23. BUCKINGHAM PALACE. 233
the architect (see below). Its beautiful clumps of trees , its wind¬
ing expanse of water enlivened by water-fowl, and the charming
views it affords of the stately buildings around it, combine to make
it the most attractive of the London parks. In 1857 the bottom of
the lake was levelled so as to give it a uniform depth of 3-4 ft.
The new suspension bridge , across the centre of it, forms the most
direct communication for pedestrians between St. James's Street
and Queen's Square, Westminster, Birdcage Walk on the S. side
of the park, and AVestminster Abbey.
The broad avenue, planted with rows of handsome trees, on the
N. side of the park, is called the Mall, from the game of paille
maille once played here (comp. p. 199). At the E. extremity, near
Carlton House Terrace , is the flight of steps mentioned at p. 200,
leading to the York Column (p. 200). — Birdcage Walk, on the S.
side of the park, is so named from the aviary maintained here as
early as the time of the Stuarts.
At the E. end of Birdcage AValk is Storey's Gate, leading to Great
George Street and Westminster. In Petty France, to the S. of Birdcage
Walk, Milton once had a house. — A battalion of the Royal Foot
Guards is quartered in Wellington Barracks, built in 1834, on the S.
side of Birdcage AValk. The new Government Offices (p. 165), the
India and Foreign Offices, and beyond them the Horse Guards and
Admiralty, lie on the E. side of St. James's Park. In an open space
called the Parade, between the park and the Admiralty are placed
two military trophies, one of them being a Turkish cannon captured
by the English at Alexandria, and the other a large mortar, used
by Marshal Soult at the siege of Cadiz in 1812, and abandoned there
by the French. The carriage of the mortar is in the form of a dragon,
and was made at Woolwich. Every morning, about 10 o'clock, the
Foot Guards parade here , before proceeding through the park to
relieve guard at St. James's Palace (see above).
Buckingham Palace (PL J 11), the Queen's residence, rises at
the AV. end of St. James's Park. The present palace occupies the
site of Buckingham House, erected by John Sheffield, Duke of
Buckingham, in 1703, which was purchased by George III. in
1761, and occasionally occupied by him. His successor, GeorgeIV.,
caused it to be remodelled by Nash in 1825, but it remained empty
until its occupation in 1837 by Queen Victoria , whose town resi¬
dence it has since continued to be. The eastern and principal
facade towards St. James's Park, 360 ft. in length, was added by
Blore in 1846 ; and the large ball-room and other apartments were
subsequently constructed. The palace now forms a large quadrangle.
The rooms occupied by Her Majesty are on the N. side.
A portico, borne by marble columns, leads out of the large court
into the rooms of state. AVe first enter the Sculpture Gallery, which
is adorned with busts and statues of members of the royal family
and eminent statesmen. Beyond it, with a kind of semicircular