11 Facts About Downing Street


Downing Street is a 200-metre long street in the City of Westminster that houses the official residences and offices of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

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Term "Downing Street" is used as a metonym for the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, or the British Government more generally.

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Downing Street was a soldier and diplomat who served under Oliver Cromwell and King Charles II, and who invested in properties and acquired considerable wealth.

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Downing Street planned to build a row of townhouses "for persons of good quality to inhabit".

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Between 1682 and 1684, Downing Street built the cul-de-sac of two-storey townhouses with coach-houses, stables and views of St James's Park.

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Upper end of the Downing Street cul-de-sac closed access to St James's Park, making the street quiet and private.

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Downing Street records having dealings with prostitutes in the adjacent park.

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In 1861, the houses on the south side of Downing Street were replaced by purpose-built government offices for the Foreign Office, India Office, Colonial Office, and the Home Office.

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Downing Street was both Chancellor of the Exchequer and Prime Minister at the time.

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Public right of way along Downing Street has not been extinguished nor subject to a gating order and the road retains the status of a public highway maintained by Westminster City Council.

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Since 1989, entering Downing Street has required passing through a security checkpoint.

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