11 Downing Street

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11 Downing Street
A white building with a black door, with the number eleven on the door
11 Downing Street is located in City of Westminster
11 Downing Street
Location in Westminster
General information
Architectural styleGeorgian
Town or cityCity of Westminster
London, SW1
CountryUnited Kingdom
Coordinates51°30′12″N 0°07′40″W / 51.503396°N 0.127640°W / 51.503396; -0.127640Coordinates: 51°30′12″N 0°07′40″W / 51.503396°N 0.127640°W / 51.503396; -0.127640
Current tenantsRishi Sunak (Chancellor of the Exchequer)
Construction started1682; 340 years ago (1682)
Completed1684; 338 years ago (1684)
Design and construction
ArchitectChristopher Wren
Listed Building – Grade I
Reference no.1356989[1]

11 Downing Street (sometimes referred to as just Number 11) is the official residence of Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer (who traditionally also has the title of Second Lord of the Treasury). The residence, in Downing Street in London, was built alongside the official residence of the Prime Minister at Number 10 in 1682.

The first Chancellor to live there was Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice in 1806, but Number 11 did not become the Chancellor's official residence until 1828.[2]

From 1997 onwards, Prime Ministers Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron, Theresa May and Boris Johnson chose to reside for all or part of their term of office at Number 11, as its residential apartment is larger than Number 10. However, the Prime Minister's home is traditionally described being at Number 10.[3]


Philip Hammond greets U.S. Secretary of Treasury Jack Lew at 11 Downing Street

Number 11 is part of a (blackened) yellow-brick Georgian-era converted mansion. The building overlooks St. James's Park and Horse Guards Parade and consists—from left to right—of Numbers 12, 11 and 10.

Number 11 is located on the left side of Number 10, the official residence of the Prime Minister (or First Lord of the Treasury) since the early 19th century. Number 12, to the left of Number 11, is the official residence of the Chief Whip, but it is now used as the Prime Minister's press office.

As a result of many internal alterations over the years, the three terraced houses are internally a single complex; one can walk from number 11 to number 10, via an internal connecting door, without using the street doors. The Cabinet Office on Whitehall is also directly connected to these at its rear making up an executive office of the prime Minister and senior Privy Councillors.

The terraced house was one of several built by Sir George Downing between 1682 and 1684. It was altered c. 1723–35; refaced c. 1766–75 by Kenton Couse and with early C.19 alterations. Along with Number 10, it underwent a major reconstruction by Raymond Erith, 1960–64.[4] Despite reconstruction, the interior retains a fine staircase with carved bracket tread ends and three slender turned balusters per tread. The fine Dining Room of 1825–26 is by Sir John Soane.

Recent occupancy[edit]

When Tony Blair became Prime Minister in 1997 he chose to reside in Number 11, rather than Number 10, as it has a larger living area; Blair at that time was living with his wife and their several young children, while Gordon Brown, his Chancellor of the Exchequer, was at that point still a bachelor.[5] In 2007, when Brown became Prime Minister, he at first chose to live in Number 11,[6] but soon moved back to Number 10; Brown was by then married but had fewer children than the Blairs.

Following the 2010 general election, the incoming prime minister, David Cameron, moved into 11, instead of 10 Downing Street, because George Osborne chose to remain in his Notting Hill home.[7] In early August 2011, Osborne moved into Number 10.[8]

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and, until his resignation in February 2020, Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid continued the recent practice of residing in the flats traditionally used by their counterparts.

In March 2020, Prime Minister Boris Johnson refurbished the residential apartment at Number 11. An Electoral Commission inquiry is investigating the financing of this refurbishment.[9] This is known in the press as the Cash-for-Curtains scandal.[10][11][12][13][14][15][16]


  1. ^ Historic England. "11 Downing Street (1356989)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
  2. ^ "History of Number 11 Downing Street". UK Government. Retrieved 16 October 2014.
  3. ^ "Boris Johnson and girlfriend take bigger Downing Street flat, leaving smaller one for Javid family". The Independent. 29 July 2019. Archived from the original on 1 May 2022. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  4. ^ The Architect and Building News, 25 December 1963
  5. ^ "10 Downing Street Today". Archived from the original on 7 June 2007. Retrieved 29 May 2007.
  6. ^ Everett, Michael; Parry, Keith (21 July 2016). "Ministerial Residences". Retrieved 31 January 2020 – via researchbriefings.parliament.uk. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  7. ^ "George Osborne spurns Downing Street to remain a Notting Hill Tory". The Daily Telegraph. 26 June 2010.
  8. ^ "BBC Radio 4 – Gardeners' Question Time – 10 Surprising facts about Number 10 Downing Street". BBC. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  9. ^ "Electoral Commission to investigate Boris Johnson's Downing Street flat renovations". BBC News. 28 April 2021. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
  10. ^ "Cash for curtains: will No. 10 refurb inquiry end up costing PM?". The Week. Retrieved 2 May 2021.
  11. ^ Ivens, Martin. "Boris Johnson's Wallpaper Is a Gamble on Britain's Class Divisions". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2 May 2021.
  12. ^ Allegretti, Aubrey. "Boris Johnson furious as inquiry launched into 'cash for curtains'". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 May 2021.
  13. ^ Maise, Desné. "DESNÉ MASIE: Could the 'cash for curtains' scandal be the UK's Nkandla?". Business Day. Retrieved 2 May 2021.
  14. ^ "BoJo 'Cash for Curtains' scandal: "Why lie and cover up in order to bring gaudy gold wallpaper?"". The Global Herald. Retrieved 2 May 2021.
  15. ^ Roberts, Joe. "Boris and Carrie may have to hand over personal emails to 'cash for curtains' inquiry". Retrieved 2 May 2021.
  16. ^ Woodcock, Andrew. "Labour seeks Commons standards probe into Boris Johnson flat funding". The Independent. Archived from the original on 1 May 2022. Retrieved 2 May 2021.

External links[edit]