Monday, July 19, 2010

Searching for Regency London

by Ann Lethbridge


Horse Guards.

When I visited they were preparing for the trooping of the color, and there were bleachers up against the walls, so I am using this picture from Wikipedia for the wide angle shot.

The present day building was finished in 1753 and was built on the site of the stable yard for the old Whitehall palace. The Duke of Wellington was based here when he was commander in chief of the British Army.




Here we see the clock with the royal arms of George II beneath.





And this is the chick sentry, so called because a soldier called to account for being asleep on duty indicated he was supposed to be guarding the sergeant's chickens when in fact he is guarding the stables. At the time of the Regency there was stabling for 62 horses.

The basement also included a cockfighting pit and a raised viewing area. Something to keep those "Hyde Park soldiers" entertained.



The sentries, mounted and dismounted, still guard the Whitehall side of Horseguards.

As an army brat, I tend not to bug soldiers at their duty and so only took this one picture from a distance of the mounted sentries, but you can find them all over the web.

I was glad to have this opportunity to wander around Horse Guards, since two as yet published books have scenes set in this location and being there really helps make the scenes authentic. I took a great many more pictures for myself, but these give the flavor of what existed during the regency.

We will be searching for more of regency London next time. Until then, Happy Rambles.