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List Entry Summary

This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.


List entry Number: 1066100



The building may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Greater London Authority

District: City of Westminster

District Type: London Borough


National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: I

Date first listed: 05-Feb-1970

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: LBS

UID: 207595

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Building

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

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Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


TQ 3080 SW CITY OF WESTMINSTER WHITEHALL SW1 83/74 (West side) 5.2.70 Horse Guards GV I Army headquarters. c.1745-48 design by William Kent, built 1750-59 by John Vardy and William Robinson, of the Office of Works. Portland stone, slate roofs. The major Palladian public building of the Burlington-Kent school, but characterised as at Holkham (which it resembles) by Kent's staccato massing and isolation of the component elements of the symmetrical composition. Whitehall front has main block set back behind forecourt: 3- storeyed, 3-window wide pedimented centrepiece with one-window links to 4- storey, 1-window projecting pavilions; from subsidiary wings 2-storey ranges enclose north and south sides of forecourt and link with the rear of 2-storey, 7-window wide street front pavilions with 3-window pedimented centre breaks. (N.B. Forecourt railings and guardhouses, see separate entry.) Venetian composition of vaulted carriage archway and side footways beneath centre block. Recessed glazing bar sashes; semicircular arched and set in blind arcading on ground floor; architraved with cornices to principal bays on 1st floor where the central window and those in the angle pavilions are set in semicircular arched panels. Pediment of main block with carved Royal Arms, balustraded parapet over links and pyramidal slate roofs over attic storeys of angle pavilions. The Horse Guards Parade front has similar main block but with inscribed Venetian windows to centre and over archway and to 1st floor of angle pavilions; instead of a pedimented centre, a balustraded parapet is carried across between the angle pavilions. 3-storey, 5-window wide wings are set well back but with advanced arcaded ground floors with balustraded parapets, and with projecting 2-storey, 3-window, pedimented terminal pavilion-wings. The latter have central inscribed Venetian windows flanked by semicircular arched recesses of the same size containing pedimented windows, all with blind balustrades below sills. On this front the ground floor has rock faced rustication with ashlar rustication to upper floor of main block and terminal pavilion wings. Over the centre of the main block rises an octagonal, domed clock tower with cupola lantern (repeating a distinguishing feature of the old Horse Guards) that breaks the Palladian canon, owing more to Vanbrugh in its contours and detail. The interiors relatively plain except for the principal rooms in the main block and the octagonal hall open to the lantern; etc. As in other Kent-Burlington designs the General Wade's House elevational theme, based on a Palladio town house elevational drawing acquired by Lord Burlington in 1719, appears on the Horse Guards Parade front. Survey of London: vol XVI Tracing a Palladio Elevation; Dan Cruickshank; AR 1045 March 1984

Listing NGR: TQ3007280099

Selected Sources

Books and journals
'Survey of London' in Charing Cross the Parish of St Martin-in-the-Fields Part 1: Volume 16 , , Vol. 16, (1935)
'Architectural Review' in Architectural Review, , Vol. 1045, (1984)

National Grid Reference: TQ 30074 80089


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End of official listing