Dover House was designed by James Paine for Sir Matthew Fetherstonhaugh, Bart., MP, in the 1750s and remodelled by Henry Flitcroft, as "Montagu House", for George Montagu, created 1st Duke of Montagu, who had removed from Bloomsbury. It was refurbished once again, by Henry Holland for HRH The Prince Frederick, Duke of York, from 1788 to 1792. The building belonged to the Melbourne family from 1793 to 1830.
It has also been home to a French ambassador and Lady Caroline, with whom the romantic poet Lord Byron famously had an affair. Its most notable feature is an entrance hall in the form of a rotunda inserted into the former forecourt by Holland, which is a unique entrance to a London mansion. The last private owners were the family of the Whig politician George James Welbore Agar-Ellis, created (1831) Baron Dover, whose title it has retained.
Although mostly used for the Scottish Office, this building was used by the Colonial Office from several years from 1941 onwards. It was still in use by the Colonial Office when Zionist terrorists planted a bomb there in April 1947.
When Scotland acquired a devolved parliament, the responsibilities of the Scottish Office were reduced and, in 1999, was renamed the Scotland Office with Dover House remaining as its chief London building. The Scotland Office also has a Scottish headquarters, on Melville Crescent in Edinburgh's New Town.
- Accommodation for Scottish Office, Glasgow Herald, 12 October 1946, page 4
- Terror Through Time, Part 6 – The Murderous Mandate, BBC Radio 4, 1:45 PM, 14 October 2013
- Contact ICAI
- Stourton, James (2012). Great Houses of London (HARDBACK). London: Frances Lincoln. ISBN 978-0-7112-3366-9.
Media related to Dover House at Wikimedia Commons