Buckingham Palace Gates: A Brief History and Description

The Buckingham Palace Gates are a well-known landmark in London, but there is more to them than meets the eye. Visitors who take a closer look will find that the gates are full of interesting details that offer clues to the past and present. From nods to historic elements of Britain’s long history to symbols of the shifting times in which they were built, the gates are a fascinating example of the intricate design and craftsmanship that went into creating this iconic palace.

In this article, we will explore the history of the Buckingham Palace Gates and why they are worth a visit. We will also examine the practical information that visitors need to know before planning their trip, including what they can expect to see and how to make the most of their time at this iconic landmark.

Key Takeaways

  • The Buckingham Palace Gates are full of interesting details that offer clues to the past and present.
  • Visitors can expect to see nods to historic elements of Britain’s long history and symbols of the shifting times in which the gates were built.
  • Practical information, including what to expect and how to plan a visit, is essential for anyone interested in experiencing the Buckingham Palace Gates firsthand.

Why Visit Buckingham Palace Gates?

Visiting the Buckingham Palace Gates may seem like a mundane activity, but taking a closer look can provide a new perspective on the intricate British design. In addition, impressing friends with newfound knowledge is just a bonus. By examining the gates, visitors can gain insight into the craftsmanship and attention to detail that went into their creation. This knowledge can then be applied to other areas of British design throughout London.

The History of The Buckingham Palace Gates

A Revolution of the Industrial Kind

The Buckingham Palace Gates have a rich history rooted in the Industrial Revolution, one of the most significant periods in British and world history. The Industrial Revolution introduced mass production of materials, which was met with resistance from arts and crafts guilds. These guilds comprised workmen who had been trained to make bespoke items to order, and they believed that mass production would result in a loss of artistry and skill.

The Bromsgrove Guild, a group of craftsmen with a reputation for high-quality work and a deep commitment to bespoke design, was chosen to make the gates in response to the arts and crafts movement. The gates were commissioned in 1905 and are still in use today.

Master Craftsmanship

The Bromsgrove Guild made the Buckingham Palace Gates using traditional methods, which involved master craftsmanship. The gates are wrought-iron and are adorned with intricate details that showcase the skill and artistry of the craftsmen. The gates are a true masterpiece and a testament to the importance of bespoke design.

In summary, the Buckingham Palace Gates represent a time when the arts and crafts movement clashed with the mass production of materials. The gates were made using traditional methods by craftsmen who championed the importance of bespoke design, resulting in a work of master craftsmanship that still stands today.

What Can You See on The Buckingham Palace Gates

Lions, Palm Leaves and… Unicorns?

The main gates of Buckingham Palace feature two ornate reproductions of the Royal Coat of Arms. The Royal Coat of Arms is a symbol of a lion, representing England, and a unicorn, representing Scotland. The symbol is framed by gilded palm leaves and presents a shield with further iconography. The iconography depicts two sets of three lions, the three lions from the England football shirt. Additionally, there is a harp to represent Ireland and a standing lion to represent Scotland. The lion/unicorn thing can be a bit confusing, but it relates back to the 1600s when the English kings assumed rule of the Scottish throne.

Kings and Queens

The gates also feature references to a more recent English king, George V, who was king at the time the gates were constructed. This is visible in the GRV carved into the stone gateposts’ shield and crown symbols. His name is also visible in a couple of more discreet places, primarily on a symbol near the gate’s lock that depicts a G and a V and in a much more subtle depiction of St. George the dragon slayer at the foot of the gates two main lion/unicorn motifs. Edward VII also makes an appearance on the stone columns in a cursive carving that’s almost impossible to decipher save the VII you’ll see at the bottom.

If you turn around, you’ll also see a giant monument to Queen Victoria. She also gets a royal treatment on the Canada Gate at Green Park. However, that’s a story for another day.

Overall, the Buckingham Palace gates are a magnificent sight to behold and offer a glimpse into the rich history of the British monarchy.

The Buckingham Palace Gates: Practical Information

The Buckingham Palace Gates are one of the most iconic landmarks in London, England. They serve as the main entrance to the residence of the British monarch and are heavily guarded by the Queen’s Guard. Here is some practical information to keep in mind when visiting the Buckingham Palace Gates:

  • Location: The Buckingham Palace Gates are located at the end of The Mall, a grand avenue that leads up to the palace. The nearest tube stations are Green Park, Victoria, and Hyde Park Corner.
  • Opening Hours: The gates are open to the public from 9:30 am to 7:30 pm daily during the summer months (April to September) and from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm during the winter months (October to March).
  • Changing of the Guard: The Changing of the Guard ceremony takes place in front of the Buckingham Palace Gates at 11:00 am daily during the summer months and on alternate days during the winter months. It is a popular tourist attraction, so arrive early to secure a good viewing spot.
  • Photography: Visitors are allowed to take photographs of the Buckingham Palace Gates from the outside. However, photography is not permitted during the Changing of the Guard ceremony.
  • Security: The Buckingham Palace Gates are heavily guarded by armed police officers and the Queen’s Guard. Visitors are advised to follow instructions and not to touch or approach the guards under any circumstances.

Visiting the Buckingham Palace Gates is a must-do activity for anyone visiting London. Keep in mind these practical tips to make the most of your visit.