The design and response of ground source heat pumps coupled to vertical closed loop arrays in UK domestic applications are investigated in this article. Two typical UK house types are selected as the vehicle for the study and a detailed dynamic thermal modelling method is used to arrive at time-series heating demands for the two houses. A new empirical heat pump model is derived using experimental data taking into account the deteriorating performance of the heat pump during periods of light load. The heat pump model is incorporated into an existing numerical ground model and completed with a classical effectiveness type heat exchange model of the closed loop array. The model is used to analyse array sizing and performance over an extended time period, as well as sensitivity of the design to soil conductivity and borehole heat exchanger resistance and sensitivity to over-sizing and part-load behavior of the heat pump. Results show that the UK's standard for ground source design (the Microgeneration Certification Scheme) may lead to under-estimated array sizes and that heating system over-sizing and deleterious part-load heat pump performance can add up to 20\% to the electrical consumption of these systems.