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The Law Society, Westminster

Description: The Law Society

Grade: II*
Date Listed: 9 January 1970
English Heritage Building ID: 209062

OS Grid Reference: TQ3112181245
OS Grid Coordinates: 531121, 181245
Latitude/Longitude: 51.5149, -0.1117

Locality: Westminster
County: Greater London
Country: England
Postcode: WC2A 1PL

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Listing Text

Nos. 110 to 113 (consec.)
The Law Society
(including nos. 17 to 19
9.1.70 consec. Bell Yard)


Law Society headquarters. Original building of 1831 by Lewis Vulliamy with remarkable north-east corner extension of 1902-4 by Charles Holden when an assistant of Percy Adams. Portland stone, slate roof. The Vulliamy building with dignified, crisply executed and correct Grecian detailing. Two storeys on granite basement. Nine windows wide. Central doorway in base of Ionic pedimented portico of four unfluted columns in antis. Recessed sash windows in shallow moulded architraves, those on first floor rising from sill band and with sharply profiled cornices. Full crowning entablature carried over from portico. Cast iron area railings. Stucco, three-storey, twenty-bay rear elevations to Bell Yard, with three-bay return to Carey Street, a more confused design with ground-floor channelled and set with piers, pilasters and columns. Cornice and balustraded parpapet. Interior with wide entrance hall, double-height reading room with red marble giant columns and pilasters particularly impressive. Holden's extension forms a corner pavilion with Carey Street. Portland stone, slate roof. Cornice heights read through from Vuillamy's building, but Holden shows remarkable freedom and originality in combining neo-classical composition with Mannerist details and cubic mass. Two main storeys and high blind attic with set-back blind attic over centre. Both facades have a principal bay with lower, narrow flanking bays of three storeys and a three-bay wing along Carey Street of two storeys, set-back storey, and dormered mansard. Channelled ground-floor with central modified Diocletian window, incorporating figure sculpture by C Pibworth, and first floor with idiosyncratically designed Venetian window; markedly narrow flanking windows plainly neo-classical surmounted by oculi to ground floor, Michaelangelesque in their framing to first and second floors. The main central bays rise above their flanks to bold dentil cornice and tall attic returned to re-entrant angle above which rises topmost central blind attic storey with pilaster-piers and blocking course over plain cornice. The wing has tall narrow architraved and corniced first floor windows. Holden's interiors are in contrast revelatory of his Arts and Crafts tendency, with low staircase in tunnel-like vault with stained glass windows leading to first-floor reception room with oak and mahogany panelling and marble finishes. Wood carving by William Aumonier and moulded friezes by Conrad Dressler. The ground-floor reception rooms of similar quality. The south end of the Law Society building is within the City of London.

Listing NGR: TQ3111381248

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.