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Forbes House Gardens Westminster
Summary: Forbes House is a surprisingly large early to mid C19th mansion with a lodge and forecourt. A private residence until the C20th, it was used after WWII by the War Office Institution Club and in 1959 it became the headquarters of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders until 2010. The gardens contained a few good trees but the grounds are largely given over to car parking, especially to the rear. It has now been sold as a private residence.
Previous / Other name:
Site location: Halkin Street, Belgravia
Postcode: SW1X 7DS > Google Map
Type of site: Private Garden
Date(s): Early to mid C19th
Listed structures: LBII: Forbes House, lodge, forecourt walls and gate, Caledonian Club + various early c19th houses (LBII and II*)
Borough: Westminster
Site ownership: Private
Site management:
Open to public? No
Opening times: private
Special conditions:
Public transport: Tube: Hyde Park Corner, Knightsbridge (Piccadilly)
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/10/2010
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news.

Fuller information:

Forbes House was described by Nikolaus Pevsner as '9 unenterprising terrace-house-like bays of yellow brick, behind a walled forecourt with trees'. The first house was the five left bays, built by Sir Robert Smirke for the 5th Earl of Oxford, the next 3 added in 1824 for the future 3rd Earl Fitzwilliam. The 1st Lord Penrhyn extended the house behind in c.1868 when the cast-iron balcony was probably added. The right bay and arched stone doorcase date from 1912 for the 8th Earl of Granard and his American Countess Beatrice. Nearby are the Caledonian Club of 1912 by Detmar Blow and various early C19th houses.

Sources consulted:

Simon Bradley and Nikolaus Pevsner, 'The Buildings of England London 6: Westminster', (Yale University Press, 2003); Rob Golding 'SMMT sells Forbes House HQ', Just Auto, 11 October 2010
Grid ref: TQ283796
Size in hectares:
On EH National Register : No
EH grade:
Site on EH Heritage at Risk list:
Registered common or village green
on Commons Registration Act 1965:
Protected under London Squares
Preservation Act 1931:
The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.
On Local List:
In Conservation Area: Yes
Conservation Area name: Belgravia
Tree Preservation Order: No
Nature Conservation Area: No
Green Belt: No
Metropolitan Open Land: No
Special Policy Area: Yes
Other LA designation:

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