Friday, 12 November 2010

18. Westminster


Westminster is on the District (green line), Circle (yellow line) and Jubilee (silver line) Lines. It is situated right in the heart of Westminster - and even if you have never been there you will feel in familiar territory as soon as you exit the station with all the world famous landmarks surrounding you!

The Houses of Parliament are of course here in the heart of Westminster, next to it the famous St. Stephens Tower which houses the Big Ben (Big Ben is in fact the name of the Bell that chimes - and not the name of the clock!) and outside the Houses of Parliament the statue of Oliver Cromwell. The man who sealed the fate of Charles I, became Lord Protector of England and was responsible for the near-genocidal treatment of Catholics in Scotland and Ireland. It has always been a great wonder to me how few Brits have an opinion of Oliver Cromwell (or even who he was) but one day in Ireland and you will know all about him!

I visited this part of London today because yesterday was Armistice Day and this Sunday is Remembrance Sunday. Just up the road from the Houses of Parliament is the Cenotaph, where on Sunday representatives from the Commonwealth and the Armed Services will join the Royal Family in the traditional laying of wreaths for our war dead.

The streets here are lined with memorials to generals and war heroes




Although this particular statue is controversial. World War I veterans refused to march past the monument to Field Marshall Haig during Remembrance Day parades - as a mark of their disgust.



Further down the street is Horse Guards Parade. I'm not sure who was doing the honours today, the Blues & Royals or the Life Guards,

but I had wandered up to take a photograph of the clock. There is a black mark behind the number two on the clock face - this marks the hour that Charles I was executed.



On my back down towards the tube I passed Banqueting House, the only remaining part of the Whitehall Palace.


This bust of Charles I is immediately below a bricked up window, the window was bricked up as a mark of respect - it was the one that Charles I was led out from to be executed.

All of the information on on this trip was provided by my favourite London Tour Guide, my daughter Kiera Healy.

4 comments:

  1. That was a Life Guard. The Blues and Royals wear blue.

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  2. Last time I saw the Changing of the Guard there they we were wearing blue so I thought that these were the Life Guards - thanks for the confirmation!

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  3. Very interesting :) I enjoyed the tour.

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  4. This was one of the most interesting trips (so far)

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Thanks for showing an interest - please feel free to comment on my unofficial tour of the tube stations