Located in the City of Westminster in London, 10 Downing Street is one of the most famous addresses in the world, but what is the significance of this over 300 year old building and how much do you really know about what goes on behind its iconic front door?
10 Downing Street is the headquarters of the British Government but is mostly known for being home to the Prime Minister. Upon being elected, the leader of the winning political party moves into number 10 Downing Street and they and their family live there during the length of their time in office. Not only is this the Prime Minister’s home, but also their office. This is the place where they entertain the Queen and other heads of state, such as the President of America, as well as hosting charitable events and other important functions.
However, if you have ever seen the front of 10 Downing street, either on the TV or when visiting London, you will be wondering how on earth so much can be done in such a small building. Though the front of number 10 looks quite modest, it actually contains about 100 rooms! 10 Downing Street was originally three different houses which were joined together on the orders of Sir Robert Walpole in 1732 and as a result, the building is a maze of rooms and staircases, all branching off of the main hall with its famous chequered floor.
Number 10 has been home to some of the most important political leaders in British History, from wartime hero Winston Churchill to Britain’s first female Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher. However, there has been a new addition to number 10 in recent years who has made a significant impact – his name is Larry and his title is Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office. He is the first recipient of this title and – in case you hadn’t guessed – he’s a cat! Larry was selected from Battersea Dogs & Cats Home in early 2011 because of his mousing skills and now lives in one of the most important political buildings in the world. So there you go, there’s definitely more to 10 Downing Street than meets the eye!