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Stable Yard Gate Lodge

A Grade II Listed Building in St James's, Westminster

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Latitude: 51.5034 / 51°30'12"N

Longitude: -0.138 / 0°8'16"W

OS Eastings: 529333

OS Northings: 179922

OS Grid: TQ293799

Mapcode National: GBR FH.67

Mapcode Global: VHGQZ.KGFT

Entry Name: Stable Yard Gate Lodge

Listing Date: 1 December 1987

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1236579

English Heritage Legacy ID: 427600

Location: Westminster, London, SW1A

County: Westminster

Electoral Ward/Division: St James's

Built-Up Area: City of Westminster

Traditional County: Middlesex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: St Martin-in-the-Fields

Church of England Diocese: London

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Listing Text

1900/90/15 STABLE YARD SW1


Gatekeeper's Lodge. 1838 by Robert Smirke, wrapping round a 1720s water house built to serve St James's Palace. Altered 1899 and 1985. Stock brick with Portland stone dressings, red brick.

PLAN: Single-storey and rectangular in plan, the reservoir formerly occupying approximately 30% of the floor space, in the south east corner of the building. The 1838 lodge comprised an entrance, sitting room and bedroom, bed enclosure for a servant, and wash house leading to an external area off which was a water closet and coal store. In 1899 the reservoir was floored over to create two bedrooms leading off a passage. The kitchen replaced the wash house and bed enclosure which was installed in the entrance lobby. In the later C20 this became a bathroom.

EXTERIOR: West and south elevations each in three bays are articulated by brick pilasters strips. The building has a deep moulded cornice and blocking course hiding a flat roof. Windows and door have moulded stone architraves, the door under a, probably inter-war, canopy. The entrance door is of six glazed lights over near flush panels. A similar architrave to the right has a blind entrance. A triple window has 4-over-4 sashes, those to the north mid-C19, the remainder replaced. The Mall elevation has two paired 4-over-4 sashes, and a single sash to the left, all in moulded stone architraves. On the roof, a pair of internal, reduced brick stacks.

INTERIOR: 1838 rooms have square-cut skirtings, windows in moulded architraves over panelled boxes, doors of 4 panels in moulded architraves, and C20 coved cornices. 1899 spaces have doors of 4 panels in moulded architraves and moulded skirtings and cornices. The brick footings of the reservoir remain under the floor of the later bedrooms.

HISTORY: Stable Yard Lodge, otherwise known as Birdman's Lodge, is on the site of a water house or reservoir serving St James's Palace, and supplied by the Chelsea Waterworks Company which was set up in 1723. The water house, a red brick building, with a pyramidal roof and cupola, and with presumably a lead lined cistern, appears on J Kip's 1720s views of St James's Palace and Park and on Henry Flitcroft's 1729 plan of St James's Palace. The brick footings of the reservoir survive under the lodge. The extent of survival above ground encased in later brickwork is not known.

In July 1838 Robert Smirke, as architect attached to the Office of Works, drew up proposals for a new gatekeeper's lodge to be built around and over the reservoir. The building conforms with these and slightly later drawings. In 1899 the Office of Works produced plans to expand the internal space of the lodge by removing the reservoir and building two bedrooms over the footings, and opening up Smirke's blind windows in the elevation overlooking the Mall. At the same time the kitchen was modernised. In 1985 the kitchen was altered extending it into the small open-air area, and demolishing the WC and larder. The history of the reservoir and lodge and works on them are well-documented.

J Kip, 1720s views of St James's Palace and Park.
Henry Flitcroft, 1729 plan of St James's Palace, NA PRO Work 34/121.
R Smirke, 1838, 'Plan proposed for the New Lodge &c at the Entrance into St James's Park from the Stable Yard', NA PRO Work 34/144.
R Smirke, 1838, 'Elevation of the proposed Lodge at the Entrance into St James's Park from the Stable Yard', NA PRO Work 34/145.
St James's Palace Ground Plan, 1841, NA PRO Work 34/129.
HM Office of Works, 1899,'Stable Yard Lodge Gate, The Mall', NA PRO Work 34/1318.
Property Services Agency Central Survey of St James's Palace, Ground Floor, 1985, S2861/85.
English Heritage, 'Birdman's Lodge, St James`s Palace, The Mall, London SW1. Plan below floor level showing remains of reservoir in south-east corner of the lodge', January 2003, building index 87536.

* As an example of the neo-classical style which Smirke and contemporaries used more lavishly in other works, but here is appropriate to the status of the building. The context is important in terms of the historical values it demonstrates regarding the hierarchy of the building, a single storey gatekeeper's lodge in contrast to the adjacent extensive palace buildings which it serves;
* For the remains of the 1720's waterhouse.

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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