Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

St. James`s Palace (London)

St. James`s Palace is a very historic building and Royal palace in the West End of London.

Henry VIII acquired the site from St. James`s Leper Hospital for Women in 1532, and had the palace built entirely of brick, for use by Anne Boleyn. Christopher Wren added the State Rooms in the 17th century.

St. James`s became the official Royal residence in 1698, when Whitehall Palace was destroyed by fire. Foreign ambassadors are still accredited to "the Court of St. James".

Today, the Palace provides a number of grace and favour residences.

The splendid tall Gatehouse, visible from the busy Pall Mall, is the best known feature of the Palace.

The Queen`s Chapel, designed by Inigo Jones in the 1620s, is across the road. Nearby is Clarence House, designed by John Nash.

Charles II, James II, and James Edward Stuart "The Old Pretender" were all born at St. James`s Palace. Mary I signed the treaty surrendering Calais to France here. Charles I spent his last night at St. James`s before walking across to Whitehall where he was beheaded.

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