How Did Scotland Yard Get Its Name?
How Did Scotland Yard Get Its Name? The name Scotland Yard comes from its very earliest days, soon after the establishment of the police force in London in 1829.
The name popularly given to the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police, the police force responsible for policing the majority of Greater London except for the City of London and London’s underground and railways.
The force headquarters now occupies a building known as New Scotland Yard, in Broadway, SW1. This building was only occupied by the police in 1967, so the name has a much earlier origin.
Origin of the name is unknown, but may be named after a former landowner or a connection with the Kings of Scotland. The name was in use by the 17th century.
Within the UK in general and London itself specifically, people will only ever use the term “Scotland Yard” to refer to the management of the MPS, while the force is simply “the Met.”
Outside of London are numerous territorial forces, mainly based on counties or regions, as well as a number of “special forces” with dedicated functions/jurisdictions, e.g. the British Transport Police covering the rail network (including that within London and the London Underground).
Why is Scotland Yard so famous? The original headquarters of the new London police force were in Whitehall, with an entrance in Great Scotland Yard, from which the name originates.
(Scotland Yard was so named because it stood on the site of a medieval palace that had housed Scottish royalty when the latter were in London on visits.)