Westminster has some secrets too

One of the finest places of the whole of London, Westminster is a place where you would find everything under one sky. The good or bad, the rich cultural and historical heritage are something that Westminster has in abundance. For any kind of traveller, be it the art enthusiast, or the music lover or even the food lover, Westminster is a place next to paradise. It has the Big Ben and the Houses of the Parliament for sure, but it also has a lot more other stuff with it which goes unnoticed to the eye when looked at. It goes without saying that a place with some awesome historical and cultural heritage would surely have some kinds of secrets. It is to be left in the hands of the residents and the travellers to uncover the secrets and to get to the bottom of it. Here is a tit bit on the secrets that Westminster has left to be uncovered.

To begin with, you can start with the heritage that has been completed way back in the 20th century or more precisely 1951 and that is the Ministry of Defence building at Whitehall. It is impossible to miss this beautiful building but what is actually missed amongst the glitz and glamour that this place has to offer is the remains of the much larger and articulated royal palace that was once there on the same site around a rough estimate of 400 years earlier. It is said that from the years 1538 to 1698, the Palace of Whitehall was the residence of the royal family in London and that too officially. It is a plot of land that extends over to 23 acres which also made the palace the largest in Europe which also resulted in it giving its name to the current hub of central government in the United Kingdom.

The palace of Whitehall had seen a bad end as most of it was burnt down in a huge fire that had caught for reasons unknown. Till date the remnants of the Royal Palace is seen but they are very few. You have to walk round to the river facing side of the building to see a wall and a series of steps which is said to be dating back to the year 1691. It is also said that these steps were the ones which Queen Mary II had to take to reach the State Barge on the Thames, making them very much historically rich but mostly a forgotten secret of the place. Along with this, there is also a 16th century vaulted under croft which is known as Henry VIII’s Wine Chamber but this is one part that is not open for the public to view. If you would want to know the major remnant of forgotten history then that is the Inigo Jones’ Banqueting House. It is surrounded by the Old War office, the Cabinet office and the Wales office and that is exactly why the real history remains hidden and is often mistaken to be just another government department building.

For any kind of traveller who is to visit London and is finding a place to put up while they go on to visit the secrets that London has to offer to them the Grand Park London Paddington Hotel is the best bet. It is near the underground station, the bus stop and even the car stoppage. The place is so perfect that you would be able to anywhere to and from London without much hassle. There are so many hotels around but the best accommodation near Hyde Park London is undoubtedly this hotel which provides ample facilities to the visitors who visit the place as travellers on a vacation.

Once you see the Banqueting house and know about the historical heritage that it consists, then you can now just face opposite to the buildings and you would find the official entrance to the Buckingham Palace, Horse Guards. Yes, the Buckingham Palace is just the same as you have known it to be as but it has a heritage to treasure too. If you take a close look at the clock face then you would see that the numerical 2 is done in black. Why is that? If you think, then it is answered that it is done in black to mark the time when King Charles I was executed right outside the Banqueting house in the year 1642.

The execution back then was the cause of a lot of paranoia on the part of the government which also had the fear of a royalist insurrection. The new rule said that it would be illegal to keep the image of the deceased king, even on a private basis. The only survivor from that period is the big bronze statue that stands in the middle of the traffic island at Trafalgar Square. The major history that stands surrounding the statue is that the man who was ordered to destroy the statue when the new law was passed actually did not destroy it and instead hid it for 40 years. Another major fact of the statue is that the King, in this statue, looks on and stares in the direction of the place of his execution. To the people who know about it, it still is an eerie feeling.

If you would have visited the Westminster Abbey, you would have been marvelled at the beauty of it but what many people fail to notice is the St. Margaret’s Church. This church is an Anglican Parish Church of the House of Commons. History has it that Winston Churchill and Samuel Pepys were two famous people who had their weddings inside the church. Not only that, Sir Walter Raleigh was also buried inside the church after his execution which happened back in the year 1618. The 12th century monks were the founders of the St. Margaret’s but the present building that stands there and is free to visit anytime is basically a building which dates back to the 16th century or the 1500s to be precise.

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