The Ordnance Office and the War
Office in Pall Mall
In 1806 the lease of Cumberland House
(Nos. 85–87 (consec.) Pall Mall) was acquired
by the Board of Ordnance, whose offices were
shortly afterwards established there. By 1859 the
Ordnance Office's successor, the War Office,
occupied all the premises between and including
Nos. 80–91 (consec.) Pall Mall, with a total street
frontage of nearly 400 feet (Plate 204). The whole
of this large site formerly occupied by the War
Office is now occupied by the Royal Automobile
Club and its westward extension, and by the new
The expansion of the Board of Ordnance and
the War Office was gradual; Nos. 85 and 87, the
two houses used as wings to Cumberland House,
were first occupied in 1811 by the Board of
Ordnance, and Nos. 83 and 84 (Christie's) in
1810 and 1807 respectively. (ref. 123)
(fn. a) All these
premises were retained when the War Department
absorbed the Ordnance Office in 1855 (ref. 125) and in
the same year the newly created department took
over No. 91 (ref. 126) (Buckingham House).
In 1856, when new government offices in
Downing Street and Whitehall were being considered, it was proposed to erect a new War Office
building in Pall Mall. (ref. 127) This proposal came to
nothing, and in 1859 the War Office took over
Nos. 80–82 (consec.) Pall Mall (Schomberg
House) and Nos. 88–90 (consec.) Pall Mall,
which stood between Cumberland House and
Buckingham House. (ref. 128)
In 1898 the construction of the present War
Office building in Whitehall began, and in 1906
all the offices in Pall Mall except those at Schomberg House were vacated. (ref. 129) Apart from Schomberg House, all the buildings occupied by the War
Office were pulled down between 1908 and 1912
for the erection of the Royal Automobile Club
and its extension.
The buildings occupied by the War Office are
individually described below.
||Among the works which were said to have 'engaged the attention' of William Atkinson, architect to the Ordnance
Office from 1813 to 1829, was the Ordnance Office in Pall Mall. (ref. 124) As far as is known no rebuilding took place on the
sites in Pall Mall occupied by the office during Atkinson's term of employment and he was therefore presumably only engaged
on minor internal alterations.
||C.E.O., file 11341; R.B.
The War Office List, 1927 ed.
||C.E.O., file 10520.
The Builder, 12 April 1856, p. 208.
||C.E.O., file 11678; P.O.D.
The Builder, 29 Dec. 1906, p. 747.