HC Deb 01 March 1875 vol 222 c996

asked the First Commissioner of Works, Whether the site for the enlargement of the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square has been acquired by the Government; and, if so, how long this site has been at the disposal of the Government, and what has been the total cost of its purchase?


Sir, from the terms of my hon. Friend's Question, I hardly know what is the precise information he seeks for. I had, therefore, better tell my hon. Friend all that has occurred in regard to the site for the enlargement of the National Gallery. Mr. Barry was appointed architect of the National Gallery in 1868, and in 1869 he proposed plans for its rebuilding in sections. Between 1869 and 1873 a piece of ground containing 53,000 square yards was purchased, and, of this, 11,500 square yards were to be given up to the improvement of the approaches, and the remainder allotted to the two first sections of Mr. Barry's plan. The first, which occupies 25,000 square yards, is now completed, and the second, which occupies the remaining 17,000, is ready for the Government or Mr. Barry to work upon at any future period. With regard to the two remaining sections, they comprise the space now occupied by the barracks and the front facade of the Gallery in Trafalgar Square. Whether the barrack square is to be given up to the purpose designated in the Question will depend not so much upon the First Commissioner of Works as upon the Secretary of State for War.


said, he would remind the noble Lord that he had not answered about the cost.


said, he must apologize to his hon. Friend, but he fancied he was too æsthetic in his tastes to care much about the question of cost. [Mr. BERESFORD HOPE: Very much, indeed.] In that case, he would tell him that the cost of acquiring the area for the first and second section amounted to £140,861.