Admiralty House forms part of the ‘Admiralty’ complex, and stands on the northern edge of Horse Guards Parade.
The building that we see today is 18th-century, but its origins date back another 200 years. The site has been used by the Navy since at least the beginning of the 17th-century when George Villiers, the first Duke of Buckingham and Lord High Admiral of England, sited his Wallingford House on the spot.
In 1694 his building was damaged by fire and rebuilt by Christopher Wren. It provided accommodation for the First Sea Lord and most of his principal officers, but its lack of meeting space led to its demolition in 1722.
Thomas Ripley was then brought in to design the structure that we see today, with further work by Robert Adam in 1759. Admiralty House proper – the living quarters for the First Lord of the Admiralty – were added in 1786 (a post which has been held by Arthur Balfour and Winston Churchill, amongst others).
In 1964 the Board of Admiralty was merged with the Air Ministry and War Office to form the all-encompassing Ministry of Defence, which occupies a far larger premises on the river-side of Whitehall.