Tufton Street

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Tufton Street
55 Tufton Street.jpeg
55 Tufton Street
Tufton Street is located in City of Westminster
Tufton Street
Former name(s)Bowling Alley (northern part, until 1870)
NamesakeRichard Tufton
Length340 m (1,120 ft)
LocationLondon, United Kingdom
Postal codeSW1
Nearest metro stationLondon Underground St. James' Park
Coordinates51°29′47″N 0°07′42″W / 51.4963°N 0.1284°W / 51.4963; -0.1284Coordinates: 51°29′47″N 0°07′42″W / 51.4963°N 0.1284°W / 51.4963; -0.1284
NorthGreat College Street
SouthHorseferry Road
Known for55 Tufton Street
57 Tufton Street
City of Westminster Magistrates' Court
Westminster School of Art
Tufton Street drill hall

Tufton Street is a road in Westminster, London, located just outside of the Westminster Abbey precinct.[1] Built by its namesake Sir Richard Tufton during the 17th century, today it hosts a number of right-leaning lobby groups and thinktanks. As a result, the street name is most often used as a metonym for these groups.[2][3][4]


Tufton Street, the northern part of which was known as Bowling Alley until 1870,[5] was built by Sir Richard Tufton (1585–1631), an English lawyer and politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1614 and 1629.[6][7]

Composer Henry Purcell lived on or near the street (in addresses then known as St Anne's Lane from 1682 and Bowling Alley East from 1684 until 1692).[8] Colonel Blood, best known for his attempt to steal the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London, lived in Tufton Street.[9] One of London's notorious cock-fighting pits was located here until as late as 1815.[10]

No 7 Tufton Street is Faith House, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens as the Church Institute for St John's, Smith Square and built in 1905-07. The building has been described as a version of an Italianate palazzo, reinterpreted in a Georgian style. It was taken over by the Society of the Faith in 1935.[11] The vaulted, central room has occasionally been used as a concert space since the 1930s.[12]

At No 11 is the church outfitters J Wippell & Co, a business which dates back to 1834. The shop dates from 1929. The Church House, the home of the headquarters of the Church of England, occupies the south side of Dean's Yard and bordered by Great Smith Street, Little Smith Street and the north end of Tufton Street.

The old Royal Architectural Museum and associated Westminster School of Art was located at No 18 from 1869 until 1904. The building was sold to the National Library for the Blind, but was demolished and consequently rebuilt in 1935.[13] The Library remained in Tufton Street until 1978 before moving to Stockport.

No 24 Tufton Street is Mary Sumner house, named after the founder of the Mothers' Union, a worldwide Anglican women's organisation. The building, which opened in 1925, was designed by the Scottish architect Claude Ferrier. Next to it to the south is the back of a large red brick church (fronting onto Marsham Street) designed by Sir Herbert Baker and A. T. Scott in 1928 for Christian Scientists. In the 1990s it became the Emmanuel Centre (a conference centre) and the Emmanuel Evangelical Church. Also backing onto Tufton Street is Romney House (47 Marsham Street), built in the 1930s by the Austro British architect Michael Rosenauer.

The Tufton Street drill hall is a former military installation, designed as the headquarters of the 23rd Middlesex Rifle Volunteer Corps and completed in 1899.[14]

Eleanor Rathbone, independent member of parliament and pioneer of family allowance and women's rights, lived at Tufton Court (No 47) between 1940 and 1945.[15]

The English war poet and novelist Siegfried Sassoon lived at No 54 from 1919-1925 (original house now demolished).[16] The film maker Sir Michael Balcon lived at 57a Tufton Street between 1927 and 1939.[17]

67 Tufton Street, originally a Post Office, was subsequently occupied by the Cabinet Office. It is now an apartment complex.[18]

Today, the street is best known as a centre for Brexit-related eurosceptic and right-wing aligned think-tanks. These groups are primarily based in 55, but also in 57, Tufton Street.

55 Tufton Street[edit]

55 Tufton Street is a four storey Georgian era townhouse on Tufton Street, in Westminster, London, owned by businessman Richard Smith.[19] Since the 2010s the building has hosted a network of libertarian lobby groups and think tanks related to pro-Brexit, climate science denial and other fossil fuel lobby groups.[20] A group of these think tanks, dubbed "The Nine Entities",[21] use the building for biweekly meetings to coordinate policy and public messages.[22][19]

The nine lobby groups—the TaxPayers’ Alliance, the office of Peter Whittle (the former deputy leader of UKIP), Civitas, the Adam Smith Institute, Leave Means Leave, the Global Warming Policy Foundation (UK‘s principal climate science denial group), Brexit Central, the Centre for Policy Studies and the Institute for Economic Affairs—were accused by former Vote Leave employee Shahmir Sanni of using the meetings to "agree on a single set of right-wing talking points" and "securing more exposure to the public".[23]

Think tanks[edit]

57 Tufton Street[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Westminster-Abbey.org
  2. ^ Times <info@bylinetimes.com> (https://bylinetimes.com/), Byline (4 October 2022). "The Tentacles of Tufton Street: Think Tank Alumni Handed Top Government Roles". Byline Times. Retrieved 6 October 2022. {{cite web}}: External link in |last= (help)
  3. ^ Cliffe, Jeremy (28 September 2022). "Liz Truss and the rise of the libertarian right". New Statesman. Retrieved 6 October 2022.
  4. ^ Times <info@bylinetimes.com> (https://bylinetimes.com/), Byline (27 September 2022). "The Tufton Street Elite Takes Back Control of the Brexit Project". Byline Times. Retrieved 6 October 2022. {{cite web}}: External link in |last= (help)
  5. ^ John Rocque's map of 1746
  6. ^ British History Online
  7. ^ Fairfield, Sheila. The Streets Of London: A Dictionary Of The Names And Their Origins (1983)
  8. ^ Zimmerman, Franklin. Henry Purcell 1659–1695 His Life and Times (1967), p 34
  9. ^ Abbott, W.C. Colonel Thomas Blood, Crown-stealer 1618-1680 (1910)
  10. ^ Besant, Walter. The Fascination of London: Westminster (1902)
  11. ^ The Society of the Faith website
  12. ^ MusicWeb International, 10 May 2021
  13. ^ "Royal Architectural Museum". The Salviati Architectural Mosaic Database. Retrieved 15 November 2017.
  14. ^ Osborne, Mike (2012). Defending London: A Military History from Conquest to Cold War. History Press. ISBN 978-0752479316.
  15. ^ English Heritage
  16. ^ Waymarking.com
  17. ^ Commons Wikimedia
  18. ^ Hansard, 18 October 2006
  19. ^ a b Bawden, Tom (10 February 2016). "The address where Eurosceptics and climate change sceptics rub shoulders". The Independent. Archived from the original on 11 February 2016. Retrieved 2 September 2020.
  20. ^ "55 Tufton Street". DeSmog UK. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  21. ^ Brexit Scam: We Need to Talk About Tufton Street, 4 September 2018
  22. ^ "Revealed: how the UK's powerful right-wing think tanks and Conservative MPs work together". openDemocracy. 31 July 2018. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  23. ^ Farand, Chloe (23 June 2018). "Mapped: Whistleblower Accuses Nine Organisations of Colluding over Hard Brexit". DeSmog UK. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  24. ^ "Business For Britain - Political Party in Westminster SW1P 3QL - 192.com". www.192.com. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  25. ^ "BUSINESS FOR BRITAIN LIMITED – Filing history (free information from Companies House)". beta.companieshouse.gov.uk. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  26. ^ "IFT LTD – Filing history". Companies House. Retrieved 10 June 2019.

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