Welcome to Downing St
Robert Walpole, first Lord of the Treasury, moved into 10 Downing Street on 22nd September, 1735, after three years of renovations. Although initially given to him as a personal gift from the King, the house became the official residence for all future Prime Ministers.
Despite its central location in London, Downing Street wasn't fashionable at the time, and the house already had a long history of structural issues due to soft ground, leading to constant repairs. Over time, the original yellow bricks designed by Sir Christopher Wren turned black because of pollution from smog and smut.
In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly review the negative opinions of generations of PMs towards the nation’s primary grace and favour apartment; explain why Ramsay MacDonald dispatched his daughter down to the January sales; and reveal how Margaret Thatcher's very 80s aesthetic choices resonate with international visitors to this day...
- ‘The Surprising History of 10 Downing Street’ (HISTORY, 2016): https://www.history.com/news/the-surprising-history-of-10-downing-street
- ‘Sir Robert Walpole moved into Downing Street today in 1735’ (The Oldie, 2021): https://www.theoldie.co.uk/blog/sir-robert-walpole-became-the-first-pm-300-years-ago-today-david-horspool
- ‘Inside Downing Street: A brief history of No.10’ (The Times Red Box, 2022): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwfHqQqImcc
#1700s #UK #Politics #Architecture
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The Retrospectors are Olly Mann, Rebecca Messina & Arion McNicoll, with Matt Hill. Edit producer: Sophie King. Mix & Scheduling: Steve Stonhold
Theme Music: Pass The Peas. Announcer: Bob Ravelli. Graphic Design: Terry Saunders.
Copyright: Rethink Audio / Olly Mann 2023.
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