History and Tour

History of the Building

Downing Street 1827 - watercolour by C BucklerBehind the quiet façade of this famous black door lie many secrets.

Number 10 has been the setting for violent riots, passionate protest and surprising activities.

It has been the nerve centre of the British Government through two World Wars.

Pioneering policies have been developed inside its walls and world-changing meetings have been chaired by Britain’s greatest leaders.

It is used as a busy office and workplace for the Prime Minister and the staff employed to support him in his role.

Not least it is also home to the PM and his family.

Downing Street began its association with the office of the Prime Minister in 1730.

That the house is still being used today by Gordon Brown is down to the refusal of first-ever PM Robert Walpole to accept the house as a personal gift. Instead he insisted it be used by future “First Lords of the Treasury”.

During its history the house has undergone major development to be turned into a grand residence fit for the most powerful politician in the country.

Read on to uncover more of its secrets…


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History and Tour