Where 007 started out

Exterior of Horse Guards parade in the afternoon sun

This is one of a collection of buildings in Whitehall that was the centre of British naval power from the mid-1700’s to the 1960’s.   It is officially called the Admiralty Extension, and is on Horse Guards.  Completed in 1904, it was the workplace of Ian Flemming; creator of James Bond (and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang).  As a naval intelligence officer Flemming based Bond and many of his characters on people and experiences he had whilst working here!   Not hard to believe.  This is the building that hosted a meeting of John F Kennedy and Harold Macmillan to determine an allied response to the Cuban Missile Crisis (and communist threat) in the 1960’s!

The two buildings to the east of the above picture (right hand side) are the Old Admiralty (Ripley, 1726 and Adam, 1788) and Admiralty House (Pepys Cockerell, 1788).  These were home to the First Lords of the Admiralty until 1964 – and home to several British Prime Ministers, if 10 Downing Street was unavailable.  Winston Churchill lived in the house over two terms; in 1911 and 1939.

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