See the table on page 254.
This cul-de-sac was built on the site of Cockpit Court, which Strype described in 1720 as 'a
small Place, and of no Account, either for
Inhabitants or Buildings; which Buildings are
but of one Side.' Richmond Buildings was
begun in 1732, the date inscribed on tablets on
the return faces of No. 80 Dean Street (fig. 67)
and of No. 80B Dean Street. (fn. a) The houses were
first assessed for rates in 1734–5 (Plate 117a,
The builder, Thomas Richmond, was a
carpenter, although in his will he calls himself
(as he is called in a number of leases) citizen and wax
chandler. (ref. 247) If his concern in that trade was ever
more than nominal it probably ceased at an early
date, as he figures actively in important building
undertakings inside and outside the parish.
In 1716–18, when he was described as of St.
Giles in the Fields, he was concerned in building
on the Pulteney estate in Soho (see page 290).
In 1720–3 he worked at sites in St. James's,
where he was then living. (ref. 248) In the later 1720's
he took building sites in Grosvenor Square (see
page 222) and elsewhere in St. George's, Hanover Square (probably including Maddox
Street). (ref. 249) By 1726 he lived in St. Anne's, (ref. 250)
being churchwarden in 1727–8. (ref. 251) On the Pitt
estate he evidently played an important role (see
pages 209, 221, 228), and he also took building
leases elsewhere in the parish. He died in 1739.
There is nothing in his will to suggest that he left
a very extensive estate. (ref. 247) <But his death notice in the London Evening Post describes him as 'a very considerable Builder'.> A son Thomas was
probably a plumber. (ref. 252)
Richmond Buildings, name tablet
In its early years Richmond Buildings was
respectably inhabited, although in 1756 a note
by the rate collector in the parish books, opposite
the entry for the former No. 9, reads: 'Mr
Makepeace speaks very abruptly concerning poor
Wm lying at ye dore'. By 1833 most of the
houses on the north side and two on the south
had workshops in the garret storey. (ref. 27)
For the first occupants see the table on page 254.
Later occupants included:
No. 2. The Rev. John Horne Tooke, politician.
According to Tooke's biographer, he 'hired and furnished' a house in Richmond Buildings in c. 1780 and
remained there, with his two illegitimate daughters,
until his removal to Wimbledon in 1792. (ref. 253) Tooke
occurs in the ratebooks, however, only in the period
1788–95, at No. 2. The preceding ratepayer was
Catherine Baker and the succeeding Charles Pritchard.
In c. 1804–19 George Samuel, probably the landscape painter, lived here. (ref. 254)
No. 3. Abraham Pether, landscape painter, 1790–
1791. (ref. 204)
No. 10 (demolished). Daniel Layard, physician,
No. 11 (demolished). John Stanley, ? musician,
No. 13 (demolished). James Forbes, sixteenth
Lord Forbes, 1747; Miss Lightfoot, 1779–99.
The south side of Richmond Buildings has been
rebuilt, but the houses there were probably similar
in all respects to the single-fronted houses (Nos.
1–6 consec.) of medium size and conventional
plan forming a generally uniform terrace on the
north side (Plate 117a, fig. 68). Each house
contains a basement and three storeys within the
front, and a garret in the mansard roof. The plans
are mirrored so that the doorways of Nos. 2 and 3,
and 4 and 5 are paired. The fronts, each three
windows wide, are faced with yellow stock bricks,
the window-openings having stone sills, plastered
reveals, and flat arches of gauged red brick. There
is a raised bandcourse at ground-floor level and a
moulded cornice of stone or stuccoed brick extends
across all the fronts immediately above the flat
arches of the first-floor windows. The face of the
top storey is carried up to form a plain parapet,
finished with a narrow coping of stone. Each
house has a different arrangement of dormer
windows, but No. 4 appears to be original with
three sashed lights centred over the windows in
the front elevation. The doorways vary in
treatment from house to house, No. 1 having a
door of eight raised-and-fielded panels recessed in
a wooden doorcase consisting of a wide moulded
architrave flanked by narrow recessed jambs,
with moulded scroll-consoles supporting a cornice-hood. The doorcase at No. 2 is similar but
the opening is taller, with a fanlight above the
eight-panelled door, and the hood is now unmoulded. The doorway at No. 3 is taller still,
and the casing consists of a moulded architrave,
plain narrow frieze, and cornice. The other
houses have altered or modern doorcases of no
interest. At positions corresponding to the alternate party walls with chimney-stacks there
are handsome rainwater-heads of semi-circular
plan and entablature profile. The area-railings,
where original, are of simple obelisk-headed type,
the standards having finials like tall-necked urns.
Nos. 1–6 (consec.) Richmond Buildings, elevation
The interiors are planned on conventional
lines, with a passage-hall leading past the front
room to a dog-legged staircase at the side of the
back room. This last has an angle chimneybreast, and a door opening to a closet-wing. The
general standard of internal finish is good, all the
rooms being panelled in deal. Throughout the
ground and first floors the panelling is raised-and-fielded, in ovolo-moulded framing, the front
rooms and hall being finished with a dentilled
box-cornice. The doors, generally, are six-panelled and framed in wide moulded architraves.
In some of the houses fluted Doric pilasters dress
the opening from the passage to the stair compartment. Up to the half-landing above the first
floor, the staircases have cut strings ornamented
with carved bracket step-ends, the newels are
formed as Doric plain-shafted columns, and the
balusters, two to a tread, are turned as Doric
colonnettes above square neckings and urn bases.
The top and basement flights have closed moulded
strings and simpler balusters.