Parliament Street

Page 1

Survey of London: Volume 10, St. Margaret, Westminster, Part I: Queen Anne's Gate Area. Originally published by [s.n.], [s.l.], 1926.

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Until the middle of the 18th century the only highway from Whitehall to Westminster was the ancient thoroughfare of King Street, narrow and inconvenient. The original Act for the construction of Westminster Bridge, passed in 1735, contained no provision for extensive approaches, but an amending Act (12 Geo. II, c. 33), passed three years later, provided that the Bridge Commissioners should have "full power and authority, not only to widen and render more convenient the several ways, streets and passages now leading to and from the intended bridge, but also to make, open, design, assign or lay out such new ways, streets and passages, as they shall find proper to be opened and made," within certain bounds and limits which were defined. Among these were:—

"IV. Then beginning at the Thames, at the King's bridge, and going along the north side of New Palace Yard and Union Street, to the south end of King Street, including so much of the Crown waste within the old wall of the Palace as shall be necessary; from thence along the east side of King Street to the Plantation Office, and along the front of the Plantation Office to the Privy Garden (including Mistress Lowther's house, yard and garden) and so on along the back of the Lord Loudon's, and the Duke of Richmond's houses, and of the houses late inhabited by the Lord Middleton and Sir Philip Meadows to the Thames; and thence along, or within the Thames, between high and low water mark, to the King's bridge again."

As a result the Commissioners acquired nearly the whole of the property lying between King Street and the Thames, (fn. n1) pulled it down and remodelled the entire district. The courts and alleys leading from King Street eastward to Cannon Row (fn. n2) disappeared, and in their place was formed a new northand-south thoroughfare, parallel to, but straighter and wider than, King Street, and destined eventually to supersede the latter. The new street was named Parliament Street. It first appears in the ratebook for the year 1750.


  • n1. Practically the only exceptions were a few properties on the east side of Cannon Row.
  • n2. It is proposed to deal with the early history of the district in a subsequent volume of this series containing inter alia the general history of the Parish of St. Margaret, Westminster.