When Whitehall Palace burned down in 1698 only the Banqueting House was left standing. The Court moved to St James’s Palace and eventually the land was cleared. It was divided up into large and small plots on which grand houses were built by the nobility for a residence. Some of the houses were very large while others were of more modest size.
One of the smaller houses still remains standing today. It derives its name from Lord Gwydyr. The elegant building was erected 1770-72 as a private house and stands on the east side of the street called Whitehall. The house, by chance, stands almost opposite Dover House which was originally another private house. Gwydyr House today is in use as the Welsh Office.
Being among all the much larger office buildings in Whitehall, it is unlikely that many people notice Gwydyr House as they pass by. Although it is an elegant building, most visitors are too preoccupied with looking at other attractions – like the nearby Banqueting House and Horse Guards.