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GES034 - Metropole Building

The Metropole Hotel was built in 1883, opening 2 years later. It mainly courted and catered for the upper echelons of society, and held rooms for King Edward VII. It was requisitioned by the War Dept in WWI. It returned to civilian use after the war until 1936, when again it was requisitioned for use to host Government Depts while their buildings were redeveloped. The building was used by the MoD during WWII and continued after the war until 2004. Room 800 here was rumoured to be where UFO reports were collated. After 2004 it lay empty until purchased by IHI Plc and converted into a hotel once more, The Crointhia.

Getting onto the roof proved tricky, the usual defences were in place, including a few new ones, including torch size black cctvs. GE077 and I went to the point i'd identified on a previous trip through the area. Waiting for a clear gap, I hopped in and climbed a heras fence used to keep intruders out, to get up the scaff. It was tricky, and questionably safe, but I was in. I sat and waited for GE077 to join me, but he pointed out a bloke relieving himself near the access point. I swiveled around to see the chap. I waited for a while, wondering how much urine he could possibly have in him. It was then I noticed a second set of feet, and the fact he was being relieved by a young lady hidden away in the dark doorway. Eventually they left, and GE077 joined me on the scaff. It was then a series of ladders to the roof. GE077 isn't as into exploring rooftops as me, so saw that the crane would be a bit of a deal to access, and left it for another time. Leaving shortly after this photo.

The impressive Whitehall Court, home to the Liberal Club & Royal Horseguards Hotel, running up the left, and The Old War Office building (Ministry of Defence) in the bottom right.

A wider shot of above, showing nicely the innards of the Old War Office building courtyard.

The internal courtyard of the Metropole building, and the crane rising up that GE077 would later conquer.

Fisheye of Whitehall Court looking west.

An unfortunately slightly blurred close up shot of Whitehall Court, with the initials NLC visibly, obviously standing for National Liberal Club.

The London Eye needs no introduction, sitting in front of the colourful former County Hall buildings on the South Bank.

Different angle of the The old war office building. The main MoD building is the white one with flags to the left and rear of the Old War Office building. The Old War office building although small in appearance has 2.5miles of corridors and 1000 rooms.

The mass of scaffold necessary for repairing the roof.

Charing Cross station and bridge in the extreme foreground, and other bridges down the Thames.

Looking down Charing Cross bridge to the South Bank

I was curious as to what the room at the top of the NCL section of Whitehall Court was used for, but this was the closest my lens would allow. Great views though.

Inside one of the upper rooms in a raw state as it get's repaired.

On one of the higher bits of the roof, overlooking Charing Cross Station and the Thames heading East.

From the front of the Metropole building

From the front of the Metropole building looking East up the river to the City

Looking from the Eastern side of the Metropole building up to Nelson's column and Trafalgar Square. The spire of St Martins in the Fields and BT Tower on the right. The Regus hotel amongst others in the 1 Northumberland Avenue building that takes up the centre of the photo.

Close up of the roof of the Old War Office building. Big Ben pops up behind the MoD building.

A full wide shot of the Old War Office building and Whitehall Court

The octagonal turret of the Civil Service Club building, next to it (bottom left) lies a Crown property, the former MoD depository building, now abandoned.

Some amazing views and different perspectives of London's brilliant architecture, I enjoyed just sitting on the roof and sucking it all in. Descending the building a group of people wearing purple shirts were stood right at the bottom of the access point on Scotland Place, and I had to wait quarter of an hour for them to leave. They still hadn't so I just jumped over a hoarding and startled them, before calmly walking off, much to their amazement.


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