace Westminster (the royal residential, or 'privy', area of which had been gutted by fire in 1512) as his main London residence, inspecting its possessions in the company of Anne Boleyn. The name Whitehall was first recorded in 1532; it had its origins in the white stone used for the buildings. 
King Henry VIII hired the Flemish artist Anton van den Wyngaerde to redesign York Place, and he extended it during his lifetime. Inspired by Richmond Palace, he included sporting facilities, with a bowling green, indoor real tennis court, a pit for cock fighting (on the site of the Cabinet Office, 70 Whitehall) and a tiltyard for jousting (now the site of Horse Guards Parade). It is estimated that more than £30,000 (several million at present-day value)  were spent during the 1540s, half as much again as the construction of the entire Bridewell Palace. Henry VIII married two of his wives at the palace—Anne Boleyn in 1533 and Jane Seymour in 1536, and died there in January 1547. 
In 1611, the palace hosted the first known performance of William Shakespeare's play The Tempest .  In February 1613 it was the venue for the wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Frederick V of the Palatinate. 
James VI and I made significant changes to the buildings, notably the construction in 1622 of a new Banqueting House built to a design by Inigo Jones to replace a series of previous banqueting houses dating from the time of Elizabeth I. Its decoration was finished in 1634 with the completion of a ceiling by Sir Peter Paul Rubens, commissioned by Charles I (who was to be executed in front of the building in 1649). By 1650 Whitehall Palace was the largest complex of secular buildings in England, with more than 1,500 rooms. Its layout was irregular, and its constituent parts were of many different sizes and in several different architectural styles, making it look more like a small town than a single building.  The irregularity of the buildings was increased by the penchant of courtiers to build onto their assigned lodgings, either at their own expense or that of the King's. Sir Stephen Fox, Charles II's Clerk of the Green Cloth, obtained permission from the Office of Works in the 1660s to build additions to the three rooms he was assigned. By the time he was finished he had constructed a grand mansion with coach house, stables, and a view over the Thames, all within the palace network. 
Charles II commissioned minor works. Like his father, he died at the palace—but from a stroke.  James II ordered various changes by Sir Christopher Wren, including a chapel finished in 1687, rebuilding of the queen's apartments (c. 1688), and the queen's private lodgings (1689).  The Catholic chapel of James II, constructed during a period of fierce anti-Catholicism in England, attracted much criticism and also awe when it was completed in December 1686.  The ceiling was adorned with 8,132 pieces of gold leaf, and at the east end of the nave an enormous marble altarpiece (40 ft. high x 25 ft. wide) designed by Wren and carved by Grinling Gibbons dominated the room. 
By 1691 the palace had become the largest and most complex in Europe. On 10 April a fire broke out in the much-renovated apartment previously used by the Duchess of Portsmouth, damaging the older palace structures, though apparently not the state apartments.  This actually gave a greater cohesiveness to the remaining complex. At the end of 1694 Mary II died in Kensington Palace of smallpox, and on the following 24 January lay in state at Whitehall; William and Mary had avoided Whitehall in favour of their palace at Kensington. 
A second fire on 4 January 1698 destroyed most of the remaining residential and government buildings.  It was started inadvertently by a servant in an upper room who had hung wet linen around a burning charcoal brazier to dry.  The linen caught fire and the flames quickly spread throughout the palace complex, raging for 15 hours before firefighters could extinguish it. The following day, the wind picked up and re-ignited the fire farther north. Christopher Wren, then the King's Surveyor of Works, was ordered expressly by William III to focus manpower on saving the architectural jewel of the complex, the Banqueting House.  Wren ordered bricklayers to block-up the main window on the building's south side to block the flames from entering. Around 20 buildings were destroyed to create a firebreak, but this did little to inhibit the westward spread of the flames. 
John Evelyn noted succinctly on 5 January: "Whitehall burnt! nothing but walls and ruins left."  Beside the Banqueting House, some buildings survived in Scotland Yard and some facing the park, along with the so-called Holbein Gate, eventually demolished in 1769. 
During the fire many works of art were destroyed, probably including Michelangelo's Cupid , a famous sculpture bought as part of the Gonzaga collections in the seventeenth century. Also lost were Hans Holbein the Younger's iconic mural Portrait of Henry VIII  and Gian Lorenzo Bernini's marble portrait bust of King Charles I. 
The Banqueting House is the only integral building of the complex now standing, although it has been somewhat modified. Various other parts of the old palace still exist, often incorporated into new buildings in the Whitehall government complex. These include a tower and other parts of the former covered tennis courts from the time of Henry VIII, built into the Old Treasury and Cabinet Office at 70 Whitehall. 
Beginning in 1938, the east side of the site was redeveloped with the building now housing the Ministry of Defence (MOD), now known as MOD Main Building. An undercroft from Wolsey's Great Chamber, now known as Henry VIII's Wine Cellar, a fine example of a Tudor brick-vaulted roof some 70 feet (21 m) long and 30 feet (9 m) wide, was found to interfere not just with the plan for the new building but also with the proposed route for Horse Guards Avenue. Following a request from Queen Mary in 1938 and a promise in Parliament, provision was made for the preservation of the cellar. Accordingly, it was encased in steel and concrete and relocated 9 feet (3 m) to the west and nearly 19 feet (6 m) deeper in 1949, when building was resumed at the site after the Second World War. This was carried out without any significant damage to the structure and it now rests within the basement of the building. 
A number of marble carvings from the former chapel at Whitehall (which was built for James II) are present in St. Andrew's Church, Burnham-on-Sea, in Somerset, to where they were moved in 1820 after having originally been removed to Westminster Abbey in 1706. 
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Whitehall is a road and area in the City of Westminster, Central London. The road forms the first part of the A3212 road from Trafalgar Square to Chelsea. It is the main thoroughfare running south from Trafalgar Square towards Parliament Square. The street is recognised as the centre of the Government of the United Kingdom and is lined with numerous departments and ministries, including the Ministry of Defence, Horse Guards and the Cabinet Office. Consequently, the name "Whitehall" is used as a metonym for the British civil service and government, and as the geographic name for the surrounding area.
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Horse Guards is a historic building in the City of Westminster, London, between Whitehall and Horse Guards Parade. It was built in the mid-18th century, replacing an earlier building, as a barracks and stables for the Household Cavalry. It was, between the early 18th century and 1858, the main military headquarters for the British Empire. Horse Guards originally formed the entrance to the Palace of Whitehall and later St James's Palace; for that reason it is still ceremonially defended by the King's Life Guard.
The Tudor architectural style is the final development of Medieval architecture in England and Wales, during the Tudor period (1485–1603) and even beyond, and also the tentative introduction of Renaissance architecture to Britain. It followed the Late Gothic Perpendicular style and, gradually, it evolved into an aesthetic more consistent with trends already in motion on the continent, evidenced by other nations already having the Northern Renaissance underway Italy, and especially France already well into its revolution in art, architecture, and thought. A subtype of Tudor architecture is Elizabethan architecture, from about 1560 to 1600, which has continuity with the subsequent Jacobean architecture in the early Stuart period.
London's architectural heritage involves many architectural styles from different historical periods. London's architectural eclecticism stems from its long history, continual redevelopment, destruction by the Great Fire of London and The Blitz, and state recognition of private property rights which have limited large scale state planning. This sets London apart from other European capitals such as Paris and Rome which are more architecturally homogeneous. London's architecture ranges from the Romanesque central keep of The Tower of London, the great Gothic church of Westminster Abbey, the Palladian royal residence Queen's House, Christopher Wren's Baroque masterpiece St Paul's Cathedral, the High Victorian Gothic of The Palace of Westminster, the industrial Art Deco of Battersea Power Station, the post-war Modernism of The Barbican Estate and the Postmodern skyscraper 30 St Mary Axe 'The Gherkin'.
The Cockpit-in-Court was an early theatre in London, located at the Palace of Whitehall, next to St. James's Park, now the site of 70 Whitehall, in Westminster.
The Great Fire of London was a major conflagration that swept through central London from Sunday 2 September to Thursday 6 September 1666, gutting the medieval City of London inside the old Roman city wall, while also extending past the wall to the west. The death toll is generally thought to have been relatively small, although some historians have challenged this belief.
A tiltyard was an enclosed courtyard for jousting. Tiltyards were a common feature of Tudor era castles and palaces. The Horse Guards Parade in London was formerly the tiltyard constructed by Henry VIII as an entertainment venue adjacent to Whitehall Palace; it was the site of the Accession Day tilts in the reigns of Elizabeth I and James I.
The Banqueting House, Whitehall, is the grandest and best known survivor of the architectural genre of banqueting houses, constructed for elaborate entertaining. It is one of the only remaining components of the Palace of Whitehall, the residence of English monarchs from 1530 to 1698. The building is important in the history of English architecture as the first structure to be completed in the neo-classical style, which was to transform English architecture.
Great Scotland Yard is a street in the St. James's district of Westminster, London, connecting Northumberland Avenue and Whitehall. By the 16th century, this 'yard', which was then an open space for the Palace of Whitehall, was fronted by buildings used by diplomatic representatives of the Kingdom of Scotland. In the 19th century, it was a street and open space, which was the location of a public entrance to the original headquarters of the Metropolitan Police Service of London, causing the name "Scotland Yard" to become synonymous with the police service.
Portrait of Henry VIII is a lost work by Hans Holbein the Younger depicting Henry VIII. It was destroyed by fire in 1698, but is still well known through many copies. It is one of the most iconic images of Henry and is one of the most famous portraits of any English or British monarch. It was created in 1536–1537 as part of a mural showing the Tudor dynasty at the Palace of Whitehall, Westminster.
William Dickinson was an English architect.
The following is a timeline of the history of London, the capital of England and the United Kingdom.
The Holbein Gate was a monumental gateway across Whitehall in Westminster, constructed in 1531–32 in the English Gothic style. The Holbein Gate and a second less ornate gate, Westminster Gate, were constructed by Henry VIII to connect parts of the Tudor Palace of Whitehall to the east and west of the road. It was one of two substantial parts of the Palace of Whitehall to survive a catastrophic fire in January 1698, the other being Inigo Jones's classical Banqueting House. The Holbein Gate was described by Thomas Pennant as "the most beautiful gate at Whitehall". It was demolished in August 1759.
The Privy Garden of the Palace of Whitehall was a large enclosed space in Westminster, London, that was originally a pleasure garden used by the late Tudor and Stuart monarchs of England. It was created under Henry VIII and was expanded and improved under his successors, but lost its royal patronage after the Palace of Whitehall was almost totally destroyed by fire in 1698.
The history of the Palace of Westminster began in the Middle Ages when it was used as a royal residence. The English Parliament of the United Kingdom has met there since 1295. The Palace burned down in 1834 and was replaced by the modern building.