Since I started travelling to London for work, I started looking for unusual sights and different things to see in town. Back in March 2018, I visited one of the most unique locations London has to offer, but it’s not correctly a place, ‘it’s an alleyway plaque. A plaque that marks where the Texas Embassy used to stand in London. You read that right.
When I visited the Texas Embassy Memorial Plaque in London, I had a plan to visit some places around the city. A Sunday was walking around before I could do the check in on my hotel. The plaque was the first visit since I felt like there ‘wouldn’t be much to see besides the plaque, and I was right. Even though the location is historical for reasons that ‘I’ll be talking about later, there is not much to see. Keep that in mind if you want to visit it.
Between 1836 and 1845, the property on 4 St ‘James’s Street in London, was home to an unusual tenant since it was home to the Embassy of the Republic of Texas. When Texas was founded, it was an independent and sovereign country that bordered Mexico and the United States of America. It was during those years that the, then President of Texas, Sam Houston, sent Ashbel Smith to be the diplomatic representative of Texas in the United Kingdom.
This diplomatic representation lasted less than ten years and, when Texas joined the Union in 1845, the Texas Embassy in London was closed, and the delegation never paid the outstanding rent bill and owed 160 pounds.
Now, ‘let’s talk a little bit about the property on 4 St ‘James’s Street in London. The place is famous for Berry Brothers & Rudd, one of the most renowned wine merchants in London, that have been providing whiskeys and wines to the English monarchs since the time of King George II. The building dates from 1730 and thee are wine cellars and caves that run underneath the building. The Georgian rooms upstairs held a brothel once, and the courtyard might feel calm and cosy today, but it used to host cockfights and the last ever public duel in London. Also, Napoleon III lived in the building in exile while he tried to plot his return to France.
“Texas Legation in this building was the legation for the ministers from the Republic of Texas to the Court of St. James 1842 – 1845.”
Nowadays, the wine shop next door to the plaque is still thriving, and people seemed to be curious about me taking pictures of a memorial plaque hidden on the side of a building. The plaque can be found on this tiny alleyway that makes it a little not obvious to see.
If you want to visit the Texas Embassy Memorial Plaque, you need to pay attention to the walls on the alleyway on St. ‘James’s Street. ‘It’s easy to spot it, but ‘it’s not evident at first sight. That is the only thing that remains there, but you should take a walk into the courtyard and imagine how London used to be like when the Embassy was there.
Texas Embassy Memorial Plaque in London
4 St James’s Street
London, England, SW1A 1EF
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