Southwick House

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Southwick House
Southwick House showing the colonnade
General information
Architectural styleGeorgian style
Town or cityHampshire
Coordinates50°52′29″N 1°06′07″W / 50.8748°N 1.1019°W / 50.8748; -1.1019
Technical details
Floor count3

Southwick House is a Grade II listed 19th-century manor house of the Southwick Estate in Hampshire, England, about 5 miles (8 km) north of Portsmouth. It is home to the Defence School of Policing and Guarding, and related military police capabilities.

Early history[edit]

The house was built in 1800 in the late Georgian style, to replace Southwick Park house. The three-storey house is distinct for its two-storey foyer lit from a cupola, and a series of elliptical rooms. A hemi-circular portico is centered on the house's colonnade of paired Ionic columns.

World War II[edit]

The house became important during World War II. In 1940 the estate owners allowed the Royal Navy to use the house to accommodate overnight pupils of the Royal Navy School of Navigation, HMS Dryad, which was based in Portsmouth Naval Dockyard. In 1941, after heavy bombing of the dockyard, the house was requisitioned and became the new home of HMS Dryad. In 1943, with the planning for D-Day already underway, the house was chosen to be the location of the advance command post of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force. Because of this, HMS Dryad was moved out of the house onto further land requisitioned from the estate. In 1944, in the months leading up to D-Day, the house became the headquarters of the main allied commanders, including Allied Supreme Commander General Eisenhower, Naval Commander-in-Chief Admiral Ramsay and Army Commander-in-Chief General Montgomery.[1]

The large wall maps that were used in planning D-Day are still in place in the house, with the various markers showing the positions of the involved forces at the moment the first landing commenced.[2]

Current use[edit]

After the war HMS Dryad remained on site, with the house becoming the wardroom. In 2004 the functions of HMS Dryad were transferred to HMS Collingwood in Fareham and the site reverted to its original name of Southwick Park.[3]

Since 2005 it has been home to the tri-Service Defence School of Policing and Guarding (formerly the Defence College of Policing and Guarding), later joined by the Service Police Crime Bureau, the Royal Military Police Museum and the regimental headquarters of the Special Operations Regiment, Royal Military Police.

In November 2016 the Ministry of Defence announced that the site would close in 2025.[4]


In 1987, the house was recorded as Grade II listed on the National Heritage List for England.[5] The following year, the detached clock tower – a three-stage Italianate structure with a slate roof – was also Grade II listed.[6]


  1. ^ Beevor, p.1
  2. ^ "Wall Map". Retrieved 9 July 2016.
  3. ^ "Maritime Warfare School". Royal Navy. Retrieved 9 July 2016.
  4. ^ "A Better Defence Estate" (PDF). Ministry of Defence. November 2016. p. 23. Retrieved 8 November 2016.
  5. ^ Historic England. "HMS Dryad (Southwick House) (1096247)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  6. ^ Historic England. "Clock Tower at HMS Dryad (Southwick House) (1096185)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 24 January 2019.


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 50°52′29″N 1°6′5″W / 50.87472°N 1.10139°W / 50.87472; -1.10139