BHO

Pall Mall East

Page 88

Survey of London: Volume 20, St Martin-in-The-Fields, Pt III: Trafalgar Square and Neighbourhood. Originally published by London County Council, London, 1940.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by English Heritage. All rights reserved.

Citation:

Table of contents

CHAPTER 10: PALL MALL EAST

As can be seen from Morden and Lea's map of 1682 (Plate 1) and from the drawing reproduced on Plate 94a the Haymarket, Suffolk Street and Hedge Lane (now Whitcomb Street) originally extended southwards to Cockspur Street. After the formation of Regent Street H.M. Commissioners of Woods and Forests agreed to carry out a suggestion, which had been advanced many years previously, for the extension of Pall Mall eastwards to St. Martin's Church (see p. 9). All the properties between Cockspur Street and the newly-formed Pall Mall East were pulled down leaving a triangular site which was taken by the College of Physicians and the Union Club. (fn. n1)

The College of Physicians and the Union Club

These premises were designed as an architectural entity in stone by Sir Robert Smirke (fn. n2) in 1824–27. The principal front of the College is in Pall Mall East and comprises a hexastyle portico of Ionic columns, Smirke's favourite order, which support a pediment (Plate 80b). The return front of the block facing the Square is divided by pilasters, with the central portion containing a series of three-quarter columns in a recessed bay. The whole is surmounted by a balustraded parapet. The elevation to Cockspur Street is on similar lines and originally had a large central bow window. Alterations affecting the south and west fronts of the Club were carried out when the premises were acquired for offices by the Canadian Government.

Statue of George III

The bronze equestrian statue of George III, which stands at the junction of Pall Mall East with the Haymarket and Cockspur Street, was executed by Matthew Coates Wyatt and erected in 1836. The statue represents the king in military uniform, on his favourite charger, and with his cocked hat lowered in his right hand. The horse is represented as somewhat spirited, his right foreleg being raised, his mouth open and his full flowing tail slightly distended. The pedestal is of Portland stone and has a moulded plinth and cornice, with each of the sides consisting of a plain rectangular face, with rounded surfaces to the ends. On the northern face is inscribed "King George III" (Plate 79).

Footnotes

  • n1. For the earlier history of the site, see p. 89.
  • n2. Professor Richardson states that Smirke was a monumentalist in the fullest sense of the word at a time when other men were trifling with Gothic architecture. Important works by Smirke were the British Museum, the General Post Office, St. Martin's-le-Grand (now demolished), and Covent Garden Theatre.