The National Gallery, just like its collection, has been created gradually.

Designed by William Wilkins in 1831 the National Gallery building includes many interesting features, such as the columns in the main portico which were reused from Carlton House and the small domed turrets popularly known as pepper castors which break the skyline.

Initially the gallery occupied only the west end of the Wilkins plan, and the east housed the Royal Academy. When the Royal Academy moved to new premises in Burlington House in 1868 Sir Charles Barry�s son Edward Middelton Barry designed the new rooms. Barry�s scheme was only partly created with the addition of seven new rooms.

The collections quickly outgrew the building and in 1884 the present main staircase and five more rooms were built, designed by Sir John Taylor. The fight for space continued and more new galleries were added in 1911, 1964 and 1975. The Sainsbury Wing extension is the most recent addition to the gallery. It was completed in 1991, to the designs of Venturi Scott Brown and Associates.

Contemporary photographs by Jeremy Young
Design for National Gallery by E M Barry
Westminster City Archive
Public Record Office
Detail of Turret
Public Record Office
Guildhall Library, Corporation of London
National Gallery Archive
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