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Another 10 Things You Didn't Know About Westminster

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by Bastion Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from
Published November 2nd 2014
How Many Listed Buildings Are There in Westminster?
Ding ding, time for round three. You've already found out twenty new facts about the City of Westminster, are you ready for another ten?

buckingham palace
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1. In the UK, a listed building is one that has been given protected status by the English Heritage organisation because of its considered of special architectural or historic interest. Buildings can be listed Grade I, II, or III, with Grade I being the highest. Westminster is obviously very architecturally and historically interesting, because it has eleven thousand listed buildings, the most significant of which is Buckingham Palace.

2. You may not think by looking at it, with all the high rise buildings, but 78% of Westminster is in a designated conservation area.

buckingham palace, tourists
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3. 95% of tourists who visit London, visit the City of Westminster. That's twenty-eight and a half million people per year.

westminster underground tube station
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4. Aside from Westminster Underground, there are twenty-six other tube stations in the City of Westminster, some of which include St. James's Park, Victoria, Hyde Park, Green Park, and Embankment.

5. The number is hardly surprising since all but one tube lines goes through the City of Westminster. The Waterloo and City Line is the only one that does not, but even that is just a short walk away.

buckingham palace, ballroom
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6. If you have ever been to Buckingham Palace, how many rooms did you go into? There are seven hundred and seventy-five in total and, of course, only a small percentage of these are open to the public. The Palace is made up of nineteen state rooms, fifty-two bedrooms for the royal family and guests, a hundred and eighty-eight bedrooms for staff, ninety-two offices, and seventy-eight bathrooms.

duke of buckingham, john sheffield
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7. Buckingham Palace was originally called Buckingham House, and built for the Duke of Buckingham in 1703. It was not until 1761 that it became the property of royalty, when George III bought it for his wife, Charlotte.

Edward VII
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8. The only monarch to both be born and die at the Palace was Edward VII. He was born to Queen Victoria at 10:48am on the 9th November 1841, and died at 11:45pm on the 6th May 1910. He died of a heart attack brought on by bronchitis, which in turn developed from heavy smoking. His lasts word were 'I'm glad', after finding out that his horse had won on the races.

9. Buckingham Palace was bombed nine times during the Second World War. One incident destroyed the chapel, and on another, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth were almost killed. The Queen said, 'I'm glad we have been bombed. Now I can look the East End in the face.'

big ben, clock
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10. Big Ben looks big even from far away, but when you're up close, it's huge. Did you know that the minute hand is fourteen feet long and weighs about two hundred and twenty pounds.

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Where: City of Westminster
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