Listed Building – Grade I
Downing Street SW1
14 January 1970
10 Downing Street, colloquially known in the
United Kingdom as Number
10, is the headquarters of the Government of the
United Kingdom and
the official residence and office of the First Lord of the Treasury, a
post which, for much of the 18th and 19th centuries and invariably
since 1905, has been held by the Prime Minister.
Downing Street in the City of Westminster, London, Number
10 is over 300 years old and contains approximately 100 rooms. A
private residence occupies the third floor and there is a kitchen in
the basement. The other floors contain offices and conference,
reception, sitting and dining rooms where the Prime Minister works,
and where government ministers, national leaders and foreign
dignitaries are met and entertained. At the rear is an interior
courtyard and a terrace overlooking a garden of 0.5 acres
(2,000 m2). Adjacent to St James's Park, Number 10 is near
Buckingham Palace, the
London residence of the British monarch, and
the Palace of Westminster, the meeting place of both houses of
Originally three houses, Number 10 was offered to Sir Robert Walpole
by King George II in 1732. Walpole accepted on the condition that the
gift was to the office of
First Lord of the Treasury
First Lord of the Treasury rather than to
him personally. Walpole commissioned
William Kent to join the three
houses and it is this larger house that is known as Number 10 Downing
The arrangement was not an immediate success. Despite its size and
convenient location near to Parliament, few early Prime Ministers
lived there. Costly to maintain, neglected, and run-down, Number 10
was close to being demolished several times but the property survived
and became linked with many statesmen and events in British history.
Margaret Thatcher said Number 10 had become "one of the most
precious jewels in the national heritage".
Downing Street today
2 History of the building
2.1 Original Number 10
2.2 History of the "House at the Back" before 1733
2.3 First politician and "head of government" in the house
Lord's house: 1733–1735
2.5 A "vast, awkward house": 1735–1902
2.6 Revival and recognition: 1902–1960
2.7 Rebuilding: 1960–1990
3 Rooms and special features
3.1 Front door and entrance hall
3.2 Main staircase
3.3 Cabinet Room
3.4 State Drawing Rooms
3.4.1 Pillared State Drawing Room
3.4.2 Terracotta State Drawing Room
3.4.3 White State Drawing Room
3.5 State Dining Room
3.6 Great kitchen
3.7 Smaller Dining or Breakfast Room
3.8 Terrace and garden
4 250th anniversary: 1985
5 Security after the 1991 bombing
6 Prime Minister's Office
6.1 Current positions within the Office of the Prime Minister
6.2 Structure of the Prime Minister's Office
7 See also
10 External links
Downing Street today
The current tenants of 10
Downing Street are:
First Lord of the Treasury
First Lord of the Treasury (Prime Minister of the United Kingdom)
Spouse of the Prime Minister and Family
Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office
It currently houses the UK cabinet room in which cabinet meetings in
the UK take place, chaired by 10
Downing Street resident Prime
Minister Theresa May. It also houses the Prime Minister's Office which
deals with logistics and diplomacy concerning the government of the
United Kingdom 
History of the building
Original Number 10
Downing Street was originally three properties: a mansion
St James's Park
St James's Park called "the House at the Back", a town
house behind it and a cottage. The town house, from which the modern
building gets its name, was one of several built by Sir George Downing
between 1682 and 1684.
Downing, a notorious spy for
Oliver Cromwell and later Charles II,
invested in property and acquired considerable wealth. In
1654, he purchased the lease on land south of St James's Park,
adjacent to the House at the Back within walking distance of
parliament. Downing planned to build a row of town houses "for persons
of good quality to inhabit in ..." The street on which he
built them now bears his name, and the largest became part of Number
10 Downing Street.
Portrait of Sir George Downing painted c. 1675–1690 by Thomas Smith,
The Fogg Museum
Straightforward as the investment seemed, it proved otherwise. The
Hampden family had a lease on the land that they refused to
relinquish. Downing fought their claim, but failed and had to wait
thirty years before he could build. When the Hampden lease expired,
Downing received permission to build on land further west to take
advantage of more recent property developments. The new warrant issued
in 1682 reads: "Sir George Downing ... [is authorised] to build
new and more houses ... subject to the proviso that it be not
built any nearer than 14 feet of the wall of the said Park at the
West end thereof". Between 1682 and 1684, Downing built a
cul-de-sac of two-storey town houses with coach-houses, stables and
views of St James's Park. Over the years, the addresses changed
several times. In 1787 Number 5 became "Number 10".
Downing employed Sir
Christopher Wren to design the houses. Although
large, they were put up quickly and cheaply on soft soil with shallow
foundations. The fronts were façades with lines painted on the
surface imitating brick mortar.
Winston Churchill wrote that Number 10
was "shaky and lightly built by the profiteering contractor whose name
The upper end of the
Downing Street cul-de-sac closed off the access
to St James's Park, making the street quiet and private. An
advertisement in 1720 described it as: "... a pretty open Place,
especially at the upper end, where are four or five very large and
well-built Houses, fit for Persons of Honour and Quality; each House
having a pleasant Prospect into St James's Park, with a Tarras
Walk". The cul-de-sac had several distinguished residents: the
Countess of Yarmouth lived at Number 10 between 1688 and 1689, Lord
Lansdowne from 1692 to 1696 and the Earl of Grantham from 1699 to
Downing did not live in Downing Street. In 1675 he retired to
Cambridge, where he died in 1684, a few months after building was
completed. Downing's portrait hangs in the entrance foyer of Number
History of the "House at the Back" before 1733
The Palace of
Hendrick Danckerts c. 1660–1679. Viewed
from the west side of St James's Park, the "House at the Back" is on
the far right; the octagonal building next to it is the Cockpit.
The "House at the Back", the largest of the three houses that were
combined to make Number 10, was a mansion constructed around 1530 next
Whitehall Palace. Rebuilt, expanded, and renovated many times
since, it was originally one of several buildings that made up the
"Cockpit Lodgings", so-called because they were attached to an
octagonal structure used for cock-fighting. Early in the 17th century,
the Cockpit was converted to a concert hall and theatre; after the
Glorious Revolution, some of the first cabinet meetings were secretly
For many years, the "House at the Back" was the home of the Keeper of
Whitehall Palace, Thomas Knevett, famous for capturing
Guy Fawkes in
1605 and foiling his plot to assassinate James VI and I. The previous
year, Knevett moved into a house next door, approximately where Number
10 is today.
From this time, the "House at the Back" was usually occupied by
members of the royal family or the government. Princess Elizabeth
lived there from 1604 until 1613 when she married Frederick V, Elector
Palatine and moved to Heidelberg. She was the grandmother of George,
the Elector of Hanover, who became King of Great Britain in 1714, and
the great-grandmother of George II, who presented the house to Walpole
George Monck, 1st Duke of Albemarle, the general responsible for the
restoration of the monarchy, lived there from 1660 until his death in
1671. As head of the Great Treasury Commission of 1667–1672,
Albemarle transformed accounting methods and allowed the Crown greater
control over expenses. His secretary, Sir George Downing, who built
Downing Street, is thought to have created these changes. Albemarle is
the first treasury minister to live in what became the home of the
First Lord of the Treasury
First Lord of the Treasury and Prime Minister.
In 1671, George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, took possession when
he joined the Cabal Ministry. (The "B" in the acronym CABAL refers to
Buckingham.) At considerable expense, Buckingham rebuilt the house.
The result was a spacious mansion, lying parallel to
with a view of St James Park from its garden.
After Buckingham retired in 1676, Lady Charlotte Fitzroy, Charles II's
daughter, moved in when she married Edward Lee, 1st Earl of Lichfield.
The Crown authorised extensive rebuilding that included adding a
storey, giving it three main floors, an attic and basement. This
structure can be seen today as the rear section of Number 10. (See
Plan of the Premises Granted to the Earl and Countess of Lichfield in
1677) The likely reason that repair was required is that the
house had settled in the swampy ground near the Thames, causing
structural damage. Like Downing Street, it rested on a shallow
foundation, a design error that caused problems until 1960 when the
modern Number 10 was rebuilt on deep pilings.
The Lichfields followed James II into exile after the Glorious
Revolution. In 1690, William III and Mary II gave the "House at the
Back" to Hendrik van Nassau-Ouwerkerk, a Dutch general who had
assisted in securing the Crown for the Prince of Orange. Nassau, who
Anglicised his name to "Overkirk", lived there until his death in
The "House at the Back" reverted to the Crown when Lady Overkirk died
in 1720. The Treasury issued an order "for repairing and fitting it up
in the best and most substantial manner" at a cost of £2,522. The
work included: "The Back passage into Downing street to be repaired
and a new door; a New Necessary House to be made; To take down the
Useless passage formerly made for the Maids of Honour to go into
Downing Street, when the Queen lived at the Cockpit; To New Cast a
great Lead Cistern & pipes and to lay the Water into the house
& a new frame for ye Cistern". (See Buildings on the Site of
the Cockpit and Number 10
Downing Street c1720)
The name of the "House at the Back" changed with the occupant, from
Lichfield House to Overkirk House in 1690 to Bothmar House in
First politician and "head of government" in the house
Johann Caspar von Bothmer, Count Bothmer, Premier minister of the
kingdom of Hanover, head of the German Chancery and adviser to George
I and II, took up residency in 1720. Although Bothmer complained about
"the ruinous Condition of the Premises", he lived there until his
death in 1732. Even though Count von Bothmer was not British he was
the first politician and head of a government who resided in Downing
Street No. 10.
Lord's house: 1733–1735
Robert Walpole accepted George II's gift of the house at the back
Downing Street houses on behalf of the office of First Lord of
When Count Bothmar died, ownership of the "House at the Back" reverted
to the Crown. George II took this opportunity to offer it to Sir
Robert Walpole, often called the first Prime Minister, as a gift for
his services to the nation: stabilising its finances, keeping it at
peace and securing the Hanoverian succession. Coincidentally, the King
had obtained the leases on two
Downing Street properties, including
Number 10, and added these to his proposed gift.
Walpole did not accept the gift for himself. He proposed—and the
King agreed—that the Crown give the properties to the Office of
First Lord of the Treasury. Walpole would live there as the incumbent
First Lord, but would vacate it for the next one.
To enlarge the new house, Walpole persuaded Mr Chicken, the tenant of
a cottage next door, to move to another house in Downing Street.
This small house and the mansion at the back were then incorporated
into Number 10. Walpole commissioned
William Kent to convert them into
one building. Kent joined the larger houses by building a two-storey
structure between them, consisting of one long room on the ground
floor and several above. The remaining interior space was converted
into a courtyard. He connected the
Downing Street houses with a
Having united the structures, Kent gutted and rebuilt the interior. He
then surmounted the third storey of the house at the back with a
pediment. To allow Walpole quicker access to Parliament, Kent closed
the north side entrance from St James's Park, and made the door in
Downing Street the main entrance.
The rebuilding took three years. On 23 September 1735, the London
Daily Post announced that: "Yesterday the Right Hon. Sir Robert
Walpole, with his Lady and Family, removed from their House in St
James's Square, to his new House, adjoining to the Treasury in St
James's Park". The cost of conversion is unknown. Originally
estimated at £8,000, the final cost probably exceeded £20,000.
Walpole did not enter through the now-famous door; that would not be
installed until forty years later. Kent's door was modest, belying the
spacious elegance beyond. The First
Lord's new, albeit temporary, home
had sixty rooms, with hardwood and marble floors, crown moulding,
elegant pillars and marble mantelpieces; those on the west side with
beautiful views of St James's Park. One of the largest rooms was a
study measuring forty feet by twenty with enormous windows overlooking
St James's Park. "My
Lord's Study" (as Kent labelled it in his
drawings) would later become the Cabinet Room where Prime Ministers
meet with the Cabinet ministers.
Shortly after moving in, Walpole ordered that a portion of the land
outside his study be converted into a terrace and garden. Letters
patent issued in April 1736 state that: "... a piece of garden
ground situated in his Majesty's park of St James's, and belonging and
adjoining to the house now inhabited by the Right Honourable the
Chancellor of His Majesty's Exchequer, hath been lately made and
fitted up at the Charge ... of the Crown".
The same document confirmed that Number 10
Downing Street was: "meant
to be annexed and united to the Office of his Majesty's Treasury and
to be and to remain for the Use and Habitation of the first
Commissioner of his Majesty's Treasury for the time being".
A "vast, awkward house": 1735–1902
William Pitt the Younger
William Pitt the Younger lived in Number 10 for twenty years, longer
than any Prime Minister before or since. Pitt called it "My vast,
Walpole lived in Number 10 until 1742. Although he had accepted it on
behalf of future First Lords of the Treasury, it would be 21 years
before any of his successors chose to live there; the five who
followed Walpole preferred their own homes. This was the pattern until
the beginning of the 20th century. Of the 31 First Lords from 1735 to
1902, only 16 (including Walpole) lived in Number 10.
One reason many First Lords chose not to live in Number 10 was that
most were peers who owned homes superior in size and quality. To them,
Number 10 was unimpressive. Their possession of the house, albeit
temporary, was a perk they could use as a political reward. Most lent
it to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, others to lesser officials, and
still others to friends or relatives.
Another reason was that Number 10 was a hazardous place to live. Prone
to sinking because it was built on soft soil and a shallow foundation,
floors buckled, walls and chimneys cracked; it became unsafe and
frequently required repairs. In 1766, for example, Charles Townshend,
the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pointed out that the house was in a
dilapidated condition. His architect's letter to the Treasury read:
"...we have caused the House in
Downing Street belonging to the
Treasury to be surveyed, & find the Walls of the old part of the
said House next the street to be much decayed, the Floors &
Chimneys much sunk from the level". Townsend ordered extensive
repairs, but they were still incomplete eight years later. A note from
Lord North to the Office of Works, dated September 1774, asks that the
work on the front of the house, "which was begun by a Warrant from the
Treasury dated 9 August 1766", should be finished. (See Kent's
Treasury and No. 10, Downing Street, circa 1754.)
Treasury officials complained that the building cost too much to
maintain; some suggested that it be razed and a new house constructed
on the site or elsewhere. In 1782, the Board of Works, reporting on
"the dangerous state of the old part of the House", stated that "no
time be lost in taking down said building". In 1783, the Duke of
Portland moved out because it was once again in need of repair. A
committee found that the money spent so far was insufficient. This
time the Board of Works declared that "the Repairs, Alterations &
Additions at the Chancellor of the Exchequer's House will amount to
the sum of £5,580, exclusive of the sum for which they already have
His Majesty's Warrant. And praying a Warrant for the said sum of
£5,580—and also praying an Imprest of that sum to enable them to
pay the Workmen". This proved to be a gross underestimate; the
final bill was over £11,000. The Morning Herald fumed about the
expense: "£500 pounds p.a. preceding the Great Repair, and
£11,000 the Great Repair itself! So much has this extraordinary
edifice cost the country – For one moiety [one half] of the sum a
much better dwelling might have been purchased!" (See Plan of the
Design for Number 10 c1781.)
A few enjoyed living in Number 10. Lord North, who conducted the war
against the American Revolution, lived there happily with his family
from 1767 to 1782. William Pitt the Younger, who made it his home for
twenty years—longer than any First Lord before or since—from 1783
to 1801 and from 1804 to 1806, referred to it as "My vast, awkward
house". While there, Pitt reduced the national debt, formed the
Triple Alliance against France, and won passage of the Act of Union
that created the
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Fredrick
Lord Goderich took a special liking to the house in the late
1820s; he spent state funds lavishly remodelling the interior.
Nevertheless, for 70 years following Pitt's death in 1806, Number 10
was rarely used as the First
Lord's residence. From 1834 to 1877, it
was either vacant or used only for offices and meetings.
Downing Street declined at the turn of the 19th century, becoming
surrounded with run-down buildings, dark alleys, crime and
prostitution. Earlier, the government had taken over the other Downing
Street houses: the Colonial Office occupied Number 14 in 1798; the
Foreign Office was at Number 16 and the houses on either side; the
West India Department was in Number 18; and the Tithe Commissioners in
Number 20. The houses deteriorated from neglect, became unsafe, and
one by one were torn down. By 1857, Downing Street's townhouses were
all gone except for Number 10, Number 11 (customarily the Chancellor
of the Exchequer's residence), and Number 12 (used as offices for
Government Whips). In 1879, a fire destroyed the upper floors of
Number 12; it was renovated but only as a single-storey
structure. (See Numbers 10, 11, and 12
Downing Street First
Floor Plan and Ground Floor Plan.)
Revival and recognition: 1902–1960
Winston Churchill emerging from Number 10 holding up the "V" sign for
Lord Salisbury retired in 1902, his nephew, Arthur James Balfour,
became Prime Minister. It was an easy transition: he was already First
Lord of the Treasury and Leader of the House of Commons, and he was
already living in Number 10. Balfour revived the custom that Number 10
is the First Lord and Prime Minister's official residence. It has
remained the custom since. However, there have been numerous times
when prime ministers have unofficially lived elsewhere out of
necessity or preference.
Winston Churchill for example had a great
affection for Number 10, but he grudgingly slept in the bunkered Annex
of Number 10 for his safety during World War II. He rarely slept in
his underground bedroom in the Cabinet War Rooms. To reassure the
people that his government was functioning normally, he insisted on
being seen entering and leaving Number 10 occasionally. Harold
Wilson, during his second ministry from 1974 to 1976, lived in his
Lord North Street because Mary Wilson wanted "a proper
home". However, recognising the symbolic importance of Number 10,
he worked and held meetings there and entertained guests in the State
For most of his premiership,
Tony Blair lived in the more spacious
residence above Number 11 to accommodate his large family. In May
2010, it was reported that
David Cameron would also take up actual
residence above Number 11, and his Chancellor, George Osborne, above
Despite these exceptions, Number 10 has been known as the Prime
Minister's official home for over one hundred years. By the turn of
the 20th century, photography and the penny press had linked Number 10
in the public mind with the premiership. The introduction of films and
television would strengthen this association. Pictures of prime
ministers with distinguished guests at the door became commonplace.
With or without the Prime Minister present, visitors had their picture
taken. Suffragettes posed in front of the door when they petitioned H.
H. Asquith for women's rights in 1913, a picture that became famous
and was circulated around the world. In 1931, Mohandas Gandhi, wearing
the traditional homespun dhoti, posed leaving Number 10 after meeting
Ramsay MacDonald to discuss India's independence. This
picture, too, became famous especially in India. The freedom fighters
could see their leader had been received in the Prime Minister's home.
Couse's elegant, understated door—stark black, framed in cream white
with a bold white "10" clearly visible—was the perfect backdrop to
record such events. Prime Ministers made historic announcements from
the front step. Waving the Anglo-German Agreement of Friendship,
Neville Chamberlain proclaimed "Peace with honour" in 1938 from Number
10 after his meeting with
Adolf Hitler in Munich. During World War
II, Churchill was photographed many times emerging confidently from
Number 10 holding up two fingers in the sign for "Victory".
The symbol of British government, Number 10 became a gathering place
Emmeline Pankhurst and other suffragette leaders
Downing Street in 1908; anti–
Vietnam War protestors
marched there in the 1960s, as did anti-Iraq and Afghanistan War
protestors in the 2000s. Number 10 became an obligatory stop in every
tourist's sightseeing trip to London. Ordinary people, not only
British but foreign tourists, posed smiling and laughing in front of
its famous door.
Margaret Thatcher with US President Ronald Reagan
outside 10 Downing Street, June 1982
By the middle of the 20th century, Number 10 was falling apart again.
The deterioration had been obvious for some time. The number of people
allowed in the upper floors was limited for fear the bearing walls
would collapse. The staircase had sunk several inches; some steps were
buckled and the balustrade was out of alignment.
Dry rot was
widespread throughout. The interior wood in the Cabinet Room's double
columns was like sawdust. Skirting boards, doors, sills and other
woodwork were riddled and weakened with disease. After reconstruction
had begun, miners dug down into the foundations and found that the
huge wooden beams supporting the house had decayed.
In 1958, a committee under the chairmanship of the Earl of Crawford
and Balcarres was appointed by
Harold Macmillan to investigate the
condition of the house and make recommendations. In the committee's
report there was some discussion of tearing down the building and
constructing an entirely new residence. But because the Prime
Minister's home had become an icon of British architecture like
Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament, the
committee recommended that Number 10 (and Numbers 11 and 12) should be
rebuilt using as much of the original materials as possible. The
interior would be photographed, measured, disassembled, and restored.
A new foundation with deep pilings would be laid and the original
buildings reassembled on top of it, allowing for much needed expansion
and modernisation. Any original materials that were beyond
repair – such as the pair of double columns in the Cabinet
Room – would be replicated in detail. This was a formidable
undertaking: the three buildings contained over 200 rooms spread out
over five floors. The architect
Raymond Erith carried out the
design for this painstaking work and the contractor that undertook
it was John
Mowlem & Co.
The Times reported initially that the
cost for the project would be £400,000. After more careful studies
were completed, it was concluded that the "total cost was likely to be
£1,250,000" and would take two years to complete. In the end, the
cost was close to £3,000,000 and took almost three years due in large
part to 14 labour strikes. There were also delays when archaeological
excavations uncovered important artefacts dating from Roman, Saxon and
medieval times. Macmillan lived in Admiralty House during the
The new foundation was made of steel-reinforced concrete with pilings
sunk 6 feet (1.8 m) to 18 feet (5.5 m). The "new" Number
10 consisted of about 60% new materials; the remaining 40% was either
restored or replicas of originals. Many rooms and sections of the new
building were reconstructed exactly as they were in the old Number 10.
These included: the garden floor, the door and entrance foyer, the
stairway, the hallway to the Cabinet Room, the Cabinet Room, the
garden and terrace, the Small and Large State Rooms and the three
reception rooms. The staircase, however, was rebuilt and simplified.
Steel was hidden inside the columns in the Pillared Drawing Room to
support the floor above. The upper floors were modernised and the 3rd
floor extended over Numbers 11 and 12 to allow more living space. As
many as 40 coats of paint were stripped from the elaborate cornices in
the main rooms revealing details unseen for almost 200 years in some
When builders examined the exterior façade, they discovered that the
black colour visible even in photographs from the mid-19th century was
misleading; the bricks were actually yellow. The black appearance was
the product of two centuries of pollution. To preserve the
'traditional' look of recent times, the newly cleaned yellow bricks
were painted black to resemble their well-known appearance.
The thin tuckpointing mortar between the bricks is not painted, and so
contrasts with the bricks.
David Cameron with Michel Temer,
Pelé and Mo Farah.
Although the reconstruction was generally considered an architectural
triumph, Erith was disappointed. He complained openly during and after
the project that the government had altered his design to save money.
Erith described the numbers on the front, intended to be based on
historical models, as 'a mess' and 'completely wrong' to a fellow
historian. "I am heart broken", he said, "by the result ...
the whole project has been a frightful waste of money because it just
has not been done properly. The Ministry of Works has insisted on
economy after economy. I am bitterly disappointed with what has
Erith's concerns proved justified. Within a few years, dry rot was
discovered, especially in the main rooms due to inadequate
waterproofing and a broken water pipe. Extensive reconstruction again
had to be undertaken in the late 1960s to resolve these problems.
Further extensive repairs and remodelling, commissioned by Margaret
Thatcher, were completed in the 1980s under the direction of Erith's
associate, Quinlan Terry.
The work done by Erith and Terry in the 1960s and 1980s represent the
most extensive remodelling of Number 10 in recent times. Since 1990
when the Terry reconstruction was completed, repairing, redecorating,
remodelling, and updating the house has been ongoing as needed. The
IRA mortar attack in February 1991 led to extensive work being done to
repair the damage (mostly to the garden and exterior walls) and to
improve security. In the summer of 1993 windows were rebuilt and in
1995 computer cables installed. In 1997, the building was remodelled
to provide extra space for the Prime Minister's greatly increased
staff. To accommodate their large families, both
Tony Blair and
David Cameron chose to live in the private residence above Number 11
rather than the smaller one above Number 10. In 2010, the Camerons
completely modernised the 50-year-old private kitchen in Number 11.
Rooms and special features
Front door and entrance hall
Margaret Thatcher with US First Lady
Nancy Reagan in
1986 standing in the entrance hall with its distinctive black and
white chequered marble floor.
Most of the modern exterior shape and features of Number 10 were
created by Kent when he combined the house at the back with the
Downing Street townhouses in 1735. Its outside
appearance is basically the same today as it was when he completed his
work. An exception is the now famous front door entrance.
Number 10's door is the product of the renovations Townsend ordered in
1766; it was probably not completed until 1772. Executed in the
Georgian style by the architect Kenton Couse, it is unassuming and
narrow, consisting of a single white stone step leading to a modest
brick front. The small, six-panelled door, originally made of black
oak, is surrounded by cream-coloured casing and adorned with a
semicircular fanlight window. Painted in white, between the top and
middle sets of panels, is the number "10". The zero of the number "10"
is painted in a very eccentric style, in a 37° angle anticlockwise.
One theory is that this is in fact a capital 'O' as found in the
Roman's Trajan alphabet that was used by the Ministry of Works at the
time. A black iron knocker in the shape of a lion's head is
between the two middle panels; below the knocker is a brass letter box
with the inscription "First Lord of the Treasury". The doorbell is
inscribed with "PUSH" although is rarely used in practice. A black
ironwork fence with spiked newel posts runs along the front of the
house and up each side of the step to the door. The fence rises above
the step into a double-swirled archway, supporting an iron gas lamp
surmounted by a crown. (See The Entrance Door c1930: As seen from
After the IRA mortar attack in 1991, the original black oak door was
replaced by a blast-proof steel one. Regularly removed for
refurbishment and replaced with a replica, it is so heavy that it
takes eight men to lift it. The brass letterbox still bears the legend
"First Lord of the Treasury". The original door was put on display in
the Churchill Museum at the Cabinet War Rooms.
The door cannot be opened from the outside; there is always someone
inside to unlock the door.
Beyond the door, Couse installed black and white marble tiles in the
entrance hall that are still in use. A guard's chair designed by
Chippendale sits in one corner. Once used when policemen sat on watch
outside in the street, it has an unusual "hood" designed to protect
them from the wind and cold and a drawer underneath where hot coals
were placed to provide warmth. Scratches on the right arm were caused
by their pistols rubbing up against the leather.
Downing Street has a lift.
Couse also added a bow front to the small cottage—formerly Mr.
Chicken's house—incorporated into Number 10 in Walpole's time.
(See The Entrance Door c1930: As seen from inside showing the black
and white marble floor and the door providing access to Number
William Kent rebuilt the interior between 1732 and 1734, his
craftsmen created a stone triple staircase. The main section had no
visible supports. With a wrought iron balustrade, embellished with a
scroll design, and mahogany handrail, it rises from the garden floor
to the third floor. Kent's staircase is the first architectural
feature visitors see as they enter Number 10. Black and white
engravings and photographs of all the past Prime Ministers decorate
the wall. They are rearranged slightly to make room for a photograph
of each new Prime Minister. There is one exception. Winston Churchill
is represented in two photographs. At the bottom of the
staircase are group photographs of Prime Ministers with their Cabinet
ministers and representatives to imperial conferences. (See The
Main Stairway c1930 General view showing portraits of the Prime
Ministers and Detail of the Wrought Iron Balustrade)
(See also Simon Schama's Tour of Downing Street. Pt4: The
Prime Minister Gladstone meeting with his Cabinet in 1868 in the
Cabinet Room with its distinctive pair of double columns. Use the
cursor to see who is who.
In Kent's design for the enlarged Number 10, the Cabinet Room was a
simple rectangular space with enormous windows. As part of the
renovations begun in 1783, it was extended, giving the space its
modern appearance. Probably not completed until 1796, this
alteration was achieved by removing the east wall and rebuilding it
several feet inside the adjoining secretaries' room. At the entrance,
a screen of two pairs of Corinthian columns was erected (to carry the
extra span of the ceiling) supporting a moulded entablature that wraps
around the room. Robert Taylor, the architect who executed this
concept, was knighted on its completion. The resulting small
space, framed by the pillars, serves as an anteroom to the larger
area. Hendrick Danckerts' painting "The Palace of Whitehall" (shown at
the beginning of this article) usually hangs in the ante-room. It
also contains two large bookcases that house the Prime Minister's
Library; Cabinet members traditionally donate to the collection on
leaving office a tradition that began with
Ramsay MacDonald in
David Cameron showing
John Kerry around the Cabinet Room in 2016
Although Kent intended the First Lord to use this space as his study,
it has rarely served that purpose; it has almost always been the
Cabinet room. There have been a few exceptions.
Stanley Baldwin used
the Cabinet Room as his office. A few Prime Ministers, such as Tony
Blair, occasionally worked at the Cabinet Room table. Painted
off-white with large floor to ceiling windows along one of the long
walls, the room is light and airy. Three brass chandeliers hang from
the high ceiling. The Cabinet table, purchased during the Gladstone
era, dominates the room. The modern boat-shaped top, introduced by
Harold Macmillan in the late 1950s, is supported by huge original oak
legs. The table is surrounded by carved, solid mahogany chairs that
also date from the Gladstone era. The Prime Minister's chair, the only
one with arms, is situated midway along one side in front of the
marble fireplace, facing the windows; when not in use, it is
positioned at an angle for easy access. The only picture in the
room is a copy of a portrait of Sir
Robert Walpole by Jean-Baptiste
van Loo hanging over the fireplace. Each Cabinet member is
allocated a chair based on order of seniority. Blotters inscribed with
their titles mark their places.
The First Lord has no designated office space in Number 10; each has
chosen one of the adjoining rooms as his or her private office.
State Drawing Rooms
Number 10 has three inter-linked State Drawing rooms: the Pillared
Drawing Room, the Terracotta Drawing Room and the White Drawing Room.
(See the three state drawing rooms.)
Pillared State Drawing Room
Gordon Brown and US President
Barack Obama in the
Pillared Room, 2009
The largest is the Pillared Room thought to have been created in 1796
by Taylor. Measuring 37 feet (11 m) long by 28 feet (8.5 m)
wide, it takes its name from the twin Ionic pilasters with straight
pediments at one end. Today, there is a portrait of Queen Elizabeth I
over the fireplace; during the Thatcher Ministry (1979–1990), a
portrait of William Pitt by Romney was hung there.
A Persian carpet covers almost the entire floor. A copy of a
16th-century original now kept in the Victoria and Albert Museum,
there is an inscription woven into it that reads: "I have no refuge in
the world other than thy threshold. My head has no protection other
than this porchway. The work of a slave of the holy place, Maqsud of
Kashan in the year 926" (the Islamic year corresponding to 1520).
In the restoration conducted in the late 1980s,
Quinlan Terry restored
the fireplace. Executed in the Kentian style, the small Ionic
pilasters in the over-mantel are miniature duplicates of the large
Ionic pillars in the room. The Ionic motif is also found in the door
surrounds and panelling.
Sparsely furnished with a few chairs and sofas around the walls, the
Pillared Room is usually used to receive guests before they go into
the State Dining Room. However, it is sometimes used for other
purposes that require a large open space. International agreements
have been signed in this room.
Tony Blair entertained the England
Rugby Union team in the Pillared Room after they won the World Cup in
John Logie Baird
John Logie Baird gave
Ramsay MacDonald a demonstration of his
invention, the television, in this room. (See The Pillared
Drawing Room c1927)
Terracotta State Drawing Room
The Terracotta Room is the middle of the three drawing rooms. It was
used as the dining room when Sir
Robert Walpole was Prime
Minister. The name changes according to the colour it is painted.
Margaret Thatcher came to power it was the Blue Room; she had it
re-decorated and renamed the Green Room. It is now painted terracotta.
In the renovation of the 1980s
Quinlan Terry introduced large Doric
order columns to this room in the door surrounds and designed a very
large Palladian overmantel for the fireplace with small double Doric
columns on each side with the royal arms above. Terry also added an
ornate gilded ceiling to give the rooms a more stately look. Carved
into the plasterwork above the door leading to the Pillared Room is a
tribute to Margaret Thatcher: a straw-carrying 'thatcher'.
White State Drawing Room
Theresa May talking with
John Kerry in the White State Drawing Room
The White State Drawing room was, until the 1940s, used by Prime
Ministers and their partners for their private use. It was here that
Edward Heath kept his grand piano. It is often used as the backdrop
for television interviews and is in regular use as a meeting room for
Downing Street staff. The room links through to the Terracotta Room
next door. In the reconstruction during the late 1980s, Quinlan Terry
used Corinthian columns and added ornate Baroque-style central ceiling
mouldings and corner mouldings of the four national flowers of the
United Kingdom: rose (England), thistle (Scotland), daffodil (Wales)
and shamrock (Northern Ireland).
State Dining Room
When Frederick Robinson (later Lord Goderich), became Chancellor of
the Exchequer in 1823, he decided to leave a personal legacy to the
nation. To this end, he employed Sir John Soane, the distinguished
architect who had designed the
Bank of England
Bank of England and many other famous
buildings, to build a State Dining Room for Number 10. Begun in 1825
and completed in 1826 at a cost of £2,000, the result is a spacious
room with oak panelling and reeded mouldings. Accessed through the
first floor, its vaulted, arched ceiling rises up through the next so
that it actually occupies two floors. Measuring 42 feet (13 m) by
26 feet (7.9 m), it is the largest room in Number 10. Soane was
the guest of honour when the dining room was first used on 4 April
The room is usually furnished with a table surrounded by 20
Adam style chairs originally made for the British Embassy
in Rio de Janeiro. For larger gatherings, a horseshoe-shaped table is
brought in that will accommodate up to 65 guests. On these occasions,
the table is set with the Silver Trust Silver set given to Downing
Street in the 1990s. (See the State Dining room with the Silver Trust
Silver in use for a luncheon) Above the fireplace, overlooking
the room, is a massive portrait by
John Shackleton of George II, the
king who originally gave the building to the First Lord of the
Treasury in 1732. Celebrity chefs such as Nigella Lawson have
cooked for Prime Ministers' guests using the small kitchen next door.
Entering through the Small Dining Room, Blair used this room for his
monthly press conferences. (See Simon Schama's Tour of
Downing Street. Pt 3: The Dining Room (See The State Dining Room
c1930: View toward the entrance and View from the
entrance and also a more modern view)
Great kitchen, 1931
The great kitchen located in the basement was another part of the
renovations begun in 1783, probably also under the direction of Robert
Taylor. Seldom seen by anyone other than staff, the space is two
storeys high with a huge arched window and vaulted ceiling.
Traditionally, it has always had a chopping block work table in the
centre that is 14 feet (4.3 m) long, 3 feet (0.91 m) wide
and 5 inches (130 mm) thick.
Smaller Dining or Breakfast Room
Above Taylor's vaulted kitchen, between the Pillared Room and the
State Dining room, Soane created a Smaller Dining Room (sometimes
called the Breakfast Room) that still exists. To build it, Soane
removed the chimney from the kitchen to put a door in the room. He
then moved the chimney to the east side, running a Y-shaped split flue
inside the walls up either side of one of the windows above. The room
therefore has a unique architectural feature: over the fireplace there
is a window instead of the usual chimney breast.
With its flat unadorned ceiling, simple mouldings and deep window
seats, the Small Dining Room is intimate and comfortable. Usually
furnished with a mahogany table seating only eight, Prime Ministers
have often used this room when dining with family or when entertaining
special guests on more personal state occasions. (See the Small
Dining or Breakfast Room c1927. The double doors behind the table lead
to the State Dining Room.)
Terrace and garden
Stanley Baldwin (seated centre with his legs crossed)
poses in the garden with representatives to the Imperial Conference
The terrace and garden were constructed in 1736 shortly after Walpole
moved into Number 10. The terrace, extending across the back, provides
a full view of St James's Park. The garden is dominated by an open
lawn of 0.5 acres (2,000 m2) that wraps around Numbers 10 and 11
in an L-shape. No longer "fitted with variety Walle fruit and diverse
fruit trees" as it was in the 17th century, there is now a centrally
located flower bed around a holly tree surrounded by seats. Tubs of
flowers line the steps from the terrace; around the walls are rose
beds with flowering and evergreen shrubs. (See North
elevation of Number 10 with steps leading to the garden) The
terrace and garden have provided a casual setting for many gatherings
of First Lords with foreign dignitaries, Cabinet ministers, guests,
and staff. Prime Minister Tony Blair, for example, hosted a farewell
reception in 2007 for his staff on the terrace.
John Major announced
his 1995 resignation as leader of the Conservative Party in the
garden. Churchill called his secretaries the "garden girls" because
their offices overlook the garden. It was also the location of
the first press conference announcing the Coalition Government between
David Cameron's Conservatives and Nick Clegg's Liberal Democrats.
Number 10 is filled with fine paintings, sculptures, busts and
furniture. Only a few are permanent features. Most are on loan. About
half belong to the Government Art Collection. The remainder are on
loan from private collectors and from public galleries such as the
National Portrait Gallery, the Tate Gallery, the Victoria and Albert
Museum and the National Gallery. (See works from the Government
Art Collection currently on display at Number 10)
About a dozen paintings are changed annually. More extensive changes
occur when a new Prime Minister takes office and redecorates.
These redecorations may reflect both individual taste as well as make
a political statement.
Edward Heath borrowed French paintings from the
National Gallery and was loaned two Renoirs from a private collector.
Margaret Thatcher arrived in 1979 she insisted that the artwork
had to be British and that it celebrate "British achievers". As a
former chemist, she took pleasure in devoting the Small Dining Room to
a collection of portraits of British scientists, such as Joseph
Priestley and Humphry Davy. During the 1990s
John Major converted the
first floor anteroom into a small gallery of modern art, mostly
British. He also introduced several paintings by
John Constable and J.
M. W. Turner, Britain's two best known 19th century artists, and
cricketing paintings by Archibald Stuart-Wortley including a portrait
of one of England's most celebrated batsmen W. G. Grace.
In addition to outstanding artwork, Number 10 contains many
exceptional pieces of furniture either owned by the house or on loan.
One of the most striking and unusual is the Chippendale hooded guard's
chair already mentioned that sits in a corner of the entrance hall. To
its left is a long case clock by Benson of Whitehaven. A similar clock
by Samuel Whichcote of
London stands in the Cabinet anteroom. The
White State Drawing Room contains elegant Adams furniture. The Green
State Drawing Room contains mostly Chippendale furniture including a
card table that belonged to Clive of India and a mahogany desk that is
thought to have belonged to
William Pitt the Younger
William Pitt the Younger and used by him
during the Napoleonic Wars. In addition to the large carpet previously
described, the Pillared State Drawing Room also contains a
marble-topped table by Kent. The State Dining Room contains an elegant
mahogany sideboard by Adam.
250th anniversary: 1985
In 1985, Number 10 was 250 years old. To celebrate, Thatcher hosted a
grand dinner in the State Dining Room for her living
predecessors—Harold Macmillan, Alec Douglas-Home, Harold Wilson,
Edward Heath, and James Callaghan. Also in attendance were
Elizabeth II and representatives of the families of every 20th century
Prime Minister since Asquith, including Lady Olwen Carey Evans
(daughter of Lloyd George), Lady Leonora Howard (daughter of Stanley
Baldwin), and Clarissa Avon (widow of
Anthony Eden and niece of
That same year, the Leisure Circle published Christopher Jones' book
No. 10 Downing Street, The Story of a House. In the foreword, Thatcher
described her feelings for Number 10: "How much I wish that the
public ... could share with me the feeling of Britain's historic
greatness which pervades every nook and cranny of this complicated and
meandering old building ... All Prime Ministers are intensely
aware that, as tenants and stewards of No. 10 Downing Street, they
have in their charge one of the most precious jewels in the nation's
Security after the 1991 bombing
Downing Street mortar attack
Gates at the main entrance of Downing Street
For most of its history, Number 10 was accessible to the public. Early
security consisted of two police officers. One stood guard outside the
door. The other was stationed inside to open it. Since the door had no
keyhole, the inside officer depended upon the lone outside officer.
During Thatcher's premiership, terrorist threats led to the
implementation of a second level of security. Guarded gates were added
at both ends of the street. Visitors could then be screened before
approaching the door.
Despite the added measure, on 7 February 1991 the
Provisional IRA used
a van they parked in
Whitehall to launch a mortar shell at Number 10.
It exploded in the back garden, while then prime minister John Major
was holding a Cabinet meeting. Major moved to Admiralty House while
repairs were completed. This led to the addition of guardhouses at the
street ends as well as other less visible measures. Each guardhouse is
staffed by several armed police officers. The Metropolitan Police
Diplomatic Protection Group
Diplomatic Protection Group (DPG) provides overall
protection and acts on intelligence from MI5.
Prime Minister's Office
Main article: Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The Prime Minister's Office, for which the terms
Downing Street and
Number 10 are synonymous, lies within the 10
Downing Street building
and is part of the Cabinet Office. It is staffed by a mix of
career Civil Servants and
Special Advisers. The highest ranking Civil
Servant position is the Principal Private Secretary to the Prime
Minister, currently[update] Peter Hill; the most senior Special
Adviser post is the
Downing Street Chief of Staff, currently[update]
held by Gavin Barwell. Though Number 10 is formally part of the
Cabinet Office, it reports directly to the Cabinet Secretary, who is
currently[update] Sir Jeremy Heywood.
Current positions within the Office of the Prime Minister
List of current Civil Servant and
Special Adviser positions appointed
by the current Prime Minister Theresa May:
Downing Street Chief of Staff
10 June 2017
Downing Street Head of Operations
Richard Jackson MBE
16 September 2017
Principal Private Secretary to the Prime Minister
10 May 2017
Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Prime Minister
George Hollingbery MP
17 July 2016
Seema Kennedy MP
28 June 2017
Downing Street Director of Communications
6 July 2017
Downing Street Press Secretary
18 April 2017
Downing Street Director of Policy
27 June 2017
On 10 June 2017, the joint
Downing Street Chief of Staffs were sacked
by the Prime Minister over concerns she would face a leadership
challenge following the result of the 2017 general election. Later the
same day, the Prime Minister appointed
Gavin Barwell as the Downing
Street Chief of Staff.
Downing Street Director of Communications
Downing Street Director of Communications and Press Secretary
resigned simultaneously on 18 April 2017 over disagreement with how
the office was run. The Prime Minister's Official Spokesperson
assumed the position of
Downing Street Press Secretary on the same
Robbie Gibb was appointed as the new
Downing Street Director
of Communications by the Prime Minister on 6 July 2017.
Downing Street Director of Policy resigned on 21 June 2017, also
as a result following the 2017 general election. The Prime
Minister appointed James Marshall as the new Director of Policy a week
later on 27 June 2017.
On 28 June 2017,
Seema Kennedy was appointed as Parliamentary Private
Secretary to the Prime Minister, a position which she shares with
Structure of the Prime Minister's Office
The No. 10 Private Office (government coordination, diary management
The No. 10 Press Office (press and public relations) – The press
office has grown in significance as media attention on the PM has
intensified. Thatcher's press secretary
Bernard Ingham was one of her
most important advisors. Alastair Campbell's influence as Blair's
press secretary was even greater;
No. 10 Policy Unit
No. 10 Policy Unit (policy review and advice);
The No. 10 Political Office (party political liaison and constituency
The office was reorganised in 2001 into 3 directorates:
Policy and government
Took over the functions of the private office and policy unit.
Prepares advice for the PM and coordinates development and
implementation of policy across departments.
Communication and strategy
Press office: responsible for relations with the media
Direct communications unit
Research and information unit: provides factual information to No. 10
Government and political relations
Handles party and constituency affairs
Changes were intended to strengthen the PM's office. However, some
commentators have suggested that Blair's reforms have created
something similar to a 'Prime Ministers' department. The
reorganisation brought about the fusion of the old Prime Minister's
Office and other
Cabinet Office teams, with a number of units
(including the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit) now reporting directly
into the Prime Minister's Office. Since 2005, Number 10s Direct
Communication Unit has not used its staff's real names on signed
correspondence to MPs and members of the public; this is for security
Institute for Government
Institute for Government has written that the Cabinet
Office (of which the Prime Minister's Office is a component) "is a
long way from becoming a fully fledged premier's department",
primarily based on the fact that the Prime Minister "largely lacks the
direct policy responsibilities, either in statute or by convention
under the Royal Prerogative, possessed by secretaries of state, who
have substantial budgets voted to them by Parliament."
List of residents of 10 Downing Street
Chequers – the Prime Minister's official country residence
Larry – a cat employed as the
Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office
Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office at
10 Downing Street
Downing Street Guard Chairs
^ Historic England. "10
Downing Street (1210759)". National Heritage
List for England. Retrieved 6 August 2017.
^ a b Jones, in letter from
Margaret Thatcher used as a preface to the
^ "Trump and May to meet for talks in Davos after 'special
^ Bolitho, pp. 16–21.
^ Jones, pp. 24–32.
^ Feely, pp. 17–31.
^ a b Minney, p. 28.
^ Feely, pp. 28–31.
^ Jones, p. 41.
^ Bolitho, p. 20.
^ a b Minney, p. 34.
^ Jones, p.32.
^ Feeley, p. 32.
^ Jones, see back cover picture credited to Robert Hill @ BBC.
^ Minney, p. 23.
^ Jones, pp. 16–18.
^ Minney, pp. 23–24.
^ Minney, p. 24.
^ Minney, pp. 24–25.
^ Jones, pp. 20–21.
^ a b Jones, p. 21.
^ "fig50". British History Online. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
^ a b c British History Online, From: 'No. 10, Downing Street', Survey
of London: volume 14: St Margaret, Westminster, part III:
(1931), pp. 113–141. Date accessed: 22 July 2008.
Pepys recorded a high tide when
Whitehall was under water and
buildings in the area require deep foundations to avoid settling.
^ Minney, p. 25.
^ Jones, p. 23.
^ "fig51". British History Online. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
^ Jones, Nigel R. (2005). Architecture of England, Scotland, and
Wales. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 187.
ISBN 978-0-313-31850-4. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
^ Minney, p. 33.
^ See letter, dated, "Downing Street, 30 June 1742", from Horace
Walpole to Sir Horace Mann: "I am writing to you in one of the
charming rooms towards the Park: it is I am willing to enjoy this
sweet corner while I may, for we are soon to quit it. Mrs. Sandys came
yesterday to give us warning;
Lord Wilmington has lent it to them. Sir
Robert might have had it for his own at first: but would only take it
as First Lord of the Treasury. He goes into a small house of his own
in Arlington Street, opposite to where we formerly lived". (Horace
Walpole's Letters, ed. Cunningham, 1857, I, p. 246.) British History
Online, From: 'No. 10, Downing Street', Survey of London: volume 14:
St Margaret, Westminster, part III:
Whitehall II (1931), pp.
113–141. Date accessed: 21 July 2008.
^ Feely, p. 34.
^ Bolitho, p. 25.
^ Minney, p. 50.
^ a b Seldon, p. 16.
^ a b Jones, p. 46.
^ Miney, p. 47.
^ Minney, pp. 46–47.
^ a b Jones, p. 51.
^ Minney, p. 29.
^ Jones, p. 52. Henry Pelham, for example, had his own spacious home
and had no need for Number 10. In what one historian called a piece of
"blatant political corruption", he allowed his son-in-law, Henry
Clinton, Earl of Lincoln, to live there from 1745 to 1753 even though
Clinton was not involved in politics.
^ Minney, pp. 173 and 179.
Lord Liverpool assigned it to his two
Chancellors of the Exchequer,
Nicholas Vansittart (1812–1823) and
Frederick Robinson (1823–1827).
^ British History Online, Letter (B.M. Addl. MS. 38292, f. 11) from
Lord Liverpool to Charles Ellis, dated 22 January 1823, is of
interest. "When you spoke to me some time ago upon the subject of the
House in Downing Street, I was under the impression, as you were
yourself, that the house was the King's & that he might dispose of
it in any manner he might think proper. Upon Inquiry, however, it
appeared that the House was attached to the Treasury as a Part of the
Office. That the
First Lord of the Treasury
First Lord of the Treasury occupies it if he thinks
proper. If he declines it, the
Chancellor of the Exchequer
Chancellor of the Exchequer occupies
it, not as Chancellor of the Exchequer, but as second in the
Commission of the Treasury. That if he declined it, it would go to the
next in the Commission, or it might possibly be disposed of by the
Board to any Member or Officer of the Treasury; but could not, &
never has been detached from it. You are mistaken in supposing that
Mr. Vansittart is the only
Chancellor of the Exchequer
Chancellor of the Exchequer who, without
being first Lord of the Treasury, occupied it.
Lord North certainly
occupied it during the two years he was Chancellor of the Exchequer
only. I believe Mr.
Charles Townshend occupied it, but I know Mr.
Dowdeswell did, & it is remarkable that he is, I believe, the only
instance of a
Chancellor of the Exchequer
Chancellor of the Exchequer upon Record who was not in
the Cabinet. The House stands in fact upon the same footing as the
Houses of the Admiralty, which could not be assigned to any Person not
belonging to that office".
^ Bolitho, p. 116. A few peers lived in Number 10 out of necessity.
The Duke of Wellington, for example, grudgingly lived there for
eighteen months between 1828 and 1830 because his own home, Apsley
House, was undergoing extensive renovations. He left as soon as it was
^ At the end of the 19th century,
Lord Salisbury lived in his house on
Arlington Street and the Cecil estate Hatfield House. During his last
ministry from 1895 to 1902, Arthur Balfour, his nephew lived in Number
10. Minney, p. 322.
^ Minney, pp. 83–84.
^ a b Minney, p. 117.
^ fig52, british-history.ac.uk
^ a b Jones, p. 71.
^ Jones, p. 72.
^ figure0748-111, british-history.ac.uk
^ British History Online, From: 'Plate 111: No. 10, Downing Street:
plan of alterations in 1781', Survey of London: volume 14: St
Margaret, Westminster, part III:
Whitehall II (1931), pp. 111. Date
accessed: 22 July 2008.
^ Minney, pp. 182–183.
^ Seldon, p. 23
^ Jones, p. 96.
^ figure0748-113, british-history.ac.uk
^ figure0748-112, british-history.ac.uk
^ Holmes, pp. 106–107
^ Minney, p. 409.
^ Jones, p. 156.
^ "Downing St? We'd really rather not". This Is London. 19 May 2010.
Retrieved 14 May 2017.
^ Minney, p. 393.
^ Minney, p. 402.
^ Minney, pp. 333–334
^ a b Minney, p. 428.
^ Jones, pp. 153–154.
^ a b Seldon, p. 32.
^ Minney, pp. 429–430.
^ "Sir Edgar Beck". London: The Telegraph. 9 August 2000. Retrieved 5
^ The Times,
Downing Street Reconstruction to Cost £1,250,000,
^ Jones, p. 154.
^ a b Seldon, p. 33.
^ Jones, pp. 154–155.
^ Minney, pp. 429–433.
^ a b Mosley, Professor James. "Number Ten". Typefoundry (blog).
Retrieved 14 July 2015.
^ Seldon, p. 34.
^ Seldon, p. 35.
^ Seldon, p. 36.
^ Seldon, p. 37.
^ 10 Downing Street: The World's Most Famous Front Door,
IronmongeryDirect (March 2015).
^ a b Minney, p. 84.
^ figure0748-118-a, british-history.ac.uk
^ British History Online: From: 'Plate 118: No. 10, Downing Street:
main doorway and kitchen', Survey of London: volume 14: St Margaret,
Westminster, part III:
Whitehall II (1931), pp. 118. Date accessed: 20
^ Greene, Bob (2 Oct 1988). "Who has the key to front door of No. 10
Downing Street?". Retrieved 21 April 2013.
^ "Virtual Tour of Number 10". 10 Downing Street.
^ Molly Oldfield; John Mitchinson (29 May 2012). "QI: Quite
interesting facts about 10 Downing Street". The Telegraph. London.
Retrieved 21 April 2013.
^ "Google Maps". Google Maps.
^ figure0748-126-a, british-history.ac.uk
^ a b British History Online, From: 'Plate 126: No. 10, Downing
Street: entrance hall and drawing room', Survey of London: volume 14:
St Margaret, Westminster, part III:
Whitehall II (1931), pp. 126. Date
accessed: 22 July 2008.
^ a b Seldon, p. 49.
^ Feely, p. 13.
^ figure0748-124-a, british-history.ac.uk
^ figure0748-125, british-history.ac.uk
^ British History Online, From: 'Plate 124: No. 10, Downing Street:
details', Survey of London: volume 14: St Margaret, Westminster, part
Whitehall II (1931), pp. 124. Date accessed: 20 July 2008.
^ British History Online, From: 'Plate 125: No. 10, Downing Street:
detail of iron balustrading to main staircase', Survey of London:
volume 14: St Margaret, Westminster, part III:
Whitehall II (1931),
pp. 125. Date accessed: 20 July 2008.
^ "YouTube – Simon Schama's Tour of Downing Street. Pt4: The
Staircase". Archived from the original on 6 June 2009. Retrieved 1
^ Dickinson, Lowes Cato. "Gladstone's Cabinet of 1868 (NPG 5116)".
National Portrait Gallery. London. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
^ Shannon, Richard (1984). Gladstone: 1809–1865 (p.342).
p. 580. ISBN 978-0-8078-1591-5. Retrieved 2 February
^ Seldon, p. 18.
^ Minney, pp. 117–118.
^ Seldon, p. 43.
^ Seldon, p. 184.
^ See Simon Schama's Tour of Downing Street. Pt2: The Cabinet Room.
See also The Modern Cabinet Room: Two photographs taken by Prime
Minister Stanley Baldwin, c1927 View looking toward the screen and
View from the Screen
^ British History Online, From: 'Plate 121: No. 10, Downing Street:
Cabinet Room', Survey of London: volume 14: St Margaret, Westminster,
Whitehall II (1931), pp. 121. Date accessed: 20 July 2008.
^ Seldon, pp. 44–45.
^ Jones, p. 161.
^ See the three state drawing rooms as reconstructed by Quinlan Terry
1988–1990. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 March
2013. Retrieved 2013-03-25.
^ a b Jones, p. 179.
^ Sheldon, p. 36.
^ Jones, p. 129.
^ Seldon, p.55
^ figure0748-126-b, british-history.ac.uk
^ Seldon, p. 25.
^ Sheldon, pp. 35–37.
^ Seldon, pp. 35–37.
^ "Welcome to The Silver Trust". Archived from the original on 11 June
2009. Retrieved 9 June 2009.
^ a b Jones, p. 180.
^ Seldon, p. 59.
^ Minney, p. 182.
^ Jones, p. 89 and see also Soane's sketches of several versions of
the State Dining Room on p. 84.
^ "YouTube – Simon Schama's Tour of Downing Street. Pt3: The Dining
Room". YouTube. Downing Street. 11 June 2007. Retrieved 11 May
^ figure0748-130, british-history.ac.uk
^ British History Online, From: 'Plate 130: No. 10, Downing Street:
Official Dining Room', Survey of London: volume 14: St Margaret,
Westminster, part III:
Whitehall II (1931), pp. 130. Date accessed: 21
^ figure0748-131, british-history.ac.uk
^ British History Online, From: 'Plate 131: No. 10, Downing Street:
Official Dining Room', Survey of London: volume 14: St Margaret,
Westminster, part III:
Whitehall II (1931), pp. 131. Date accessed: 21
^ Seldon, p. 20.
^ figure0748-129-a, british-history.ac.uk
^ British History Online, From: 'Plate 129: No. 10, Downing Street:
breakfast room and smaller drawing room', Survey of London: volume 14:
St Margaret, Westminster, part III:
Whitehall II (1931), pp. 129. Date
accessed: 9 August 2008.
^ Seldon, p. 46.
^ figure0748-117-a, british-history.ac.uk
^ British History Online, From: 'Plate 117: No. 10, Downing Street:
elevation and general view', Survey of London: volume 14: St Margaret,
Westminster, part III:
Whitehall II (1931), pp. 117. Date accessed: 21
^ Jones, p. 138.
^ "Welcome to the Dave and Nick Show". BBC News. 12 May 2010.
^ Seldon, p. 172.
^ Government Art Collection gac.culture.gov.uk
^ Sheldon. p. 174.
^ Seldon, pp. 172–173.
^ Seldon, pp. 185–188.
^ Until the late 19th century, Prime Ministers were required to
furnish Number 10 at their own expense with furniture, tableware,
china, linens, curtains and decorations. This arrangement began to
change in 1877 when Benjamin Disraeli took up residency. He insisted
that the Treasury should bear the cost of furnishings at least in the
public areas. The Treasury agreed and a complex accounting procedure
was developed whereby the outgoing Prime Minister was required to pay
for "wear and tear" on furnishings that had been purchased by the
Treasury. This system was used until November 1897 when the Treasury
assumed responsibility for purchasing and maintaining almost all of
the furnishings in both the public and private areas except decorating
the walls with art work. In 1924 when Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald
took office, he did not own nor have the means to buy an extensive art
collection. He had the Government Art Collection loan pieces. The
arrangement became the standard practice. Minney, p 285–286
^ Time Magazine, People by Ellie McGrath, 16 December 1985
^ Seldon, p. 90.
Cabinet Office structure".
Cabinet Office HM Government. 10 June
2010. Archived from the original on 1 July 2010. Retrieved 6 July
^ "Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill quit No 10 after election criticism".
BBC News Online. 10 June 2017. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
Theresa May loses two senior Downing St advisers in one week".
Financial Times. 21 April 2017. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
Theresa May and her man from another world". The Guardian. 21 May
2017. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
^ "BBC Daily Politics editor
Robbie Gibb to join No 10". BBC News
Online. 6 July 2017. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
^ "Theresa May's director of policy quits following general election
fiasco". The Independent. 21 June 2017. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
^ "May turns to ex-teacher as policy head". The Times. 27 June 2017.
Retrieved 22 July 2017.
^ "South Ribble MP appointed as Theresa May's aide". Lancashire
Evening Post. 28 June 2017. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
The Times political correspondent
Peter Riddell discussed the
consequences of the reform in an article entitled "New look behind the
revolving doors of power" (13 June 2001, p. 12) in which he observed
"Mr Blair has not formally set up a Prime Minister's Department, in
order to avoid charges of presidentialism, but he has created one in
all but name in 10 Downing Street".
^ BBC News – No 10 admits using false names on letters to the public
BBC News political correspondent Ross Hawkins Article "No 10 admits
using false names on letters to the public" (11 May 2011).
^ Andrew Blick; George Jones. "The power of the Prime Minister".
health-equity.pitt.edu/. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
Bolitho, Hector (1957). No. 10 Downing Street: 1660–1900.
Hutchinson. OCLC 1712032.
Feely, Terence (1982). No. 10: The Private Lives of Six Prime
Ministers. Sidgwick and Jackson. ISBN 0-283-98893-2.
Holmes, Richard (2009). Churchill's Bunker: The Secret Headquarters at
the Heart of Britain's Victory. Profile Books.
Jones, Christopher (1985). No. 10 Downing Street: The Story of a
House. The Leisure Circle. ISBN 0-563-20441-9.
Minney, R.J. (1963). No. 10 Downing Street: A House in History.
Boston: Little, Brown and Company. OCLC 815822725.
Seldon, Anthony (1999). No. 10 Downing Street: The Illustrated
History. London: HarperCollins Illustrated.
Smith, Goldwin (1990). A Constitutional and Legal History of England.
New York: Dorset Press. OCLC 498777.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to 10 Downing Street.
Number 10 official website
Prime Ministers in History
History of the building
Virtual Tour of 10 Downing Street
Photos from the Prime Minister's Office
Downing Street section from the Survey of London
Plans of 10, 11 and 12
Downing Street (published 1931): ground; first;
second and third floors
Downing Street on Facebook
9 Downing Street
Chief Whip's Office
10 Downing Street
11 Downing Street
12 Downing Street
Privy Council Office
First Lord of the Treasury
Second Lord of the Treasury (Chancellor of the Exchequer)
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury
Government Chief Whip
Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office
Prime Minister's Office
Chief of Staff
Principal Private Secretary
Parliamentary Private Secretary
Director of Communications
Director of Policy
Prime Minister's Official Spokesperson
Provisional IRA mortar attack (1991)
Hungerford Bridge and Golden Jubilee Bridges
Empire, Leicester Square
Odeon, Leicester Square
Wembley Stadium (national stadium)
The Den (Millwall)
Emirates Stadium (Arsenal)
Loftus Road (Queens Park Rangers)
London Stadium (West Ham United)
Selhurst Park (Crystal Palace)
Stamford Bridge (Chelsea)
The Valley (Charlton Athletic)
White Hart Lane
White Hart Lane (Tottenham Hotspur)
All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club
The Championship Course
The Championship Course (rowing)
Crystal Palace National Sports Centre
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
The Oval (cricket)
Twickenham Stadium (rugby)
Royal National Theatre
Royal Opera House
Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
Theatre Royal Haymarket
Royal Albert Hall
Royal Festival Hall
10 Downing Street
Bank of England
Palace of Westminster
Royal Courts of Justice
Imperial War Museum
Museum of London
National Maritime Museum
Natural History Museum
Royal Academy of Arts
Tower of London
Victoria and Albert Museum
Places of worship
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
Bevis Marks Synagogue
Methodist Central Hall
Regent's Park Mosque
St Paul's Cathedral
Fortnum & Mason
The Mall Wood Green
One New Change
Petticoat Lane Market
Westfield Stratford City
Partly occupied by
the Royal Family
St James's Palace
Hampton Court Palace
The Queen's Gallery
Royal Mews, Buckingham Palace
1 Canada Square
8 Canada Square
25 Canada Square
1 Churchill Place
20 Fenchurch Street
St George Wharf Tower
30 St Mary Axe
Crystal Palace transmitting station
Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain
Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain ("Eros")
Charing Cross station
Clapham Junction station
King's Cross station
Liverpool Street station
London Bridge station
St Pancras station
Victoria Coach Station
Emirates Air Line cable car
Battersea Power Station
St Bartholomew's Hospital
Hampton Court Park
St. James's Park
Horse Guards Parade
Charing Cross Road
Kensington High Street
Tottenham Court Road