CHAPTER 14: LXXI—NO. 5 WHITEHALL GARDENS
The property is the freehold of the Crown, and is used for the
purposes of the Ministry of Transport.
On 30th November, 1824, a lease was granted to the Rt. Hon.
Sir Charles Long, on the nomination of Alexander Cray Grant, of the
southern portion of the ground to which the latter was entitled. The plot
abutted east on the river, north on ground on which a messuage had been
erected, leased or intended to be leased to Alexander Cray Grant, and south
on ground on which a messuage had been erected, leased or intended to be
leased to the Rt. Hon. Robert Peel. It is described as measuring 35½ feet
and 34¾ feet at the west and east ends respectively, on the south side 157
feet 2 inches, and on the north side 57 feet and 100 feet 1 inch, with a break
between of 9 feet to the south. A house had already been erected by Grant,
with offices covered with a stone flat next the eastern front forming a terrace
"nearly on a level with the floor of the parlour story thereof." Use in
common with the occupants of the next house was granted of the ground
to the west to be laid out "partly as a footway and carriage drive … and
partly as an ornamental garden."
The plan on p. 193 shows these premises as originally built by
Mr. Grant, in conjunction with No. 6, at a cost of £15,000. They are
faced with stone, and comprise three storeys over a basement and an attic
in a slate roof. The windows to the front rooms on the first floor have
shaped iron balconies and a continuous balcony to the garden front.
The interior has been modernised. The principal rooms have ornate
decorations, including plaster-panelled walls and ceilings and marble mantelpieces, but the present use of the building for official purposes does not
show them to advantage.
Plate 93 gives a general idea of the appearance of the rooms when
they were in private occupation.
Condition of Repair.
The occupiers of the house as given by directories until the time when it was utilised for
official purposes were:
|1825–38||Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Long (Lord Farnborough)|
|1840–66||Charles Cecil Martyn|
|1869–83||William Tomline (fn. 1) |
|1902–09||Sir John Henry Johnson|
Charles Long, Baron Farnborough, born in 1761, was third son of Beeston Long, West
India merchant. He entered Parliament in 1789 as member for Rye, and from 1791 to 1801 was
joint Secretary to the Treasury. In 1804 he became a Lord Commissioner of the Treasury, and in
1806 Secretary of State for Ireland. From 1810 to 1826 he was Paymaster-General, and on retirement in the latter year was raised to the peerage as Baron Farnborough. Thenceforth he devoted
himself primarily to artistic pursuits, and obtained the title of "the Vitruvius of the present age."
His tastes were fully displayed in the mansion which he built at Bromley Hill, Kent. He published
in 1826 a pamphlet entitled Remarks on the Improvements in London, and several of the street improvements carried out in London originated in suggestions made by him. He died at Bromley Hill
in 1838. He had in 1793 married Amelia, daughter of Sir Abraham Hume. Lady Long, who
was noted as a judge of art and a skilled horticulturist, died at Bromley Hill in 1837. She was a
skilful amateur artist, and frequently exhibited at the Royal Academy.
Long, Baron Farnborough.
In the Council's Collection Are:—
(fn. 2) Ground and first-floor plans (copy of plans in possession of H.M. Office of Works.)
(fn. 2) General exterior of premises (photograph).
General view of hall and stairs (photograph).
General view of iron balustrading to stairs (photograph).
(fn. 2) General view of dining-room (photograph).
(fn. 2) General view of drawing-room (photograph).