The Office of Works was established in the Englishroyal household in 1378 to oversee the building and maintenance of the royal castles and residences. In 1832 it became the Works Department forces within the Office of Woods, Forests, Land Revenues, Works and Buildings. It was reconstituted as a government department in 1851 and became part of the Ministry of Works in 1940.
The organisation of the office varied; senior posts included Surveyor of the King's Works (1578–1782) and Comptroller of the King's Works (1423–1782). In 1782 these offices were merged into Surveyor-General and Comptroller. From 1761 there were named Architects. The office also had posts of Secretary, Master Mason and Master Carpenter.