The overlays that highlight 17th century London features are approximate and derived from Wenceslaus Hollar’s maps:

Open location in Google Maps: 51.504896, -0.125248


Some specific parts of the palace have their own pages and are all marked on the map of Whitehall Palace areas.

The map here is based on the area shown on this 1680 map, (north is to the right). Pages 480-1 of the Latham & Matthews Companion volume also show a rough map of the palace.


This text was copied from Wikipedia on 20 May 2024 at 5:10AM.

Palace of Whitehall
The Old Palace of Whitehall by Hendrick Danckerts, c. 1675.[1] The view is from the west, in St. James's Park. The Horse Guards barracks are on the extreme left, with the taller Banqueting House behind it. The four-towered building left of centre is the palace gatehouse, the "Holbein Gate".[2]
LocationCity of Westminster, Middlesex, Kingdom of England
Coordinates51°30′16″N 00°07′32″W / 51.50444°N 0.12556°W / 51.50444; -0.12556
Builtc. 1240, 15–17th century
Demolished1698 (due to fire)
Palace of Whitehall is located in Central London
Palace of Whitehall
Location of the Palace of Whitehall in central London
Inigo Jones's plan, dated 1638, for a new palace at Whitehall, which was only realised in part.

The Palace of Whitehall – also spelled White Hall – at Westminster was the main residence of the English monarchs from 1530 until 1698, when most of its structures, with the notable exception of 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 the British 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.[3] 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 metropolitan 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 Westminster residence soon after 1240, calling it York Place.[4]

A sketch of Whitehall Palace in 1544, by Anton van den Wyngaerde.

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 the capital city, the King's 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 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.[5]

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)[6] 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.[7]

Anne of Denmark's secretary, William Fowler wrote Latin verses and anagrams for a sundial in the garden, restored by the orders of James VI and I.[8] In 1611, the palace hosted the first known performance of William Shakespeare's play The Tempest.[9] In February 1613 it was the venue for the wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Frederick V of the Palatinate.[10]

The forty rooms of the lodgings provided for King James's favourite Robert Carr, 1st Earl of Somerset included a picture gallery in a converted bowling alley.[11] 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 Peter Paul Rubens, commissioned by Charles I (who was to be executed in front of the building in 1649).[12]

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.[13] 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. 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.[14]

A plan of Whitehall Palace in 1680.
Part of a proposal for the replacement of the palace drawn by Christopher Wren in 1698. The palace was never rebuilt.

Charles II commissioned minor works, but made extensive renovations.[15] Like his father, he died at the palace, but from a stroke.[16] James II ordered various changes by Christopher Wren, including a chapel finished in 1687, rebuilding of the queen's apartments (c. 1688), and the queen's private lodgings (1689).[17] The Roman 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.[18] 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 (12 m) high by 25 ft (7.6 m) wide) designed by Wren and carved by Grinling Gibbons dominated the room.[19]


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.[20] 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.[21]

A second fire on 4 January 1698 destroyed most of the remaining residential and government buildings.[22] It was started inadvertently by a servant in an upper room who had hung wet linen around a burning charcoal brazier to dry.[23] 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.[23] 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.[24]

John Evelyn noted succinctly on 5 January: "Whitehall burnt! nothing but walls and ruins left."[25] Besides 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.[26]

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 Whitehall Mural, including his Portrait of Henry VIII[27] and Gian Lorenzo Bernini's marble portrait bust of King Charles I.[28]

Present day

Henry VIII's wine cellar

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.[29]

Queen Mary's Steps, Palace of 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 the Ministry of Defence 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.[30]

Banqueting House London, the only remaining component of the Palace of Whitehall

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.[31]

See also


  1. ^ "Hendrick Danckerts". Government Art Collection. Archived from the original on 28 June 2018. Retrieved 4 January 2010.
  2. ^ The buildings are identified in a pictorial map of 1682 by William Morgan. Reproduced in Barker, Felix; Jackson, Peter (1990). The History of London in Maps. London: Barrie and Jenkins. pp. 42–43. ISBN 0-7126-3650-1.; the so-called "Holbein Gate" as it was known in the 18th century, though any connection with Hans Holbein was fanciful (John Summerson, Architecture in Britain 1530–1830, 9th ed. 1993: 32) survived the fire and was demolished in 1769.
  3. ^ "Whitehall". BBC. Archived from the original on 28 October 2004. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
  4. ^ Haines, Roy Martin (2004). "Gray, Walter de". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/11566. ISBN 978-0-19-861412-8. Retrieved 28 June 2018. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  5. ^ "War Office Buildings: a history" (PDF). Ministry of Defence. Archived (PDF) from the original on 28 June 2018. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  6. ^ Measuring Worth calculator Archived 15 January 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Cox, Montagu H.; Norman, Philip (1930). "'Whitehall Palace: History', in Survey of London: Volume 13, St Margaret, Westminster, Part II: Whitehall I". London: British History Online. pp. 10–40. Archived from the original on 28 August 2021. Retrieved 25 August 2021.
  8. ^ Allison L. Steenson, The Hawthornden Manuscripts of William Fowler (Routledge, 2021), 121–23, 206–8.
  9. ^ "The Tempest first performed". 1 November 2011. Archived from the original on 28 June 2018. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  10. ^ John Nichols, Progresses of James the First, vol. 2 (London, 1828), p. 527.
  11. ^ Tim Wilks, 'The Picture Collection of the Earl of Somerset', Journal of the History of Collections, 1:2 (December 1989), pp. 167–177: Robert Hill, 'Sir Dudley Carleton and Jacobean Collecting', Edward Chaney, The Evolution of English Collecting (Yale, 2003), pp. 240–55.
  12. ^ Simon Thurley, Palaces of the Revolution, Life, Death & Art at the Stuart Court (William Collins, 2021), p. 92.
  13. ^ "...nothing but a heap of Houses, erected at divers times, and of different Models, which they made Contiguous in the best Manner they could for the Residence of the Court...", noted the French visitor Samuel de Sorbière about 1663, in Sorbière, Samuel (1709). A Voyage to England. London: J. Woodward. p. 16. Retrieved 13 April 2018..
  14. ^ Adrian Tinniswood (2018). Behind the Throne: A Domestic History of the British Royal Household. p. 103.
  15. ^ Jesse, J. Heneage. London: Its Celebrated Characters and Remarkable Places, Vol. II, p.40, Richard Bentley, London, 1871.
  16. ^ "King Charles II, Born 1630, St James's Palace; Died 1685, Palace of Whitehall, London". The Royal Collection. Archived from the original on 28 June 2018. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  17. ^ "'Whitehall Palace: Buildings', in Survey of London: Volume 13, St Margaret, Westminster, Part II: Whitehall I, ed. Montagu H Cox and Philip Norman". London. 1930. pp. 41–115. Archived from the original on 20 June 2018. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  18. ^ Adrian Tinniswood (2018). Behind the Throne: A Domestic History of the British Royal Household. p. 116.
  19. ^ London County Council (1930). "Survey of London: Volume 13, St. Margaret, Westminster, Part II: Whitehall". Archived from the original on 25 March 2023. Retrieved 10 November 2018.
  20. ^ "Fire in Whitehall ends an age of palaces". London Online. Archived from the original on 5 June 2019. Retrieved 1 January 2011.
  21. ^ "William III and Mary II". Historic Royal Palaces. Archived from the original on 7 November 2017. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  22. ^ Thurley, Simon (1999). Whitehall Palace: an architectural history of the royal apartments, 1240–1698. Yale University Press. p. 142. ISBN 978-0-300-07639-4. Retrieved 2 January 2012.
  23. ^ a b "Whitehall fire of 1698". Historic Royal Palaces. Archived from the original on 10 March 2023. Retrieved 10 November 2018.
  24. ^ Adrian Tinniswood (2018). Behind the Throne: A Domestic History of the British Royal Household. p. 127.
  25. ^ Evelyn, John (1906). The diary of John Evelyn. Macmillan and co., limited. p. 334. Retrieved 2 January 2012.
  26. ^ Cox, Montagu H; Forrest, G Topham (1931). "'The Holbein Gate and the Tiltyard Gallery', in Survey of London: Volume 14, St Margaret, Westminster, Part III: Whitehall II". London. pp. 10–22. Archived from the original on 29 June 2018. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  27. ^ "King Henry VIII; King Henry VII". National Portrait Gallery. Archived from the original on 29 June 2018. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  28. ^ Wittkower, Rudolf (1997). Bernini: The Sculptor of the Roman Baroque. London: Phaidon Press. p. 258. ISBN 978-0714837154.
  29. ^ Duncan, Andrew (2006). "Cabinet Office". Secret London (5 ed.). London: New Holland. p. 111. ISBN 978-1-84537-305-4.
  30. ^ "The Old War Office Building; a History" (PDF). Ministry of Defence. Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 April 2016. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  31. ^ Historic England. "Church of St. Andrew (1262914)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 10 December 2006.

External links

23 Annotations

First Reading

Philip Meers  •  Link

There is an excellent chapter in the book "London: As it might have been", Barker, F. and Hyde, R., 1982 (ISBN 0-7195-3857-2, John Murray Publishers) dealing with the designs that Inigo Jones created for the redevelopment of Whitehall Palace. These would have been reconsidered during the time that Pepys knew the site, as Charles II was as interested in his father in building a palace more in keeping with his position.

Philip Somervail  •  Link

Christopher Hibbert in his 1969 book, ‘London: Portrait of a City’, gives a vivid account of Whitehall Palace, "the halls and chambers of the royal palace … which … covered acres of ground on the river front between Charing Cross and Westminster Hall. Here had once stood York Place, the London residence of the Archbishops of York, where Cardinal Wolsey had lived in the 1520s in a style as grandiose as that of the royal Court itself…. When Wolsey fell from power, after failing to arrange a speedy divorce for Henry VIII from Catharine of Aragon, York Place, although it belonged to the See of York and not personally to the Cardinal, was taken over, like Hampton Court, by the King. Magnificent as it already was, Henry immediately set about making it finer. He bought additional land from the Abbot of Westminster and other neighbours and extended the grounds behind the Palace to take in acres upon acre of land for his new gardens. He built a new flight of steps to the river, and since the various buildings of the Palace were split in two by the road from London to Westminster he built two splendid bridges across the roadway.

“The beauties of Whitehall Palace, as it now came to be called, were further enhanced by three lofty galleries – the Privy gallery, which had been removed from Wolsey’s mansion at Esher, the Stone Gallery, where the guests at royal banquets could look down upon the river, and the Long Gallery with a ceiling painted by Holbein. In the grounds below were four tennis courts, a bowling green, a cockpit and a tilt yard.” In the tiltyard, to quote from the Encyclopedia of London (1983), “tournaments and bear baiting were arranged as royal entertainments.”

To continue from the same source, “the new property was connected to the old by the Holbein Gate and the King Street Gate which spanned the street. Whitehall became the chief London residence of the court…. During James I’s reign, Inigo Jones and John Webb drew up plans for a huge new palace, but only the Banqueting House was ever completed. Even so, by this time the palace comprised some 2,000 rooms…. In 1698, apparently through the carelessness of a Dutch laundry woman, the old palace was burned to the ground, with only the Banqueting House surviving.”

To this I would just add that there is a superb model of Whitehall Palace at the Museum of London, showing it in its heyday.

language hat  •  Link

Whitehall Palace:
This book looks like the thing to read if one is interested in further detail:…

Here's an online history:…

The Blue Guide to London says, of Henry VIII's taking over York Place, "He renamed the palace 'Whitehall', a name then generally applied to any centre of festivities," so it had nothing to do with the color of the walls.

And let's not forget Shakespeare:

You must no more call it York Place, that's past:
For, since the cardinal fell, that title's lost;
'Tis now the King's, and call'd Whitehall.
--King Henry VIII, IV, i.

hazel-mary  •  Link

Whitehall Palace - According to the works accounts of 1623-4, Isaac de Caus, a fashionable garden designer, grotto builder and engineer, was paid to create a shell grotto in the cellars of Inigo Jones's Banqueting Hall around this time. This was a Privy cellar or private drinking den for James I and his cronies. It is not clear when it was removed. Maybe Pepys visited it. It certainly sounds like his sort of thing.

Emilio  •  Link

Here's Macaulay's description of Whitehall in 1685. The passage gives a vivid impression of the place as Pepys knew it, and can be found at… .

"Whitehall naturally became the chief staple of news. Whenever there was a rumour that anything important had happened or was about to happen, people hastened thither to obtain intelligence from the fountain head. The galleries presented the appearance of a modern club room at an anxious time. They were full of people enquiring whether the Dutch mail was in, what tidings the express from France had brought, whether John Sobiesky had beaten the Turks, whether the Doge of Genoa was really at Paris These were matters about which it was safe to talk aloud. But there were subjects concerning which information was asked and given in whispers. Had Halifax got the better of Rochester? Was there to be a Parliament? Was the Duke of York really going to Scotland? Had Monmouth really been summoned from the Hague? Men tried to read the countenance of every minister as he went through the throng to and from the royal closet. All sorts of auguries were drawn from the tone in which His Majesty spoke to the Lord President, or from the laugh with which His Majesty honoured a jest of the Lord Privy Seal; and in a few hours the hopes and fears inspired by such slight indications had spread to all the coffee houses from Saint James's to the Tower."

Esme  •  Link

There are pictures of Whitehall Palace in the fantastic collection of London pictures on the historic Guildhall Library's Collage website at

You can search in various ways including putting dates into the "Advanced Search", or drilling down through the "Places" category.

Just give yourself plenty of time, as there are lots of interesting leads to follow.

Pauline  •  Link

Matted Gallery
from L&M Companion entry for Whitehall
On the first floor, roughly parallel to the river, immediately above the Stone Gallery, running from the e. end of the Privy Galley to the staircase leading down to the Bowling Green. For those with business at the palace, it was a convenient semi-private walk. The Duke of York’s closet and chief apartments were reached from it in the ’60s, with subsidiary rooms belonging to him on the floor below.

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

Plan of the White hall palace showing it to be a large complex, it even shows where Carlos Rey would sneak over to the apartment No. 32 [of Palmer] down the hallway from No. 7 L. Albermarle [Moncke]. Carlos Rey would enjoy the trip thru the privey across two streets, lots of work.…

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Hollar, Wencaslas (Czech/British, 1607-1677)

Whitehall Palace; view W, from an inlet of the Thames, with part of Lambeth Marsh on the left, Whitehall Palace, the Banqueting House and Whitehall stairs on the opposite bank, the tower of old St Martin-in-the-Fields, and the SW turret of Suffolk (Northumberland) House on the right, with numerous wherries on the river
Pen and grey ink, tinted with watercolour

Inscriptions: Inscribed by the artist in grey and brown ink: "White Hall Palatium Regis" and in grey ink: "Thamesis fluvius"

Dimensions: Height: 98 millimetres, Width: 293 millimetres

Curator's comments
From Hollar's first period in London 1637-43. Possibly connected with Hollar's etching 'Palatium Regis prope Londinum vulgo Whitehall' (Pennington 1039).

Image and additional descriptive text:…

Second Reading

Mary K  •  Link

In 1663 Samuel Sorbière, a visiting French philosopher and historian, was less than impressed with the Palace of Whitehall.

He judged the Banqueting House alone "very stately, because the rest of the Palace is ill Built, and nothing but a heap of Houses, erected at divers times, and of different Models, which they made Contiguous in the best manner they could."

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"When the Portuguese princess, Catherine of Braganza — who had led a sheltered and pious existence — arrived in England to marry Charles II in 1661, she and her ladies were horrified to find noblemen blithely urinating throughout the palace. The ladies complained “that they cannot stir abroad without seeing in every corner great beastly English pricks battering against every wall.”

"Festering palace filth was one reason royal courts moved around so much. Henry VIII traveled from Hampton Court to Windsor Castle to Greenwich Palace and beyond, often completing 30 moves a year.

"Once the court vacated, servants descended, buckets and scrub brushes in hand, to remove all the human waste off the floors."

From a fun article about hygiene and poison in those days in general at:…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

A Gresham College lecture which, around 20 minutes in, gives an excellent description of how Whitehall functioned under Charles II and James II. The architecture accommodated their style of retaining power and ruling as absolute monarchs.…

It then goes on to describe Kensington Palace as it was when purchased by William and Mary.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Turns out Queen Elizabeth had a tiled bathroom:
"For all her restless energy, Elizabeth did know how to relax. One of her main pleasures was bathing, and she made sure it was as luxurious and entertaining as possible. At Whitehall Palace, she had the Tudor equivalent of a sauna, heated by a ceramic tiled stove. There was also a splendidly arrayed bathroom which, as well as a large bath, contained an elaborate water feature where ‘the water pours from oyster shells and different kinds of rock.’
"Next to the bathroom was a room containing an organ so that the Queen could be serenaded while she soaked in the tub."…

Anyone know if Charles II had an up-dated version? They were becoming popular at the time.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

A contemporary description of the Palace of Whitehall is given by Cosmo, the future Grand Duke of Turin, who visited London during the Spring of 1669.

I've standardized the spelling of names I know, corrected scanning errors I could figure out, and increased the number of paragraphs. Sometimes I got confused making the N.S./O.S. date conversions, so I apologize if they are wrong:


The palace of Whitehall, the residence of the king, is more remarkable for its situation, which is on the Thames, and for its connection with the beautiful Park of St. James’s, than for the nobleness of its structure; being nothing more than an assemblage of several houses, badly built, at different times and for different purposes; it has nothing in its exterior from which you could suppose it to be the habitation of the king.

All its magnificence is confined to the royal saloon [THE BANQUETING HOUSE], lately erected according to rules of architecture, and adorned with pillars and other decorations, for the reception and audience of ambassadors, and for the public entertainments which are given there with great splendor at the installation of the Knights of the Garter; and on this account it is called the Banqueting Room. The ceiling is richly gilded, and decorated with pictures of Rubens, which are admirable both in the design and execution.

Above the door which leads into the room, and which is opposite the royal throne, is a statue in relief of King Charles I whose majestic mien delights the spectator, while he is at the same time saddened by the remembrance of the mournful catastrophe which took place in this very room.


On the threshold of the window there are still to be seen drops of blood, which fell there in the execution of that dreadful enormity, so deeply imprinted, that they have not been able to obliterate them from the spot, though they have frequently washed it in the hope of doing so.

The rest of the king's habitation is mean and out of all order, being divided into lodges, galleries, halls, and chambers, of which there are reckoned to be as many as 2,000. It was in consequence of the great number of these, that the Protector Cromwell, to secure himself against the attempts which were plotting against his person, and to prevent the place where he slept from being known, went secretly every night first into one and then into another, without even his domestics being acquainted with his movements.

All the apartments are small, and badly arranged, and without doors; so that every person whose appearance does not bespeak him to be military is permitted to go into the king's antechamber; on the floor of which stands a clock, which tells not only time but the way of the wind.

In the gallery, formerly enriched by Cardinal Wolsey with choice paintings, which were taken away and sold by Cromwell, there are now fastened up some vile daubings of battles by sea and land, in the time of Henry VIII.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


The other gallery, alongside the king's chamber, which is the first on front of the antechamber, is entirely naked, all its treasures consisting of a prospect of a beautiful meadow, laid out like a garden, planted with trees and beautiful hedges of roses, and having 4 rows of statues in the middle, part of which are of bronze and standing, part of white marble, and, for the most part, in a sitting posture.
In the center, which is surrounded by the statues, there rises a certain structure encircled by iron rails, composed of many and different kinds of dials of various shapes, so that there are always more than one of them that shew the sun's shadow.

The palace of Whitehall has within its precincts several open places [piazza] but of no great size, one on the outside, and another within the entrance; from the latter, turning to the right, is a passage into a small square, which leads to the river and to the king’s bowling green;

and not far from this are the quarters of the Duchess of Richmond, which look upon the river and upon the garden of statues.

The Countess of Castlemaine enjoys the same view on one side, and on the other a corresponding one, over the square before the gate of the palace; this is guarded by a body of carabineers, who stand sentry two at a time on horseback, the horses of the rest standing by ready saddled;

and at the gate from which you pass into the king's apartment, soldiers mount guard, armed with musquets and pikes; at the same gate, there are also 4 pieces of cannon mounted for greater security; and not far from it is the tower, composed of 4 smaller turrets, and placed over an arch, under which is the road, or street, leading to Westminster Abbey.


His highness, Cosmo, must be considered only as a traveler. Under his direction, the narrator of the records was Count Lorenzo Magalotti, afterwards Secretary to the Academy del Cimento, and one of the most learned and eminent characters of the court of Ferdinand II.

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

L&M Companion identifies as a Wine Cellar in the entry on Whitehall Palace. They describe it as "part of Woolsey's original palace; under the Guard Chamber. It was not wholly destroyed by the fire of 1698 and still survives. The King's or Privy cellar was separate."

This might be the Wine Cellar in the Old War Office Building. according to a web site on the history of the building.

The Wine Cellar is labelled as "King Henry VIII's Wine Cellar" and is described as "the only substantial part of the old "Whitehall Palace" that remained after the disastrous fire of 1698 and a fine example of a Tudor brick-vaulted roof some 70 ft long and 30 ft wide.”

"It is pretty amazing that the Cellar survived. Not only were the buildings above it razed several times by fire in the 16th and 17th century, and by 18th and 19th Century development, but the original plans for the new MoD buildings and the surrounding roads would have meant the destruction of the Cellar. It was another Queen Mary – the widow of George V – who requested they be saved.

So in 1949 they moved the whole cellar. They couldn’t dismantle it (Tudor brick is too soft) so they dug around and underneath it and encased the whole space in steel and concrete and shifted the thing 9 ft (about 3 metres) to the West and 19 ft (6 metres) lower."…

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.