- This article is about Marlborough House,
Westminster. For the property in Brighton, please see
In its original form Marlborough House
had just two stories.
This illustration of c.1750 shows the garden front.
This view of the entrance front
published in the 1850s before Pennethorne's additions shows an
additional storey on the wings.
The wings later gained a fourth main storey, and the central
section gained a third.
Marlborough House - South side
Marlborough House is a
mansion in Westminster, London, in Pall
Mall just east of St James's Palace.
Marlborough House - Rotating Summer
It was built for Sarah Churchill, Duchess
, the favourite
confidante of Queen Anne
Duchess wanted her new house to be "strong, plain and convenient".
, both father and
son, designed a brick building with rusticated stone quoins that
was completed in 1711. For over a century it served as the London
residence of the Dukes of
The house was taken up by the Crown in 1817 (Pevsner). In the 1820s plans
were drawn up to demolish Marlborough House and replace it with a
terrace of similar dimensions to the two in Carlton House
Terrace, and this idea even featured on some contemporary
maps, including Christopher and John Greenwood's large-scale London
map of 1830,  but the proposal was not implemented.
was used by members of the Royal
Family and from 1853 to 1861 Prince
Albert arranged for it to be used by the "National Art Training
School", later the Royal College of Art.
After they vacated it was substantially
enlarged for the Prince of Wales to designs by Sir James Pennethorne
(1861-63), who added a
range of rooms on the north side and a deep porch. From 1863 until
he became King Edward
in 1901, it was the home of the Prince and Princess of
Wales. During this period Marlborough House became the social
centre of London.
cubical Saloon retains wall-paintings by Louis Laguerre of the battle of
Blenheim. A cupola inserted in the ceiling is
surrounded by paintings by Orazio
Gentileschi for the Queen's House, Greenwich, 1636.
There are paired staircases flanking
the Saloon, with further battle pieces by Laguerre. Most of the
interiors have been altered (Pevsner).
A late Art Nouveau
memorial fountain by Alfred Gilbert
(1926-32) in the Marlborough
Road wall of the house commemorates Alexandra
, Edward's queen.
In 1936 Marlborough House became the London residence of the
, Queen Mary
, widow of King George V
. Following Queen
Mary's death in 1953 Queen Elizabeth II
for use by the Commonwealth
, which continues to use it today.
Marlborough House is usually open to the public for Open House Weekend
each September. It is
Grade I listed
- Frayling, Christopher, The Royal
College of Art, One Hundred and Fifty Years of Art and Design,
p.35 & ff, 1987, Barrie & Jenkins, London,