1817 Images From Walks Through London
by David Hughson
via Google Books
Part 1 includes Lambeth Palace, The Horse Guards,
Westminster Hall, Earl Spencer’s House, The Chinese Bridge,
Lambeth Wells, in Lambeth, was a place of entertainment, opened on account of its mineral water; but the house becoming a public nuisance, was shut up, and ultimately let as a Methodist meeting-house.
“The Horse Guards constitute a noble modern edifice, which consists of a centre and two wings.
In the centre are arched passages into St. James’s Park, under the principal of which the King passes when he goes in state to the House of Peers.”
Westminster Hall was built by William Rufus as a banqueting-house to the palace, which then stood in Old Palace-Yard; but old Westminster Hall was pulled down, and the present edifice erected in its stead, in the year 1397.
This ancient building is of stone, the front ornamented with two towers, adorned with carved work. The hall within is reckoned the largest room in Europe, being 270 feet in length, and seventy-four in breadth. The pavement is of stone, and the roof of chestnut wood. It was formerly covered with lead, but this being found too weighty, it has been slated for many years past. In entering the hall at the front gate, there arc stairs on each side adjoining to the wall; the right leading to the Court of Exchequer, and the left to the office where the revenue is paid in, called the Receipt of the Exchequer.
The Court of Common Pleas is on the west side, nearly in the middle of the hall, and was established by Magna Charta in the year 1215, being before ambulatory, in following the king. The Court of Chancery is so called from the Latin word Cancelli, or a screen, within which the judges sat to determine causes, without being annoyed by the spectators. The Court of King’s Bench is situated directly opposite the Court of Chancery, and is so called from a high bench on which our ancient monarchs usually sat in person, whilst the judges to whom the judicature was deputed in their absence, sat on lower benches at their feet.
A passage leads from hence to the Green Park. The Wilderness, with the Ranger’s Lodge, the Lawn, the Water, the Walks, and the extensive prospects, render it extremely beautiful. The east side is ornamented with the houses of many of the nobility, with gardens before them. Spencer House is one of the most worthy of notice; the Park front of this mansion is ornamented to a high degree, though the pediment in it is too lofty, and has not the grace and majesty of the low Grecian pediment.
The statues on the pediment, and the vases at each extremity, must be mentioned with approbation, as they are in a good style, and judiciously disposed. The interior of Spencer house is not inferior to the outside; but its chief ornament is The Library.
“… in the summer of 1814, when, in honor of the allied sovereigns who visited England, the beautiful Chinese Bridge was first erected over the canal. Upon the centre of this bridge an elegant and lofty pagoda was then constructed, consisting of seven pyramidal stories. The pagoda was illuminated with gas lights; and brilliant fireworks, both flied and missile, were displayed from every division of this structure…”
Whitehall, originally built by Hubert de Burgh, Earl of Kent, in the reign of Henry the Third, was, at his death, bequeathed by him to the Black Friars of London; from them coming to Walter De Grey, Archbishop of York, it became the town-residence of the archbishops of that see; till passing from the haughty Thomas Wolsey, the Cardinal, it came into the hands of the crown, and was formed into one of the royal palaces.
The old palace occupied a space along the northern bank of the river, a little below Westminster Bridge, and extended to St. James’s Park, along the eastern end of which many of its various buildings lay, from the Cockpit to Spring Gardens. At present, that part of it which was along the river is occupied by the houses of the Earl of Liverpool, the Duke of Buccleugh, and others. The ancient building, which contained upward of 1000 apartments, was mostly consumed by a fire, which broke out in the year 1697.