FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH OFFICE WITH HOME OFFICE THE FOREIGN OFFICE THE FOREIGN OFFICE (FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH OFFICE WITH HOME OFFICE)

Overview

Heritage Category:
Listed Building
Grade:
I
List Entry Number:
1066102
Date first listed:
05-Feb-1970
Statutory Address:
FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH OFFICE WITH HOME OFFICE, DOWNING STREET SW1
Statutory Address:
THE FOREIGN OFFICE (FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH OFFICE WITH HOME OFFICE), WHITEHALL SW1
Statutory Address:
THE FOREIGN OFFICE, DOWNING STREET SW1
Statutory Address:
THE FOREIGN OFFICE, KING CHARLES STREET SW1

Map

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Location

Statutory Address:
FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH OFFICE WITH HOME OFFICE, DOWNING STREET SW1
Statutory Address:
THE FOREIGN OFFICE (FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH OFFICE WITH HOME OFFICE), WHITEHALL SW1
Statutory Address:
THE FOREIGN OFFICE, DOWNING STREET SW1
Statutory Address:
THE FOREIGN OFFICE, KING CHARLES STREET SW1

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

County:
Greater London Authority
District:
City of Westminster (London Borough)
National Grid Reference:
TQ 29996 79871

Details

TQ 2979 NE and 3079 NW CITY OF WESTMINSTER WHITEHALL SW1 91/4 ;92/14 (West side) 5.2.70 The Foreign Office (Foreign and Commonwealth Office with Home Office) GV I Government offices. 1861 design, completed 1873, by Sir George Gilbert Scott with Sir Matthew Digby Wyatt for the St. James's Park front composition and the design of the former India Office courtyard. Portland stone with polychrome enrichment of polished granite columns and insets as well as other coloured stones; slate roofs. Italianate opulence (at Palmerston's insistence),in the Venetian-Genoese manner evenly distributed in bold relief over symmetrical Whitehall and King Charles Street elevation but with asymmetry to Downing Street and picturesquely composed Park front with tower. Massive building planned around courtyards, the main one entered by triple archways from side streets, 2 smaller ones behind Whitehall front and India Office court (now glazed over) in south west corner. Generally of 3 stages, the upper and lower ones containing 2 storeys. Whitehall front has broad centrepiece and end pavilions. Large semicircular arched portal; arcaded ground floor windows with carved figures spreading out in spandrels; upper floors have 2 orders of coupled columns, but with pilasters to end pavilions, the upper windows tripartite with granite colonettes; above 1st floor windows are portrait medallions whilst the spandrels of the 1st and 2nd floor centrepiece windows are enriched with carved figures. Enriched entablatures between storeys and deep crowning entablature with balustraded parapet surmounted by figure sculpture. Pavilions punctuate King Charles Street facade with triple arched gateway in central, rusticated quoined, pedimented pavilion; more restrained Italiante elevational details with archivolt arched windows beneath cornices or pediments. Park front distinguished by square tower finished off with a belvedere storey and balustraded parapet; quadrant return to projecting south west portion of front with 2 tiers of orders and tall arcading to its centrepiece; corner pavilion with Downing Street. The latter elevation similar to King charles Street but asymmetrically composed to west end with a polygonal,elaborated,bay window above steps down to Park. The main courtyard elevations of 2 main storeys and attic storey with 3 storey pavilions, all but one pedimented; 4 two storeyed porches; figure sculpture enrichment. The formerly open India Office court, 1867, by Matthew Digby Wyatt, has rich polychrome decoration, with majolica friezes made by Minton, Hollins & Co. and polished granite column superimposed orders; 4 statues by H. Protat in corners, 1st floor statues by W. Nicholls and 2nd floor ones by T. Phyffers, busts over 2nd floor windows by Protat. Rich Italianate interiors and very grand staircase in Foreign Office with Imperial, marble, flight and tripartite thermal arrangement to gallery with coffered barrel vaults flanking dome on pendentives over centre of compartment; important collection of C18 and C19 statues associated with the former India Office, etc. Personal and Professional Recollections; G. G. Scott London: Vol I; N Pevsner

Listing NGR: TQ2999679871

Legacy

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

Legacy System number:
207600
Legacy System:
LBS

Sources

Books and journals
Pevsner, N, Cherry, B, The Buildings of England: London I - The Cities of London and Westminster, (1973)
Other
Scott, George Gilbert, Personal and Professional Recollections,

Legal

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

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 09 Jan 2005
Reference: IOE01/13807/35
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Anthony Rau. Source Historic England Archive
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