Tourist Attractions Travel

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

On Tuesday you saw me visit Westminster Palace during Open House London, and today I’ll show you the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (also called the Foreign Office) from the same trip. (You can see the Open House even page for more information.) The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is a Grade I listed Victorian building. It was built in 1860 and housed the former India Offices.

The building fell into huge disrepair and was slated for destruction in the 1960s. It was only saved due to the fact that it became a listed building. The building is in the Italianate style. The original architect George Gilbert Scott wanted a Gothic design, but Lord Palmerston (then Prime Minister) insisted on a more classical style.

Interestingly, the glass ceiling in the main hall of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is one of the closest approximations to what the Crystal Palace would have looked like before it burned down.

ceilingbalconydetailingchandaliermore balconymain lobby female diplomats
Trousers: Gap. Cardigan: Gap. Brogues: Joules (similar). Bag: Coach. Shirt: Joy.

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meeting tablefresco staircase`

Interesting fact: the after party for the first Twilight film was held here! Have you ever toured the Foreign and Commonwealth Office?

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