Admiralty Arch is a landmark building in London which incorporates an archway providing road and pedestrian access between The Mall, which extends to the southwest, Trafalgar Square to the northeast. Admiralty Arch, commissioned by King Edward VII in memory of his mother, Queen Victoria, designed by Aston Webb, is now a Grade I listed building. In the past, it was used by the Admiralty; until 2011, the building housed government offices, but in 2012 the government sold a 125-year lease over the building for redevelopment into a Waldorf Astoria luxury hotel and apartments. The arch was designed by Aston Webb, who designed the Victoria Memorial and the new façade of Buckingham Palace on the other end of the Mall. Admiralty Arch was constructed by John Mowlem & Co and completed in 1912, it adjoins the Old Admiralty Building, hence the name. The building was commissioned by King Edward VII in memory of his mother Queen Victoria, although he did not live to see its completion in 1912; the Admiralty Arch served as the official residence of the First Sea Lord, including the Earl of Mountbatten.
It housed various government offices for the Admiralty. In 2000, the Cabinet Office moved into offices in the building, while maintaining its headquarters on Whitehall, it was home to the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit and the Social Exclusion Task Force. In 2011, as part of the United Kingdom government austerity programme, the building became vacant and was put up for sale for a reported £75 million. In October 2012, the winning bidder was reported to be Spanish real estate developer Rafael Serrano, who planned to turn the property into a luxury hotel; the property was sold as a 125-year lease. In August 2013, Westminster City Council granted full planning permission for the restoration and conversion of Admiralty Arch into a 100-room hotel and private members' club. Architects Blair Associates have been retained by property developer Prime Investors Capital to convert the building into a hotel and four apartments; the residences went on sale in July 2016. The hotel is scheduled to open as a Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts property by 2022.
As the ceremonial entrance from Trafalgar Square to The Mall, itself the ceremonial road leading up to Buckingham Palace, Admiralty Arch plays an important role on ceremonial occasions. Processions at royal weddings, funerals and other public processions such as the 2012 processions at the end of the Olympic and Paralympic Games all passed under its arches; the central archway is reserved for use by royalty. The structure, which combines the features of a triumphal arch with those of a government office building, is asymmetrical; as viewed from the Mall, the right wing of the building has one floor more than the left one: below the cornice there are three on the right, but just two on the left. A Latin inscription along the top reads:: ANNO: DECIMO: EDWARDI: SEPTIMI: REGIS:: VICTORIÆ: REGINÆ: CIVES: GRATISSIMI: MDCCCCX: The sculptural figures of Navigation and Gunnery at the end of the two wings were designed by the English sculptor Thomas Brock. Beneath the building is a warren of subterranean tunnels and chambers, including vaults which used to house the government archives.
On the inside wall of the northernmost arch is a small protrusion the size and shape of a human nose. It was placed there by artist Rick Buckley in 1997 as part of a campaign against the "Big Brother" society; the nose is at a height of about seven feet, sits at waist height for anyone riding through the arch on a horse. Prior to Buckley being unmasked in 2011 by the London Evening Standard, an urban myth grew that the nose is there in honour of the Duke of Wellington, known for having a large nose. Media related to Admiralty Arch at Wikimedia Commons Official website of current commercial redevelopment Admiralty Arch at the Historic England website
Economy of the United Kingdom
The economy of the United Kingdom is developed and market-orientated. It is the fifth-largest national economy in the world measured by nominal gross domestic product, ninth-largest by purchasing power parity, twenty second-largest by GDP per capita, comprising 3.5% of world GDP. In 2016, the UK was the tenth-largest goods exporter in the world and the fifth-largest goods importer, it had the second-largest inward foreign direct investment, the third-largest outward foreign direct investment. The UK is one of the most globalised economies, it is composed of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland; the service sector dominates, contributing around 80% of GDP. Britain's aerospace industry is the second-largest national aerospace industry, its pharmaceutical industry, the tenth-largest in the world, plays an important role in the economy. Of the world's 500 largest companies, 26 are headquartered in the UK; the economy is boosted by North Sea gas production. There are significant regional variations in prosperity, with South East England and North East Scotland being the richest areas per capita.
The size of London's economy makes it the largest city by GDP in Europe. In the 18th century the UK was the first country to industrialise, during the 19th century it had a dominant role in the global economy, accounting for 9.1% of the world's GDP in 1870. The Second Industrial Revolution was taking place in the United States and the German Empire; the costs of fighting World War I and World War II further weakened the UK's relative position. In the 21st century, the UK remains a great power with the ability to project power and influence around the world. Government involvement is exercised by Her Majesty's Treasury, headed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Department for Business and Industrial Strategy. Since 1979 management of the economy has followed a broadly laissez-faire approach; the Bank of England is the UK's central bank, since 1997 its Monetary Policy Committee has been responsible for setting interest rates, quantitative easing, forward guidance. The currency of the UK is the pound sterling, the world's fourth-largest reserve currency after the United States Dollar, the Euro and the Japanese Yen, is one of the 10 most-valued currencies in the world.
The UK is a member of the Commonwealth, the European Union, the G7, the G20, the International Monetary Fund, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Bank, the World Trade Organization, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the United Nations. After the Second World War, a new Labour government nationalised the Bank of England, civil aviation, telephone networks, gas and the coal and steel industries, affecting 2.3 million workers. Post-war, the United Kingdom enjoyed a long period without a major recession; the annual rate of growth between 1960 and 1973 averaged 2.9%, although this figure was far behind other European countries such as France, West Germany and Italy. Deindustrialisation meant the closure of operations in mining, heavy industry, manufacturing, resulting in the loss of paid working-class jobs; the UK's share of manufacturing output had risen from 9.5% in 1830 during the Industrial Revolution to 22.9% in the 1870s. It fell to 13.6% by 1913, 10.7% by 1938, 4.9% by 1973.
Overseas competition, lack of innovation, trade unionism, the welfare state, loss of the British Empire, cultural attitudes have all been put forward as explanations. It reached crisis point in the 1970s against the backdrop of a worldwide energy crisis, high inflation, a dramatic influx of low-cost manufactured goods from Asia. During the 1973 oil crisis, the 1973–74 stock market crash, the secondary banking crisis of 1973–75, the British economy fell into the 1973–75 recession and the government of Edward Heath was ousted by the Labour Party under Harold Wilson, which had governed from 1964 to 1970. Wilson formed a minority government in March 1974 after the general election on 28 February ended in a hung parliament. Wilson secured a three-seat overall majority in a second election in October that year; the UK recorded weaker growth than many other European nations in the 1970s. In 1976, the UK was forced to apply for a loan of £2.3 billion from the International Monetary Fund. Denis Healey Chancellor of the Exchequer, was required to implement public spending cuts and other economic reforms in order to secure the loan, for a while the British economy improved, with growth of 4.3% in early 1979.
However, following the Winter of Discontent, when the UK was hit by numerous public sector strikes, the government of James Callaghan lost a vote of no confidence in March 1979. This triggered the general election on 3 May 1979 which resulted in Margaret Thatcher's Conservative Party forming a new government. A new period of neo-liberal economics began with this election. During the 1980s, many state-owned industries and utilities were privatised, taxes cut, trade union reforms passed and markets deregulated. GDP fell by 5.9% but growth subsequently returned and rose to an annual rate of 5% at its
Billingsgate Fish Market
Billingsgate Fish Market is located in Poplar in London. It is the United Kingdom's largest inland fish market, it takes its name from Billingsgate, a ward in the south-east corner of the City of London, where the riverside market was established. In its original location in the 19th century, Billingsgate was the largest fish market in the world. Billingsgate Wharf, close to Lower Thames Street, became the centre of a fish market during the 16th and 17th centuries but did not become formally established until an Act of Parliament in 1699. In 1850, the market, according to Horace Jones, "consisted only of shed buildings... The open space on the north of the well-remembered Billingsgate Dock was dotted with low booths and sheds, with a range of wooden houses with a piazza in front on the west, which served the salesmen and fishmongers as shelter, for the purposes of carrying on their trade." In that year the market was rebuilt to a design by J. B. Bunning, the City architect. Bunning's building was soon found to be insufficient for the increased trade, in 1872 the Corporation obtained an Act to rebuild and enlarge the market, done to plans by Bunning's successor as City architect Sir Horace Jones.
The new site covered twice the area of the old, incorporating Billingsgate Stairs and Wharf and Darkhouse Lane. Work began in 1874, the new market was opened by the Lord Mayor on 20 July 1877; the new buildings, Italianate in style, had on their long frontages towards Thames Street the river, a pedimented centre and continuous arcade, flanked at each end by a pavilion tavern. The general market, on a level with Thames Street, had an area of about 30,000 square feet, was covered with louvre glass roofs, 43 feet high at the ridge. A gallery 30 feet wide was allocated to the sale of dried fish, while the basement served as a market for shellfish; the opening of the railways changed the nature of the trade, by the late nineteenth century most of the fish arrived at the market via the Great Eastern Railway. The infamously coarse language of London fishmongers made "Billingsgate" a byword for crude or vulgar language. One of its earliest uses can be seen in a 1577 chronicle by Raphael Holinshed, where the writer makes reference to the foul tongues of Billingsgate oyster-wives.
The market is depicted during Tudor times in Rosemary Sutcliff's 1951 children's historical novel The Armourer's House. The writer George Orwell worked at Billingsgate in the 1930s. In 1982, the fish market was relocated to a new 13-acre building complex on the Isle of Dogs in Poplar, close to Canary Wharf and Blackwall; the freehold owner of the site is the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, but the City of London Corporation still runs the market. Most of the fish sold through the market now arrives there by road, from ports as far afield as Aberdeen and Cornwall. Billingsgate Market is open from Tuesday to Saturday. Trading commences at 4 a.m. and finishes at 8:30 a.m. Security for the market is provided by the private Market Constabulary. Traditionally, the only people allowed to move fish around the market were licensed fish porters; the role dates back at least to Henry VIII, was recognised by the Corporation of London in 1632. In 2012, a bitter battle was fought between modernisers, citing facts such as porters getting £700 for a 17-hour week, traditionalists.
The modernists won and the role of the porters ended. Worshipful Company of Fishmongers Official Billingsgate Market page from the City of London Corporation website Old official page
Thames House is an office building in Millbank, London, on the north bank of the River Thames adjacent to Lambeth Bridge. Used as offices by Imperial Chemical Industries, it has served as the headquarters of the United Kingdom's internal Security Service since December 1994, it served as the London headquarters of the Northern Ireland Office until March 2013. The building was constructed in 1929–30 by John Mowlem & Co on riverside land cleared after the disastrous 1928 Thames flood damaged run-down residential properties, it was built to designs by Sir Frank Baines, of the Government's Office of Works. It is of design uniform with but not identical to Imperial Chemical House, opposite it on the north side of Horseferry Road. Baines's design owes much to the'Imperial Neoclassical' tradition of Sir Edwin Lutyens and deliberately ties in with the Imperial design of Lambeth Bridge when it was redesigned from 1929. High up on the frontage are statues of St Britannia sculpted by Charles Sargeant Jagger.
It was owned by Thames House Estates until it was sold to the British Government in 1994. Thames House Estates was jointly owned by ICI and Prudential for many years and subsequently was wholly owned by ICI; the building has been listed Grade II on the National Heritage List for England since 16 January 1981. The dispersed and dilapidated state of its previous buildings at 140 Gower Street and Curzon Street House led MI5 to seek a new home in the late 1980s; the Secret Intelligence Service were engaged in a simultaneous hunt for new headquarters and consideration was given to co-location of the two. However this proposal was abandoned, due to the lack of buildings of adequate size and the security considerations of becoming a single target for attacks. At the same time, Thames House, used as government offices by became vacant when the Department of Energy left the southern half in 1989 and it was decided to convert and refit much of it for MI5's use; the GMW Partnership undertook the design and Mowlem carried out the necessary reconstruction work from 1990, which included part-infilling of the building's distinctive archway.
An automated miniature monorail within the building brings files up from the basement of Thames House to staff working within. The refurbished Thames House was opened on 30 November 1994 by Prime Minister John Major; the building was shared with the Northern Ireland Office until that organisation moved to 1 Horse Guards Road alongside HM Treasury and the Cabinet Office. On 1 June 2007, the building were designated as a protected site for the purposes of Section 128 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005; the effect of the act was to make it a specific criminal offence for a person to trespass into the building. Up until its seventh series, the BBC television series Spooks used the exterior and lobby of the Freemasons' Hall in Great Queen Street as a location for the show's portrayal of Thames House. Since Thames House has been used, although Freemasons' Hall is still used to show the entrance to the building; the third series of the BBC television series Torchwood used Thames House as the setting for the arrival of an alien species on Earth.
SIS Building – Headquarters of the Secret Intelligence Service The Doughnut – Headquarters of the Government Communications Headquarters
Millbank Tower is a 118-metre high skyscraper in the City of Westminster at Millbank, by the River Thames in London. The tower was constructed in 1963, has been home to many high-profile political organisations, including the Labour and Conservative parties, the United Nations; the tower was constructed in 1963 for Vickers and was therefore known as Vickers House or the Vickers Tower. It was built by John Mowlem & Co.. It is a landmark on the London skyline, standing beside the River Thames, half a mile upstream from the Palace of Westminster; the tower has been owned by David and Simon Reuben since 2002, while still being managed by its former owner Tishman Speyer Properties. It is a Grade II listed building; the 2003 edition of the Pevsner architectural guide says that the Millbank Tower is "one of the few London office towers to have won affection", contrasts it with the "boxy structure" of the Shell Tower at Waterloo. Throughout its history, the Millbank Tower has been home to many high-profile political and other organisations.
From 1994 to 2002 the Labour Party rented two floors in the base at the south of the site, for use as a general election campaign centre. Labour ran its 1997 General Election campaign from these offices. Five years however, the £1 million per annum rent forced the party to vacate the tower and take out a mortgage of £5.5 million to relocate to 16-18 Old Queen Street, overlooking St James's Park, which had 11,200 square feet of open plan premises. The United Nations had offices in the tower, but moved out in June 2003 citing high rents. Other public bodies have continued to occupy the building, including the Central Statistical Office, the predecessor of the Office for National Statistics. Since 2006, the Conservative Party has based its campaign headquarters at 30 Millbank, in the same complex as Millbank Tower. Other floors in the tower are occupied by various organisations and commercial companies, including Environment Agency, the World Bank, Altitude 360 London, foreign exchange specialists World First, the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust, the UK India Business Council, the Audit Commission, event caterers Salt and Pepper, Private Food Design, the firm Lewis PR, the London office of the Open Society Foundations, the Local Government Boundary Commission for England and XLN Telecom.
The building houses the studios for RT UK. Since April 2018, the central People's Vote office has been based in the tower; the tower featured in the 1973 film, The Vault of Horror, in which several characters are trapped in a lift in the building. It was used for the location filming of the Doctor Who serials The Invasion and Terror of the Zygons; the tower featured in The Persuaders! Episode "Someone Like Me", in which Danny Wilde is seen going into the building to stop Lord Brett Sinclair, programmed to shoot his friend Sam Milford. In 2010 the building was surrounded and invaded by a large student protest called by the National Union of Students, campaigning against the Coalition governments increase of tuition fees. In 2016, the Reuben brothers made a successful application to redevelop the building, notwithstanding its listed status, convert it into a hotel and luxury apartments. Emporis.com
Buckingham Palace is the London residence and administrative headquarters of the monarch of the United Kingdom. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is at the centre of state occasions and royal hospitality, it has been a focal point for the British people at times of national mourning. Known as Buckingham House, the building at the core of today's palace was a large townhouse built for the Duke of Buckingham in 1703 on a site, in private ownership for at least 150 years, it was acquired by King George III in 1761 as a private residence for Queen Charlotte and became known as The Queen's House. During the 19th century it was enlarged, principally by architects John Nash and Edward Blore, who constructed three wings around a central courtyard. Buckingham Palace became the London residence of the British monarch on the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837; the last major structural additions were made in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including the East Front, which contains the well-known balcony on which the royal family traditionally congregates to greet crowds.
The palace chapel was destroyed by a German bomb during World War II. The original early 19th-century interior designs, many of which survive, include widespread use of brightly coloured scagliola and blue and pink lapis, on the advice of Sir Charles Long. King Edward VII oversaw a partial redecoration in a Belle Époque gold colour scheme. Many smaller reception rooms are furnished in the Chinese regency style with furniture and fittings brought from the Royal Pavilion at Brighton and from Carlton House; the palace has 775 rooms, the garden is the largest private garden in London. The state rooms, used for official and state entertaining, are open to the public each year for most of August and September and on some days in winter and spring. In the Middle Ages, the site of the future palace formed part of the Manor of Ebury; the marshy ground was watered by the river Tyburn, which still flows below the courtyard and south wing of the palace. Where the river was fordable, the village of Eye Cross grew.
Ownership of the site changed hands many times. William gave the site to Geoffrey de Mandeville, who bequeathed it to the monks of Westminster Abbey. In 1531, Henry VIII acquired the Hospital of St James, which became St James's Palace, from Eton College, in 1536 he took the Manor of Ebury from Westminster Abbey; these transfers brought the site of Buckingham Palace back into royal hands for the first time since William the Conqueror had given it away 500 years earlier. Various owners leased it from royal landlords and the freehold was the subject of frenzied speculation during the 17th century. By the old village of Eye Cross had long since fallen into decay, the area was wasteland. Needing money, James I sold off part of the Crown freehold but retained part of the site on which he established a 4-acre mulberry garden for the production of silk. Clement Walker in Anarchia Anglicana refers to "new-erected sodoms and spintries at the Mulberry Garden at S. James's". In the late 17th century, the freehold was inherited from the property tycoon Sir Hugh Audley by the great heiress Mary Davies.
The first house erected within the site was that of a Sir William Blake, around 1624. The next owner was Lord Goring, who from 1633 extended Blake's house and developed much of today's garden known as Goring Great Garden, he did not, obtain the freehold interest in the mulberry garden. Unbeknown to Goring, in 1640 the document "failed to pass the Great Seal before King Charles I fled London, which it needed to do for legal execution", it was this critical omission that helped the British royal family regain the freehold under King George III. The improvident Goring defaulted on his rents. Arlington House rose on the site—the location of the southern wing of today's palace—the next year. In 1698, John Sheffield the first Duke of Buckingham and Normanby, acquired the lease; the house which forms the architectural core of the palace was built for the first Duke of Buckingham and Normanby in 1703 to the design of William Winde. The style chosen was of a large, three-floored central block with two smaller flanking service wings.
Buckingham House was sold by Buckingham's natural son, Sir Charles Sheffield, in 1761 to George III for £21,000. Sheffield's leasehold on the mulberry garden site, the freehold of, still owned by the royal family, was due to expire in 1774. Under the new Crown ownership, the building was intended as a private retreat for King George III's wife, Queen Charlotte, was accordingly known as The Queen's House. Remodelling of the structure began in 1762. In 1775, an Act of Parliament settled the property on Queen Charlotte, in exchange for her rights to Somerset House, 14 of her 15 children were born there; some furnishings were transferred from Carlton House, others had been bought in France after the French Revolution of 1789. While St James's Palace remained the official and ceremonial royal residence, the name "Buckingham-palace" was used from at least 1791. After his accession to the throne in 1820, King George IV continued the renovation with the idea in mind of a small, comfort