Smith Square

Smith Square
Smith Square Westminster.jpg
Early Georgian north side of the square with top of Victoria Tower of the Palace of Westminster beyond
Smith Square is located in City of Westminster
Smith Square
Smith Square (City of Westminster)
(local authority since 1965)
Type Garden square with concert hall dominating space
Length 275 ft (84 m)
Width 240 feet (73 m)
Area Westminster
Location London
Postal code W1
Nearest metro station Westminster tube station
Construction start c. 1726
Status west end of the north side:
large building:
Grade I listed

Smith Square is a square in Westminster, London, 250 metres south-southwest of the Palace of Westminster. Most of its garden interior is filled by St John's, Smith Square, a Baroque surplus church, which has inside converted to a concert hall. Most adjoining buildings (thus sharing its address) are offices, with the focus on organisations lobbying or serving the government. In the mid-20th century, the square hosted the headquarters of the two largest parties of British politics, and it is now hosts much of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Local Government Association. It has a pedestrian or mixed approach to the four sides and another approach to the north.


The square was named after the Smith family, on whose land it was developed in the early eighteenth century. Its building up was arranged by Sir James Smith around 1726. №s 1 to 9, forming the north side, survive from this phase.[1]


Green plaque on the Lord North Street side of № 5

Sir John Smith, who was Conservative M.P. for Cities of London and Westminster from 1965 to 1970, lived at № 1. The campaigning journalist William Thomas Stead lived at № 5 from 1904 until his death on board the Titanic in 1912. Another famous resident was Rab Butler, the Conservative Deputy Prime Minister.

№ 17 - Nobel House - cross-corner block built in 1928, for newly-formed Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI). ICI leased it to the government in 1987, and it is currently headquarters for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Sharing the western part of the south side is Transport House which from 1928 to 1980 head-quartered the Labour Party then the TGWU until the 1990s. It is now the headquarters of the Local Government Association and is known as Local Government House.

№s 32-34 served as Conservative Central Office, the Conservative Party's headquarters between 1958 and 2003.[2] It stood empty until 2007 when it was sold for £30.5m to Harcourt Developments who planned to redevelop it as flats before the 2008 cr crunch hit.[3] It is now "Europe House".

See also[]


  1. ^ "Westminster World Heritage Site Management Plan (Appendix)" (PDF). Greater London Authority. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 November 2006.
  2. ^ Hencke, David (9 February 2007). "Conservative Party Sell Smith Square Headquarters". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
  3. ^ Hope, Christopher; Isaby, Jonathan (9 February 2007). "Final curtain on Smith Square – sold for £30m".

External links[]

Coordinates: 51°29′46″N 0°7′37″W / 51.49611°N 0.12694°W / 51.49611; -0.12694