While the state apartments were a riot of glitter and color, the requirements of the new castle were a little less extravagant. For one thing, it was stated that the chimneys smoked so much that the flames had to be turned off, and as a result, the court shivered in cold splendor. The new palace was designed by Sir Christopher Wren with help from Isaac Ware, who is best known for his work on Old St. Paul's Cathedral. The exterior was composed of limestone, with some brick and tile used as accents. Inside, the main rooms were decorated in wood, with some stone added for warmth. There were no mirrors in the royal bedroom because Queen Caroline refused to look at herself.
The new palace was completed in 1705 after nearly 15 years of construction. It replaced the old palace, which had been built in 1661 by King Charles II after he escaped from exile in France. This old palace was actually a collection of buildings connected by underground passages and hidden doors. It was not until 1837 that the last residence there was demolished.
As you can see, the new palace was entirely different from the old one. Not only was it located in a different part of London, but it also looked completely different as well.
There were two reasons why the new palace was needed. First of all, King George I wanted to move away from his previous marriage and marry someone more suitable.
They weren't only showing off their enormous fortune; they also needed to get away from the unpleasant filth that massive royal banquets created. Palaces, such as Henry VIII's Hampton Court, had to be continuously evacuated so that the accumulating heaps of human feces could be cleansed. The smell was so bad that some palaces were not even be entered by the king or his guests.
The need for this practice should be obvious: if a great number of people are eating the same food, they are going to produce waste products. In the case of royalty, these products were highly toxic if they were not properly disposed of. It is estimated that, in Elizabeth's England, 10,000 pigs a day were slaughtered at her lavish celebrations; that's one pig for every person at the banquet! The bodies of animals killed for food usually become fertilizer after they die, but the body of an animal that has not been processed contains harmful bacteria that can contaminate soil and water sources.
In addition to the problem of sewage, large numbers of people congregating together also produced a lot of dust when they talked or laughed. If this dust was not cleaned up regularly, it would cause respiratory problems for those exposed to it daily.
Finally, there was also the issue of security. When royalty went out of their castles, they often didn't know what kind of threat they might be facing.
The medieval palace was mostly damaged by fire in 1834, and work on the current structure began in 1840. The palace that presently exists on the location was expressly intended for legislative usage. It is, nevertheless, the monarch's property in right of the Crown and preserves its position as a royal palace.
It is also commonly referred to as "Whitehall Palace", after its primary occupant during its construction. The name "Royal Palace" is used both for what is now called the State Rooms and for the entire building.
The official title of the site it occupies today is "The Site of the Former Palace of Whitehall". This site covers an area from Charing Cross to the River Thames, between Westminster and Victoria gates.
The fire started in the attic of the house next to the palace. It quickly spread to the roof, which burned for several hours before it could be put out. The only thing that saved the main part of the building was that Parliament was not in session at the time. Otherwise, the majority of the state rooms would have been completely destroyed.
The fire did not just affect the exterior of the building - it also caused extensive damage inside the palace, too. Not only were there large quantities of flammable material stored inside the building but so were some very dangerous chemicals such as mercury for use in lighting.