Victorian London - Organisations and Public Bodies - Government Departments etc - Admiralty

The Admiralty (which commences a range of buildings that, devoted to the public service, extend from Charing Cross to Downing Street) is a massive brick building of considerable extent, wherein are conducted the maritime affairs of the kingdom; it is under the superintendence of the Lords Commissioners, several of whom have houses here. On the roof is a Semaphore, for the more speedy communication of intelligence between London and the sea-ports.

Mogg's New Picture of London and Visitor's Guide to it Sights, 1844

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Admiralty.—The Admiralty, by which all the affairs of the navy are administered, is divided into two great departments—the naval and the civil. The naval department, which is in Whitehall, is subdivided into the following branches: The Secretary’s Department, the Contract and Purchase Department, the Department of the Controller of the Navy, the Naval Store Department, the Victualling Department, the Department of the Director of Transports with a special sub-division for India, the Hydrographic Department, the Coast Guard Compassionate Fund, the Coast Guard Life Insurance Fund, and the Commissioner for Property and Income-tax for the Naval Department. The office hours in these departments are 11 to 5. The hours in the Civil Department are from 10 to 4, and the branches of the department, with their addresses, are as follows: The Department of the Accountant-General of the Navy and Controller of Navy Pay , New-street, Spring-gardens; the Director - General of the Medical Department of the Navy, 9, New-street, Spring-gardens; the Department of the Director of Engineering and Architectural Works, 2 and 3, Spring-gardens-terrace ; and the Nautical Almanac Office 3, Verulam-buildings, Gray’s - Inn. The Royal Schools of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering form part of the Royal Naval College, Greenwich. The building itself was constructed about 1726 by Ripley, satirised by Pope in the Dunciad; the screen, with its characteristic ornaments, being designed by the brothers Adam, 1776. The remains of Lord Nelson lay in state here. Adjoining the Admiralty is a house for the first lord, and formerly junior lords had residences in the northern wing. There is here a portrait of Lord Nelson, painted at Palermo in 1799 by Guzzardi wearing the sultan’s diamond  plume, and in the secretary’s house are portraits of the persons who have filled that office. The Admiralty has direct telegraphic communication with Portsmouth and the other royal naval yards. NEAREST Railway Stations, Charing.cross (Dist. & S.E.); Omnibus Routes, Strand and Whitehall; Cab Rank, Horse Guards.

Charles Dickens (Jr.), Dickens's Dictionary of London, 1879

Victorian London - Publications - History - The Queen's London : a Pictorial and Descriptive Record of the Streets, Buildings, Parks and Scenery of the Great Metropolis, 1896 - The Admiralty

Admiralty - photograph


The Admiralty, between Trafalgar Square and the Horse Guards, was once known as Wallingford House, and its present front was built about 1726 by Thomas Ripley, to whom contemptuous reference is made in the "Dunciad;" while fifty years later the stone screen, with its appropriate marine emblems, by Robert Adam, was added. Viewed from the outside, the building, which, it will be noticed, stands back from the road, is not particularly impressive, but its interior is well arranged, though inadequate for present needs; and large new offices have been built in the rear, facing St. James's Park. It was at the Admiralty that Lord Nelson's body lay in state before being interred in St. Paul's Cathedral.