John Nash was the architect commissioned to design this royal residence. Built in 1825-27, it is adjacent to the west end of St James's Palace, and accessed through its Stable Yard. It was intended to provide more comfortable accommodation for the Duke of Clarence — the future William IV. After William's death, as explained below, it passed to his sister, and then to Queen Victoria's mother, before becoming the home of the Queen's second son Alfred — the Duke of Edinburgh of that time. Radical improvements were put in hand when he got married, as the account also indicates. There would be further alterations in the twentieth century.

Clarence House. Source: The Graphic, 14 November 1874: 468.

Commentary in The Graphic

CLARENCE House was formerly the mansion of William IV, when Duke of Clarence; hence its name. It was afterwards occupied by the Duchess of Kent, and has been for two or three years the bachelor home of the Duke of Edinburgh. The house was never remarkable for architectural beauty, but rather for want of it; and some improvement was required to make it a fitting home for a bride accustomed to the splendours of a Winter Palace. Extensive alterations were therefore commenced, and are still proceeding . The front, which stands in the quaint garden of St. James's Palace, and overlooks the Park, has received the addition of a portico, bow windows have been thrown out, and the front generally has been reconstructed. The interior is to be decorated and furnished in style. There are whispers, too, of a beautiful private chapel, to be decorated after the Oriental manner; and a conservatory, which will be unique in its way. Distributed through the apartments will be many art treasures sent from Russia, which, with the collection of curiosities gathered by the Duke himself from all parts of the globe, and the pictures, &c., already contained in it, will make Clarence House not the least interesting of Royal residences. [463]

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Links to Related Material


The Graphic. 14 November 1874: 463 and 468. Hathi Trust. Contributed by the New York Public Library. Web. 29 November 2019.

"Clarence House." Historic England. Web. 29 November 2019.

Created 29 November 2019