Secret Intelligence Service MI6 - Vauxhall Cross


The Secret Intelligence Service / MI6 headquarters building, at 85 Albert Embankment, Vauxhall Cross, SE1 7TP, right by Vauxhall Bridge and Vauxhall mainline railway and Tube stations. SIS / MI6 concentrates on foreign intelligence operations i.e. spying, but has had roles in Northern Ireland as well.


GPS grid coordinates:
Latitude: (WGS84) N51:29:16 ( 51.487799 )
Longitude: (WGS84) W0:07:29 ( -0.124639 )


See also the semi-live BBC Jam Cam image, (which are updated every few minutes, unless there is some interesting incident, when the feeds are censored), from the Vauxhall Cross / Albert Embankment camera.

The distinctive building was designed by architect Sir Terry Farrell.

Apart from the basic cost of the land and the fabric of the building, and the subsequent secret communications and security fit out, the Italian marble cladding cost an estimated £60 million circa 1988.

This real life Spook Country HQ has also been used as a backdrop and film location for several James Bond 007 films i.e. Golden Eye (1995), The World Is Not Enough (1999), Die Another Day (2002), and Casino Royale (2006).

On September 20, 2000, at around 10:15 pm the building was attacked by a Russian-built Mark 22 rocket propelled grenade (RPG), launched from Spring Gardens park, over the mainline railway station, through which a train which I was on, had just passed through a few minutes before.

This blew out a small window on the 8th floor, in the central lift shaft/ fire stairs core (left hand window), but luckily nobody was hurt. The Anti-Terrorist branch of the Metropolitan Police attributed responsibility to Irish Republicans, specifically the Real IRA terrorists.


This building has been recently Designated as a Protected Site under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 section 128, which makes it a criminal offence to cross the outer boundary without permission, technically the curtilage i.e.the outer gates and fences and walls.

There is a Public Right of Way which is part of the riverside wall footpath, so it is still perfectly legal to walk all the way around this building, even on to the river side, where there is a marble terrace. You do get a good photo view of the Houses of Parliament and the MI5 Thames House, Millbank Tower and the National Gallery on the other side of the river Thames from there.

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Zero history blog

Zero History blog -

- documenting and analysing William Gibson's current novel in progress, with some London / UK locations already.

Spook Country blog

Spook Country blog - htpp://

This documents and analyses William Gibson's novel Spook Country which has some London locations, and from which this London CyberPunk Tourist Guide was spawned.

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