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British life and culture - England, Scotland and Wales
Woodlands Junior School is in the south-east corner of England

Whitehall is one of the most important streets in the world. It is the heart of the Government of the United Kingdom, the centre of the British Commonwealth of Nations.

image: Map of Whitehall Click to go to Horse Guards Click to find out about Trafalgar Square Click to find out about the Houses of Paliament and Big Ben Read about the Prime Minister HM Revenue
Map of Government and Tourist Attractions

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The name is taken from the enormous royal Palace of Whitehall that used to occupy the area. From the days of Henry VIII until its destruction by fire in 1698, the great Palace of Whitehall was the Sovereign's main London residence. Today, only the name and one building, the Banqueting House, remains.

image: Banqueting House

It was from one of the windows of Banqueting House that King Charles I stepped on to the scaffold to his execution in 1649.

image: Earl Haig, by Alfred Hardiman, erected in 1936.
Statue of of Earl Haig stands in front of Banqueting Hall

On each side of Whitehall are big stone buildings; they are government offices. In amongst them is Downing Street, the home of the Prime Minister.


Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs is a non-ministerial department of the British Government primarily responsible for the collection of taxes and the payment of some forms of state support.

image: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is the British government department responsible for promoting the interests of the United Kingdom overseas, created in 1968 by merging the Foreign Office and the Commonwealth Office.

image: The Foreign and Commonwealth Officeimage: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Decorative sculptures illustrates Home and Colonial concerns: Literature, Commerce, Manufacture, Science, Art, Agriculture and Law are followed by Government, Europe, Asia, Africa, America, Australasia and Education.

In the middle of Whitehall stands the Cenotaph, the simple and dignified memorial to men and women who died for their country. It is here that the Queen lays a wreath on Remembrance Sunday.

The Cenotaph

Next to The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, walking towards Trafalgar Square, is Downing Street.

image: Downing Streetimage: Number 10
The official residence of the Prime Minister is at Number 10 Downing Street.

The Cabinet Office is a department of the Government of the United Kingdom responsible for supporting the Prime Minister and Cabinet of the United Kingdom

image: Cabinet Offic

Two mounted soldiers guard the the official main entrance to both St James's Palace and Buckingham Palace. They are outside Horse Guards (Horse Guards Arch)

image: Horse Guards
Horse Guards

Follow this link to Horse Guards

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Join Winnie the Pooh on his voyage down the River Thames. See the many picturesque villages and towns along the way from the source to the North Sea.


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Events and special days in the UK
British Life
Pooh down the River Thames
Flat Stanley
British History
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All the materials on these pages are free for educational use only. You may not redistribute, sell or place the content of this page on any other website or blog without written permission from Mandy Barrow, Woodlands Junior School. If you have any questions about the use of these materials please email us.

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Woodlands Junior School, Hunt Road Tonbridge Kent TN10 4BB UK