Scotland Yard

Met Police Headquarters

The task of organising and designing the "New Police" was placed in the hands of Colonel Charles Rowan and Richard Mayne (later Sir Richard Mayne}. These two Commissioners occupied a private house at 4, Whitehall Place, the back of which opened on to a courtyard. The back premises of 4 Whitehall Place were used as a police station. It was this address that led to the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police being known as Scotland Yard. The exact origin of the name is not clear and the following two stories have both gained credence at various times:

It is said the location had been the site of a residence owned by the Kings of Scotland before the Union and used and occupied by them and/or their ambassadors when in London, and known as '"Scotland". The courtyard was later used by Sir Christopher Wren and known as "Scotland Yard".
Number 4 Whitehall Place backed onto a court called Great Scotland Yard, one of three streets incorporating the words "Scotland Yard" in its name. The street names are said to have derived from the land being owned by a man called Scott during the Middle Ages.

By 1887 the Police HQ embraced numbers 3, 4, 5, 21 and 22 Whitehall Place, numbers 8 and 9 Great Scotland Yard, numbers 1, 2 and 3 Palace Place and various stables and outbuildings as well as a freestanding building in the centre of the Yard that had successively held stores, the Public Carriage Office and the CID offices.

These headquarters were removed in 1890 to premises on the Victoria Embankment designed by Richard Norman Shaw and became known as New Scotland Yard. In 1967, because of the need for a larger and more modern headquarters, a further move took place to the present site at Broadway, S.W.1, which is also known as New Scotland Yard.