British Listed Buildings

History in Structure

If you log in, you can comment on buildings, submit new photos or update photos that you've already submitted.

We need to upgrade the server that this website runs on. Can you spare a quid to help?.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office with Home Office The Foreign Office The Foreign Office (Foreign an, Westminster

Description: Foreign and Commonwealth Office with Home Office The Foreign Office The Foreign Office (Foreign an

Grade: I
Date Listed: 5 February 1970
English Heritage Building ID: 207600

OS Grid Reference: TQ2999679871
OS Grid Coordinates: 529996, 179871
Latitude/Longitude: 51.5028, -0.1284

Location: 1 King Charles Street, Westminster, London SW1A 2 SW1A 2AD

Locality: Westminster
County: Greater London
Country: England
Postcode: SW1A 2AD

Incorrect location/postcode? Submit a correction!

Listing Text

91/4 ;92/14 (West side)
5.2.70 The Foreign Office
(Foreign and Commonwealth
Office with Home Office)
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

This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.