St James Palace
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
Henry VIII purchased the property and built a hunting lodge here in 1532. It is hard to imagine the location, now so much a part of the elegant St James district, as a hunting lodge, but in the 16th century the area was far from the bustle of central London.
Henry enclosed 300 acres of land to act as his hunting preserve. The enclosure has survived as St James Park.
The best-preserved part of Henry VIII's palace is the grand red-brick four-storey gatehouse, flanked by a pair of octagonal towers. The palace is built around four courts, named Ambassadors' Court, Engine Court, Friary Court and Colour Court. At the heart of the palace complex is the Chapel Royal, built by Henry for his short-lived marriage with Anne of Cleves in 1540. Mary I's heart is buried in the Chapel.
After Whitehall Palace burned down in 1698, St James became the primary London residence of the monarch until that role was taken over by nearby Buckingham Palace. Queen Anne was born at the Palace, and both George I and George II held court there.
The Prince Regent, later to become George IV, married Caroline of Brunswick here, and Queen Victoria married Prince Albert in the Chapel Royal.
St James Palace remains the official London royal palace; foreign officials are still accredited to 'the Court of St James'. The Palace is not regularly open to visitors, but the public can attend Sunday services at the Chapel Royal and the Queen's Chapel, built by Inigo Jones for the marriage of Charles I and Henrietta Maria.
The closest tube station is Green Park. Take the Piccadilly exit from the station and turn right. Turn right again onto St James Street and follow the street to the end where you will see the Palace directly opposite across the road. The Palace is also very easy to reach on foot from Buckingham Palace; walk east up The Mall and turn left onto Marlborough Road. The Palace will be ahead on your left.
Most photos are available for licensing, please contact Britain Express image library.
About St James Palace
Address: St James Street, London, Greater London, England, SW1A 1BS
Attraction Type: Historic Building
Location: Nearest underground station is Green Park
Website: St James Palace
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
Nearest station: Green Park - 0.3 miles (straight line) - Zone: 1
We've 'tagged' this attraction information to help you find related historic attractions and learn more about major time periods mentioned.
Find other attractions tagged with:
16th century (Time Period) - Augustinian (Historical Reference) - Charles I (Person) - George I (Person) - George II (Person) - George IV (Person) - Henry VIII (Person) - Inigo Jones (Person) - Mary I (Person) - Queen Anne (Person) - Queen Victoria (Person) -
NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Clarence House - 0 miles (Historic Building)
Texas Legation - 0.1 miles (Landmark)
Spencer House - 0.2 miles (Historic Building)
Green Park - 0.2 miles (Countryside)
Duke of York Column - 0.3 miles (Landmark)
Guards Museum - 0.3 miles (Museum)
Royal Academy of the Arts - 0.3 miles (Museum)
St James Park - 0.3 miles (Countryside)
Nearest Accommodation to St James Palace:
Nearest Self Catering Cottages
Nearest Bed and Breakfasts