Duke of York's Headquarters

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Duke of York's Headquarters
Chelsea, London
The Duke of York's Headquarters in December 2009
Duke of York's Headquarters is located in Greater London
Duke of York's Headquarters
Duke of York's Headquarters
Location within London
Coordinates 51°29′26″N 0°09′32″W / 51.4906°N 0.1589°W / 51.4906; -0.1589Coordinates: 51°29′26″N 0°09′32″W / 51.4906°N 0.1589°W / 51.4906; -0.1589
Type Drill Hall
Site history
Built 1801
Built for War Office
Architect John Sanders
In use 1801-Present

The Duke of York's Headquarters is a building in Chelsea in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, England. In 1969 it was declared a listed building at Grade II*, due to its outstanding historic or architectural special interest.[1]


The building was completed in 1801 to the designs of John Sanders, who also designed the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.[1] It was originally called the Royal Military Asylum and was a school for the children of soldiers' widows.[2] In 1892 it was renamed the Duke of York's Royal Military School. In 1909, the school moved to new premises in Dover, and the Asylum building was taken over by the Territorial Army and renamed the Duke of York's Barracks in 1911.[3] During the First World War it was the headquarters of the 18th (County of London) Battalion, London Regiment (London Irish Rifles)[4] and of the Middlesex Yeomanry.[5]

During the Second World War, the courts martial of German spies, Josef Jakobs and Theodore Schurch, (both tried under the Treachery Act 1940) were both conducted in the building.[3]

In 1980 the building was extensively restored and renovated, with the £1.5 million programme being carried out by Donald Insall Associates. At that time the building served as the Headquarters for the Territorial Army in Greater London, and as the home of Territorial units 144 Parachute Field Ambulance RAMC(V), 257 (Southern) General Hospital RAMC, 21 Special Air Service Regiment (Artists), and companies of the TA Parachute Regiment and the London Irish Rifles. In addition, it served as the headquarters of the Royal Corps of Signals and First Aid Nursing Yeomanry, and as the home of the Coldstream Guards Band, and a Light Aid Detachment of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. It also housed the offices of the RAF Escaping Society, the Army Historical Association, the Army Benevolent Fund, and the Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen's Families Association.[6]

The site was sold to Cadogan Estates by the Ministry of Defence, with initial proceeds of £66 million received in 2000 and a further £28 million when the site was vacated in 2003.[7] Cadogan has redeveloped the site with Paul Davis and Partners as Duke of York Square.[8] The development includes a public square, upmarket housing and retail outlets, and part of it has been let as new premises for the Saatchi Gallery, which relocated there in 2008. The Garden House School, an independent school for pupils between the ages of three to eleven, occupies the Cavalry House,[9] part of the Duke of York's Headquarters on Turks Row,[10] which became a Grade II Listed Building in July 1998.[11]


  1. ^ a b "Duke of York's Headquarters (Territorial Army), Kensington and Chelsea". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 12 January 2017. 
  2. ^ Cherry, Bridget; Pevsner, Nikolaus (1991). London 3: North West. London: Penguin Books. p. 565. ISBN 0-14-071048-5. 
  3. ^ a b "Court Martial of Josef Jakobs held at Duke of York Headquarters, Chelsea". josefjakobs.info. 14 March 2014. Retrieved 12 January 2017. 
  4. ^ "The London Regiment". The Long, Long Trail. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  5. ^ 1st County of London Yeomanry (Middlesex, Duke of Cambridge's Hussars) at regiments.org by T.F.Mills at the Wayback Machine (archived 15 July 2007)
  6. ^ Long, Christopher (1980). "Like Lifting The Lid Off a Beehive". christopherlong.co.uk. Retrieved 12 January 2017. 
  7. ^ "Marching To A New Future - Duke of York's Headquarters" (PDF). Defence Estates. 2000. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 June 2007. 
  8. ^ "Duke of York Square: Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea". Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment. Archived from the original on 25 November 2010. 
  9. ^ "Garden House School - planning application" (PDF). Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. 10 June 2004. 
  10. ^ "Garden House School". Building Images.co.uk. 
  11. ^ "Cavalry House, Duke of York's Headquarters, Kensington and Chelsea". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 12 January 2017.