Old London Maps
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Buckingham Water Gate, the Strand

On the south side of the Strand were avenues to the York Buildings, so called from having been once the residence of the archbishops of York. Eventually it came into the hands of the second Duke of Buckingham, who disposed of York buildings, and laid out several streets on the site all of which had names associated with Buckingham: George Street, Villiers Street, Duke Street, Off Alley and Buckingham Street. At the bottom of these streets, next to the river, was the very elegant stone Water Gate to the stairs. Georgian commentators remarked that this gate was "a most perfect piece of building, of such equal and harmonious parts, and so appropriately embellished, that nothing can justly be censured or added." By the 1820s the stairs had long fallen into disuse.

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