Survey of London: Volume 40, the Grosvenor Estate in Mayfair, Part 2 (The Buildings). Originally published by London County Council, London, 1980.
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No. 43 was built for Benjamin Hoadly, Bishop of Salisbury and later of Winchester, under a direct lease from Sir Richard Grosvenor in 1726. (fn. 1) It is a large and imposing house, four windows wide and of four main storeys, as befitting Hoadly's position as one of the leading Whig churchmen of his day (Plates 10d, 11c: see also fig. 3f in vol. XXXIX). The builder was probably Robert Phillips, bricklayer, for a Robert Phillips witnessed the lease, and Phillips is known to have built No. 48 Upper Grosvenor Street, which has certain stylistic similarities, directly for the first lessee.
Above a ground storey of channelled stucco with an Ionic portico, No. 43 is brick faced and has retained much of its Georgian character with segmental-headed windows typical of the 1720's, although now, with the exception of those on the second floor, fitted with Victorian sashes. The brickwork is a uniform browny red colour, but this is the result of later treatment, for early photographs and drawings (Plates 10b, 33a) show that two-tone brickwork was used in a similar manner to No. 48 Upper Grosvenor Street.
The particularly elegant porch was added by 1796 and was enclosed in 1909. (fn. 2) The stucco on the ground storey is a Victorian addition, perhaps dating from 1858 when nearly £5,000 were spent on repairs and alterations, probably by the builder John Newson, (fn. 3) and the back elevation, which has been virtually rebuilt, may also date largely from this time. In 1909 William Flockhart increased the height of the fourth storey, and of its front windows (which had previously had segmental-headed panels sunk in the parapet above them), and added a garret storey in the roof. The builders were William Cubitt and Company. (fn. 4)
Internally the house has been little altered on plan (fig. 3f in vol. XXXIX) but much changed in appearance. The main staircase, which was at the front of the house, was removed in 1949, (fn. 5) but an octagonal plaster centrepiece on the ceiling and a cartouche on a wall remain of the decorations of what must once have been a fine doublestorey staircase compartment. Elsewhere on the ground floor some eighteenth-century features remain, and an Adamesque ceiling in a back room may date from that period. On the first floor there is a large double drawingroom with rococo decorations and Ionic columns in the central opening. This work may date from 1894 when the architect F. T. Verity was given permission by the Estate Board to form openings between rooms on this floor, (fn. 6) but in 1909 White Allom and Company put in some new fireplaces and may also have been responsible for other decorative work. (fn. 7) There are two marble fireplaces of a mid-Georgian type on this floor.
Occupants include: Benjamin Hoadly, Bishop of Salisbury and latterly of Winchester, 1726–45. Charles Compton, son of 4th Earl of Northampton, 1746–55. Nicholas Fazakerley, lawyer and politician, 1757–67. Sir Joseph Mawbey, 1st bt., politician and distiller, 1772–84. 10th Earl of Westmorland, 1784–8. (Sir) John Coxe Hippisley, later 1st bt., politician (later at No. 17), 1788–94. 16th Baron Saye and Sele, 1850–8. Lieut.-col. Augustus Meyrick, cousin and heir of Sir Samuel Rush Meyrick, antiquary, 1859–66. Baron Connemara (previously at No. 68), 1896–1902.
No. 46 (Plates 10a, 10b, 12, fig. 18: see also Plate 42a, fig. 25 in vol. XXXIX). This impressive twentieth-century palazzo owes its outward appearance to a transformation wrought by Detmar Blow and Fernand Billerey in 1910–11, but is otherwise the product of a complex building history. A large house with a fifty-six-foot frontage, it occupies a plot originally divided between three narrow houses. Two of these, later numbered 45 and 46, were built under leases of 1725 to William Benson, the proto-Palladian architect who succeeded Wren as Surveyor-General of the King's Works, and his brother Benjamin, the first occupants. (fn. 8) Next to nothing is known about the appearance of these houses for they were rebuilt as one in 1820–1 by William Dundas, a former Secretaryat-War, who had been living at No. 45 since 1814. (fn. 9) The new house was known as No. 45 until 1865 and thereafter as No. 46.
In 1899 this house was purchased by the very wealthy financier, (Sir) Edgar Speyer, whose banking house of Speyer Brothers helped to finance several of London's early tube railways, he himself being Chairman of the Underground Electric Railways Company of London from 1906 to 1915. (fn. 10) He immediately began to make alterations to the house under the direction of Arthur Blomfield the younger, who carried out a number of works between 1899 and 1905. (fn. 11) The full extent of these changes is uncertain but they included alterations to the windows and perhaps the erection of a new library in the back garden. By 1910 the house had three high storeys and garrets, the front was stuccoed, and there was a tall Doric portico which Blomfield had enclosed in 1901 (fn. 12) (Plate 10a). On the ground and first floors were asymmetrically placed tripartite window openings, also of Blomfield's designing. If the façade was unusual in appearance, however, the rear elevation was bizarre, with Venetian Gothic windows on some floors, conventional rectangular openings on others and at third-floor level a very strange feature of attached columns and a cornice forming an architectural frame around three arched window openings. (fn. 13) From the evidence of fittings which were incorporated in the present house the interior must have been equally exotic.
Speyer was born in New York and had a penchant for the ostentatious display of wealth which resembled that of American moguls of his day, so that when he decided in 1909 to add No. 44 to No. 46 and provide new front and rear elevations to cover the two houses, it was fitting that his architects should produce a scheme that was more akin to the American Beaux-Arts tradition than to English precedents. Blow and Billerey's first designs for multiwindowed façades with attached Corinthian columns (fn. 13) were, nevertheless, quite European in feeling, but there were many changes of intention before the final elevations were decided on—to the great annoyance of the Grosvenor Board, which discovered that Blow was embarking on changes without submitting new drawings. (fn. 14)
The Portland-stone front to Grosvenor Street is indeed monumental, with massive Florentine-style rustication on the ground floor and smooth ashlar facing above (Plate 10b). There are only three widely spaced windows to each floor and the mouldings are suave and rather mannered, especially around the first-floor windows where the brackets to the pediments are quite plain and the architraves consist of little more than raised bands of stone. The rear elevation is more animated, with five windows to each floor and a rectangular projection in the centre up to cornice level (Plate 12b). On the first floor the centre and outside windows are fully aediculated with Corinthian columns, entablatures and pediments, in sharp contrast to the treatment of the windows of this floor on the front elevation.
The regularity expressed in the exterior is, however, no more than skin deep, for the interior is decorated in a mélange of styles combining genuine features salvaged from European buildings and the products of some of the best craftsmen of the day, many of these also brought over from the Continent. The peculiarities of plan are to some extent explained by the Grosvenor Board's requirement, when Speyer took over No. 44, that the two houses should be capable of being separated again if necessary. (fn. 15) In the event it is difficult to see how this could have been done with facility, and Edmund Wimperis, the estate surveyor, had misgivings, but nevertheless thought that even if reconversion proved impossible, 'it is a fine scheme and elevation and should not be wrecked on this account'. (fn. 16)
The stipulation helps to explain, however, why there are staircases on each side of the large entrance hall which takes up the whole width of the house (Plate 12d). The eastern staircase is in the Gothic style with intricately carved woodwork and was retained from the old house, where it may well have been one of Speyer's genuine imports, although some of the surrounding panelling must have been made to match (Plate 12a: see also Plate 42a in vol. XXXIX). The western staircase, which rises only to firstfloor level, was designed by Billerey on the model of the Scala dei Giganti of the Doge's Palace in Venice, and the decorations carved in stone on the Venetian staircase are here beautifully reproduced in oak (Plate 12d). Two arcades with free-standing piers divide the hallway into three compartments, the one on the east having Gothic detail to match the staircase and the others Renaissance detail in carved and painted woodwork, also largely adapted from the decorations of the Doge's Palace (Plate 12c, 12d). It is likely that the firm of L. Buscaylet of Paris was responsible for the meticulous execution of Billerey's scheme. (fn. 17) The remainder of the ground floor is taken up by a large dining-room, predominantly decorated with panelling of Billerey's creation but also containing a huge carved stone mediaeval fireplace, and by a small elliptical room panelled in a late seventeenth-century manner.
On the first floor an 'Italian room', as it was called in 1912, occupies the space between the landings of the two staircases. Here old wooden panels inlaid with arabesques of birds and plants were fitted into a new framework. The room also has intricately carved wooden doors, a stone Renaissance fireplace with a very elaborate cast-iron back, and a quite magnificent ceiling, coloured and gilded, with painted wooden panels, which must have been reassembled from elsewhere. Large areas of blank wall space above the panelling were probably intended for tapestries. The large music room (Plate 12e) takes up the remainder of this floor, and here the rear elevation expresses the interior planning, for the two windows which have simple architraves light small lobbies in the angles between the elliptical curve of the music room and the sides of the projecting bay. One of these lobbies originally contained a spiral staircase leading to a musicians' gallery. The music room itself is panelled in oak with carved and gilded Louis XV decorations designed by Billerey. The ceiling is painted with allegorical figures in a sky within a trompe l'oeil framework and was probably executed by Maurice Tastemain, a life-long friend of Billerey, who collaborated with him elsewhere. (fn. 18) At the west end of the room was an organ with an ornate case which was designed by Billerey on the model of one in the chapel at Versailles and made by Carlhian-Beaumetz of Paris; (fn. 19) only the case now remains. Both Richard Strauss and Debussy performed their works at Speyer's house. (fn. 20)
Among the craftsmen who worked at No. 46 was George P. Bankart for decorative plasterwork and the firm of W. Bainbridge Reynolds for metalwork, including a highly elaborate wrought-iron entrance doorway (now removed: fig. 18) and a silver bath for Speyer. (fn. 21) The builders were William Cubitt and Company. (fn. 22)
Above the grand reception rooms, the approved plans show eleven bedrooms, a dressing-room, a boudoir, a secretary's room, day and night nurseries, three maids' rooms, a large sewing room and six bathrooms. Of the two levels of basement the lower was for wine and fruit. In the garden was a schoolroom, gymnasium and the (second) library. (fn. 13)
During the war of 1914–18 Speyer was suspected of being a German sympathiser and was forced to leave the country. His house was commandeered by the government, at which time his secretary said that he had spent a quarter of a million pounds on it. (fn. 23) After the war it was used as the American Women's Club and is now the Japanese Embassy.
Occupants include: No. 44, Lady Eleanour Conyngham, wid. of 1st Earl Conyngham, 1787–1816. 1st Baron Strafford of Harmondsworth, latterly Field Marshal 1st Earl of Strafford, 1846–60. Charles and Lady Elizabeth Clements, son and da. of 2nd Earl of Leitrim, 1861–77: Lady Elizabeth Clements, 1877–92. Nos. 45 and 46 were united in 1820–1, and until 1865 known as No. 45, when the house was renumbered 46. Occupants of the westerly house until 1821 (No. 45) and thereafter of the enlarged house include William Benson, Surveyor-General of the King's Works, 1726–52. 'Lord Charles Hayes', ?Lord Charles Hay, maj.-gen., son of 3rd Marquess of Tweeddale, 1758–60 (previously at No. 77). Dr. Thomas Hume, 1805–10. Mary Stuart-Wortley-Mackenzie, sister of future 1st Baron Wharncliffe, 1811–13, and with her husband, William Dundas, politician, 1813–45, and as Mrs. Dundas, 1850–2: her sister-inlaw, Dow. Lady Wharncliffe, wid. of 1st Baron, 1853–6. 3rd Baron Hotham, general, 1858–70. Sir Tatton Sykes, 5th bt., 1883, 1888–99. (Sir) Edgar Speyer, latterly bt., financier, philanthropist and patron of music, 1899–1917. Occupants of the easterly house (No. 46) prior to 1820–1 include Lady Irby, wid. of Sir Edward Irby, 1st bt., 1730–4: her son, Sir William Irby, 2nd bt., later 1st Baron Boston, 1734–45 (later at No. 50). Sir Thomas Robinson, 1st bt., architect, 1748. Sir Brook Bridges, 3rd bt., 1761–2.
Nos. 47 and 48
Nos. 47 and 48 are two houses which were largely rebuilt as one in 1938–9, when they were provided with a single symmetrical façade based on, and incorporating parts of, the existing façade of No. 48 (Plates 10b, 10c). The alterations were made for the dressmaking firm of Molyneux to the designs of the architect Gerald Lacoste. The builders were Yeomans and Partners. (fn. 24)
Of the original houses, No 47 had a narrow twenty-fourfoot frontage and was built for Colonel (later General) Charles Churchill under a building lease granted directly to him in 1726. (fn. 25) Churchill, who was the illegitimate son of General Charles Churchill, brother of the first Duke of Marlborough, was the lover of the actress Anne Oldfield, who lived nearby at No. 60 Grosvenor Street, and their son, also named Charles Churchill, inherited both houses. Photographs taken in c. 1910–11 (Plate 10a, 10b) show a fourstorey brick-faced house with sharply defined stone or stucco dressings and a balcony with crinoline-shaped iron railings at first-floor level. Two obelisks which flanked the entrance have been re-used in front of the new façade. In plan No. 47 was unusually deep, with a central open-well staircase and a fine square back room. (fn. 26) In 1847 the builder Thomas Grissell made alterations of an unknown extent here. (fn. 27)
No. 48 was a larger house of thirty-six-foot frontage with four windows to a floor and was built under a building lease of 1726 to Henry Huddle, carpenter. (fn. 28) Its conventional brick façade with segmental-headed windows and pilaster strips of channelled brickwork at the sides formed the model for the present elevation (Plate 10b). The fourth storey with plain brickwork to the pilasters was an addition of 1906, (fn. 29) and the tall, mansarded attic storey which was erected in 1935–6 was retained during rebuilding. (fn. 30)
When the new seven-bay elevation was completed in 1939 Lenygon and Morant applied tinting to some of the bricks to create the impression of carefully picked stocks (fn. 31) (Plate 10c), an effect which has now been spoilt by crude painting of the brickwork. The symmetry of the façade is emphasized by a large central stone doorcase with Corinthian pilasters and a swan-neck pediment, while the central windows of the first and second floors have elaborate stone architraves of an unmistakably neoGeorgian character.
The interior of No. 48 had at least one outstanding feature. An inventory of 1750 describes the 'Great Stair Case' in the entrance hall as 'Wainscotted Rail'd high with Oak and the rest painted in a Composed Order with figures and Trophies done by John Legare [Laguerre]'. Elsewhere, there was much panelling, and marble chimneypieces. (fn. 32) After a fire in 1923 the much-altered interior was virtually rebuilt to the designs of Guy Dawber. (fn. 33) Further substantial alterations were made in 1938–9, and more recent modernization has left an almost featureless interior.
Occupants include: No. 47, Col. (latterly gen.) Charles Churchill, 1727–45. 17th Baron Abergavenny, later 1st Earl, 1750–3. 3rd Viscount Downe, 1753–60: his brother, 4th Viscount, 1760–2. Gen. Sir Frederick Trench, 1848–59. Dow. Countess of Airlie, wid. of 5th Earl, 1884–8. A. E. W. Mason, novelist, 1931. Marquis De Amodio, 1933–5. No. 48, Lord Charles Cavendish, son of 2nd Duke of Devonshire and father of Henry Cavendish the scientist, 1729–32. Sir Hugh Smithson, 4th bt., later Earl of Northumberland, and 1st Duke of Northumberland of 3rd cr., 1741–50. Andrew Stuart, lawyer and politician, 1785, 1787–1802: his brother, Maj.-gen. James Stuart, 1786. Sir Francis Molyneux, 7th bt., 1808–12: his nephew, HenryThomas Howard, latterly Lord Henry-Thomas Howard Molyneux Howard, 1812–24. Sir Robert Howe Bromley, 3rd bt., 1829–51. Viscount Lascelles, later 4th Earl of Harewood, 1853. 6th Earl of Guilford, 1856–61: his wid. (who 1863 married John Lettsom Elliott) and her son, Frederick North, 1861–7. 6th Earl of Aylesford, 1868–71. Charles Maule Ramsay, son of 12th Earl of Dalhousie, 1892–1904: his mother, Dow. Countess, and his nephew, 14th Earl, 1896–1903. 1st Baron Avebury, banker, man of science and author, 1909–13: his son, 2nd Baron, 1913–18. Lady Tredegar, wife of 3rd Baron Tredegar, and their son, later 2nd Viscount Tredegar, 1919–23: and she, as Viscountess Tredegar, 1927–8. 6th Earl Cadogan, 1929–33: his wid., 1933–5.
No. 49, a large house with four main storeys and four windows to a floor, was built under a lease granted to John Green, joiner, in 1725, (fn. 34) and is still recognizably Georgian in appearance despite later alterations. In 1870 Alfred Waterhouse provided an extra storey (fn. 35) and was perhaps also responsible for the prominent finials which sit on top of the parapet in front of the attic windows. Other additions to the front include an enclosed Doric portico (of 1888 (fn. 36) ) and a balcony with a wrought-iron balustrade at first-floor level carried on ornate brackets. The brickwork has been coloured red so that the original distinctive patterning in two-tone brickwork is now almost totally obscured.
The interior has been much transformed. Among the schemes of which there is some record is one by Waterhouse for Julian Goldsmid, M.P., in 1868–70, but the extent of his work is uncertain. (fn. 37) Further alterations were made in 1875 (fn. 38) and again in 1882 when the rear wing was rebuilt to the designs of Weeks and Hughes of Tunbridge Wells. (fn. 39)
Little Georgian work survives. The position of the central toplit staircase has not been changed but the staircase itself, which is of stone sharply cut away on the undersides, with an iron balustrade, looks to be a somewhat mechanical later replacement. The most distinctive Victorian addition is a large ground-floor room in the rear wing of 1882 which has a deep Italianate cornice with small painted panels between scrolled brackets, very broad pilasters with long panels inset with French-style arabesques painted on canvas, and a marble fireplace in the French manner. A large drawing-room on the first floor which has a gilded cornice and centrepiece to the ceiling and tall double doors with wide architraves may be contemporary with the back room. An interesting survival is a railway track in the basement passage which linked the house with the offices in the mews building at the rear.
Occupants include: Earl Grandison, 1727–35. 2nd Viscount Vane, 1735–6. 5th Duke of Hamilton, 1737–43: his son, 6th Duke, 1745–7. 3rd Earl of Scarbrough, 1748–52: his wid., 1752–4: their son-in-law, Peter Ludlow, latterly 1st Baron and 1st Earl Ludlow, and their daughter Frances, 1754–95. 2nd Earl of Charlemont, 1836–55 (previously at No. 59). 3rd Marquess of Donegall, 1855–6. 2nd Baron De Mauley, 1858–62. Italian Legation, 1863–8. Julian Goldsmid, later 3rd bt., politician, 1868–75. Edmund Backhouse, politician, 1876–80. Sir David Salomons, 2nd bt., pioneer of 'horseless carriages', 1889–1916.
No. 50 was built under a lease granted in 1724 to Charles Griffith, carpenter, (fn. 40) and was one of three large houses (the others are Nos. 51 and 52) which were built on a plot agreed to be leased to the master builder Benjamin Timbrell in 1720. (fn. 41) A sketch of c. 1770 (Plate 8d in vol. XXXIX) shows the house before any substantial alterations were made, and the contrast with its present appearance is a cautionary example of how extensively a façade that still manages to look Georgian can have been altered. Then the house had three main storeys and a garret storey, and its four-bay façade was defined by pilaster strips at the sides. The windows were segmental-headed and a simple doorcase with a hood completed a neat, reticent house front of the 1720's. Now, however, there are bandcourses at second-floor and cornice level, a large, enclosed Ionic portico of 1907, with rounded sides (builders, Trollope and Colls; architect, William Woodward (fn. 42) ), a wide projecting balcony with a wrought-iron balustrade and cantilevered brackets (of 1869 by Holland and Hannen (fn. 43) ), and an extra storey (added by John Garlick in 1905 (fn. 44) ). The windows are now straight-headed and are fitted with casements instead of sashes on the first and second floors, while the ground-floor openings are now filled with large areas of plate glass. The brickwork, which was tuck pointed at some time, has been painted red.
The few interior features of note date from remodellings in 1904–7, firstly as a speculation by John Garlick, the builder, and then by Trollope and Colls for the new owner, Walter Spencer Morgan Burns, a nephew of Pierpont Morgan and a partner in his firm. (fn. 45) There is some applied plasterwork in the main rooms in decorators' French style and a large, toplit staircase with an iron balustrade topped by brass urns.
In 1926–8 the house was converted into showrooms and workrooms for a dressmaking firm by Trehearne and Norman. (fn. 42)
Occupants include: 1st Earl of Uxbridge, 1726–43: his wid., 1744–8. Sir William Irby, 2nd bt., latterly 1st Baron Boston, 1750–75 (previously at No. 46): his son, 2nd Baron, 1775–1825. Dow. Countess of Aylesford, wid. of 4th Earl, 1826–32: her son, 5th Earl, 1835–45. Dow. Marchioness of Downshire, wid. of 3rd Marquess, 1845–55: with her son-in-law and da., Alexander Hood, later 3rd Baron and 1st Viscount Bridport, and Lady Mary Hood, 1850–5. 17th Baron Willoughby De Broke, 1856–62: his son, 18th Baron, 1863. Sir Henry Meux, 2nd bt., 1868–9. Henry Sturt, latterly 1st Baron Alington, 1870–83. Earl Carrington, later Marquess of Lincolnshire, politician, 1895–1904.
No. 51 is unique among the surviving Georgian houses on the south side of Grosvenor Street in not having been raised by an extra storey, thus retaining its original three main storeys and garrets. (Its five-windows-wide façade is shown, restored to its presumed original state, in a measured drawing reproduced as fig. 2b in vol. XXXIX.) The long and short quoins at the sides are now stuccoed and a stucco bandcourse has been added between the second and third storeys, but the principal alterations date from 1868 when a Doric portico and a balcony with an ornate iron balustrade were erected to the designs of the estate surveyor, Thomas Cundy III. (fn. 46) Cundy originally proposed that the balustrade should be of stone but substituted one of iron at the suggestion of Earl Grosvenor, the second Marquess's heir and later first Duke of Westminster. Most of the windows are segmentalheaded with Victorian sashes or modern plate glass inserted, but on the first floor the openings have been changed to straight-headed ones and fitted with casements. The brickwork has now been very crudely painted crimson.
Built under the same agreement as Nos. 50 and 52, No. 51 was leased in 1724 to Israel Russell, painter-stainer. (fn. 47) From the start it was clearly one of the most desirable houses on the estate and was sold in 1726 by Russell for £3,900 to Sir John Werden, baronet. (fn. 48) Werden's eldest daughter, Lucy, was married to Charles Beauclerk, second Duke of St. Albans, and in 1726–7 the Duke himself was also living in his father-in-law's new house. (fn. 49) In 1732 Werden agreed to sell the house for £4,200 to Lord John Russell, who barely had a chance to take up residence in his new purchase before he succeeded as fourth Duke of Bedford in the same year and moved to Bedford House, Bloomsbury, (fn. 50) but not before Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, Lady Russell's grandmother, had an opportunity to inspect the house, with its red damask and white-painted panelling, and declare herself in general satisfied. (fn. 51)
The interior has, however, been virtually rebuilt in the course of a number of alterations which were made during the nineteenth century. Henry Harrison did work here, apparently both for Sir Jacob Astley who occupied the house briefly in 1826 and for the next occupant, the 11th Earl of Kinnoull. (fn. 52) In 1835 the house was stated to 'have been improved within the last few years at considerable expense'. (fn. 53) Notwithstanding this, a further remodelling was undertaken in 1836 to the designs of Lewis Vulliamy for John Mansfield of Digswell House, Hertfordshire. The work included the rebuilding of a rear wing. (fn. 54)
The main staircase is now in a central toplit compartment and has unusual balusters composed of diamondpatterned iron struts between wooden uprights. This replaced a front-compartment staircase which may have had frescoes on the walls. (fn. 55) Also dating from the nineteenth century is a large double room on the ground floor lit at the back by a bow window with massive castiron columns.
In 1926 the house was adapted for a firm of dressmakers, (fn. 56) and has subsequently been in office use. The interior is now much partitioned and many of the decorative features have been covered.
Occupants include: Sir John Werden, 2nd bt., 1726–8: his son-in-law, 2nd Duke of St. Albans, 1726–7: the latter's brother, Lord William Beauclerk, 1729–31. Lord John Russell, latterly 4th Duke of Bedford, 1732–3. Lord George (Manners-)Sutton, younger son of 3rd Duke of Rutland, 1764–83. Archibald Douglas, latterly 1st Baron Douglas, 1784–93. Francis Charteris, known as Lord Elcho, nephew of David Wemyss, who, but for his attainder in 1746, would have been 6th Earl of Wemyss, 1793–1808 (previously at No. 32). Baron Eardley, 1808–24. Sir Jacob Astley, 6th bt., and later 16th Baron Hastings, 1826. 11th Earl of Kinnoull, 1826–34. 4th Earl of Rosslyn, 1880. Joseph Moses Levy, founder of The Daily Telegraph, 1881–8.
No. 52 was built in 1724–6, but virtually nothing of the early-Georgian fabric remains. Even the red brickwork of the façade looks to have been renewed, probably in 1854–5, when the front was given its present form, making it possibly the best surviving example of Estate policy at that time in its well-conceived Italianate façade of four main storeys, each five bays wide. (fn. 57) The typical accoutrements of a Cundy refronting are fully displayed here, with channelled stucco on the ground floor and channelled quoins, a Doric open portico with a balcony on top, individual balconettes to the first-floor windows, dressings to all the windows, those on the first floor having alternating triangular and segmental pediments, a bandcourse, a deep cornice on consoles and a crowning balustrade above the new fourth storey, all executed in Portland stone or cement; even the area railings were renewed 'according to the improved pattern'. The builder was J. Pryor of Regent Street (fn. 58) and his workmanship was of the highest quality. (For illustrations of the front before and after 1854–5 see figs. 16 and 17 and Plate 8c in vol. XXXIX.)
The house was originally built by Benjamin Timbrell, carpenter, and was the biggest—with a frontage of fifty feet —of three houses erected under an agreement of 1720 (see No. 50). (fn. 41) Timbrell was granted a building lease in November 1724, (fn. 59) and in March of the following year agreed to sell the house, then still unfinished, to Sir Thomas Hanmer, ex-Speaker of the House of Commons, for £4,250. (fn. 60) The house was completed over some eighteen months and Hanmer paid Timbrell in instalments as the work proceeded. The builder deducted £60 from the stated price, 'for the Staircase', presumably because Hanmer had called in the eminent Swiss-Italian stuccatore, Giovanni Bagutti, to embellish the staircase compartment at a cost of £80. (fn. 61) The compartment must have combined fine panelling in its lower parts with plaster enrichment above, for at No. 34 Grosvenor Street the oak panelling on Hanmer's staircase was taken as a model. (fn. 62) Nothing of this work at No. 52 survives. Among other craftsmen who were paid small amounts by Hanmer was Michael Rysbrack who received £20 'by the hand of Mr Gibbes for carving in my two large Chimney-pieces'. Rysbrack was James Gibbs's protégé when he first came to England in 1720 and this cryptic reference to Gibbs may mean only that the architect was still acting as the sculptor's agent. (Hanmer did, however, subscribe to Gibbs's A Book of Architecture in 1728, as to some other such publications.) As with Bagutti's plasterwork, there are no chimneypieces which could be attributed to Rysbrack remaining in the house. The largest single sum paid out by Hanmer (except to Timbrell) was £600 to 'Mr Cox the Upholsterer' (probably John Cox of Covent Garden (fn. 63) ), but this may not have been solely for furnishings at Grosvenor Street. (fn. )
For over 130 years from 1765 the house was owned by the Pleydell-Bouveries, but few of the alterations made for this wealthy family can be documented. Charles Elliott, upholsterer, was paid for work at Grosvenor Street in 1798 and probably later, and William Pilkington, a pupil of Sir Robert Taylor, was in charge of 'repairs' there in 1809–13. (fn. 64) By 1852 there was a fine sweeping staircase at the centre of the house. (fn. 65)
In 1854–5 Viscount Folkestone, in addition to carrying out the improvements to the front required by the Estate, built two bays, one on each side of the garden, but these have since been extended and further altered. (fn. 66)
In 1898–9 works were carried out to the designs of Frederick Todd, architect, for William Tebb, a speculator, who had bought the house from the fifth Earl of Radnor, including the provision of a new entrance door and steps. (fn. 67) But inside, most of the present features of note appear to date from a further remodelling which was undertaken in 1902–4 for the Hon. William Peel, subsequently first Earl Peel. The work was put into the hands of Hooydonk and Company, decorative artists, and as Peel was later said to have spent £8,000 to £10,000 on permanent improvements of a structural nature, (fn. 68) their scheme must have been extensive. A double drawing-room on the first floor was treated in a Louis XV rococo manner with panelling on the walls, perhaps incorporating genuine boiseries, ornamental plasterwork on the ceiling to match, and marble chimneypieces (Plate 13c); and a toplit library, presumably situated in one of the wings, was given heavy wooden panelling and beams to the ceiling. (fn. 69) The drawing-room survives, but unsympathetically decorated. Hooydonks' work included a 'Georgian Room' and 'Japanese Room' and perhaps a new staircase; and most of the surviving features on the ground floor, which include two elaborate ceilings in a late eighteenth-century manner and marble chimneypieces, were also probably executed by them. (fn. 70)
Since Lord Peel left the house in 1928 it has been used for clubs, flats or businesses. (fn. 71) One of the flats was occupied by the fashionable decorator, Denham Maclaren, who, in 1931, redecorated another flat in the house with drastic******* black and white décor and furniture to match in a scheme which was written up in Harper's Bazaar. (fn. 72)
Occupants include: Sir Thomas Hanmer, 4th bt., Speaker of the House of Commons, 1726–46. Rev. Sir William Bunbury, 5th bt., 1746–8. Baron Feversham of Downton, 1750–63: his wid., 1763–5: her 2nd husband, 1st Earl of Radnor, 1765–76: his wid., 1776–95. Richard Aldworth-Neville, latterly 2nd Baron Braybrooke, 1796–1803. 2nd Earl of Radnor, 1804–28: his wid., 1828–9: their son, 3rd Earl, 1829–53: the latter's son, Viscount Folkestone, latterly 4th Earl, 1852–89: the latter's son, 5th Earl, 1889–96. William Peel, latterly 2nd Viscount Peel and later 1st Earl Peel, statesman, 1902–28.
No. 53 was erected in 1963–5 as part of a development which included Nos. 13–27 (odd) Davies Street and 2–4 (even) Mount Row to the designs of Sir John Burnet, Tait and Partners. (fn. 73) The four-bay façade to Grosvenor Street was, however, treated entirely differently from the other frontages and was given a reticent neo-Georgian character to harmonize with No. 54, at the corner with Davies Street, which had been rebuilt some eight years previously.
The house which was demolished to make way for the new building was one of the most unfortunate of recent losses on the estate. It was erected under a sub-lease granted to John Neale, carpenter, in 1725 by Thomas Barlow, the estate surveyor, who had a head lease of this particular plot. (fn. 74) It had a finely conceived five-bay façade of three storeys of brown brick with red-brick rubbers used in wide bands around the windows, and low-ceilinged garrets with segmental-headed dormer windows. The only major additions to this façade were a Greek Doric portico and balcony with iron railings, which dated from the end of the eighteenth or the beginning of the nineteenth century (Plate 8c in vol. XXXIX). In 1928 the Estate acquired the leasehold interest in order to provide greater depth of site for a proposed redevelopment on the west side of Davies Street. (fn. 75) From 1929 to 1934 a tenancy was held by the interior decorator and member of the firm of White Allom, the Marchese Malacrida, who occupied flats here where the striking Florentine treatment attracted attention. In 1934 he converted the house further into offices and flats in 'this transitional period of Grosvenor Street from residential to commercial'. (fn. 76) The house was damaged, by no means irreparably, by bombing in 1940 (fn. 77) and subsequently demolished.
Occupants include: Earl of Arran (in Ireland), 1726–58: his sister, Lady Amelia Butler, 1758–60: their cousins, John Butler, 1760–6, and Walter Butler, 1766–74, de jure 15th and 16th Earls of Ormonde. 7th Baron Kinnaird, banker, 1782–1805: his son, 8th Baron, 1805–12. Dow. Baroness Saltoun, wid. of 16th Baron, 1817–20. 2nd Baron Sherborne, 1820–33. Robert Henry Clive, younger son of 1st Earl of Powis, 1834–54: his wid., latterly suo jure Baroness Windsor, 1854–69: her son, Lieut.-col. George Herbert Windsor Windsor-Clive and Lady Mary WindsorClive, 1871–7: Lady Mary Windsor-Clive, 1878, and with 14th Baron Windsor, later 1st Earl of Plymouth, 1878–84: 14th Baron Windsor, 1885–98. Dow. Countess of Dudley, wid. of 1st Earl, 1901–2. Lord Henry and Lord Charles Cavendish-Bentinck, younger brothers of 6th Duke of Portland, 1905–19. 3rd Baron Hillingdon, partner in Glyn, Mills and Co., bankers, 1920–8. Marchese Malacrida, 1929–34. Sir Archibald Clark Kerr, K.C.M.G., later Baron Inverchapel, diplomatist, 1935–41.
The present six-storey building on this site, which has six bays to Davies Street and three to Grosvenor Street, was built in 1955–6 to the designs of S. M. Haines, the staff architect of Comet Properties, who were the developers, in a style which accords with the neo-Georgian traditions of pre-war architecture on the estate. (fn. 78)
The house which previously stood on the site was totally destroyed by bombing in 1940. (fn. ) It, in turn, had been rebuilt by Thomas Cubitt in 1837–8, (fn. 79) replacing a house built in 1725 by John Neale, carpenter, under similar arrangements to No. 53 (see above), (fn. 80) and in a similar manner but with lower storey heights (see Plate 8c in vol. XXXIX). John Soane surveyed this house in 1809 for a new owner, Earl Temple. His drawings survive, but there is no indication that he carried out any alterations. (fn. 81)
Occupants include: Sir Robert Clayton, 3rd bt., 1771–4. Marquess of Worcester, later 6th Duke of Beaufort, 1793–1803. Earl Temple, latterly 2nd Marquess of Buckingham and later 1st Duke of Buckingham and Chandos, 1809–14, 1817–20. 2nd Earl of Glengall, 1821–8: his mother, wid. of 1st Earl, 1829–36. 5th Baron Suffield, 1872–4. Sir John Walrond Walrond, 1st bt., 1880. Lady Beatrice Lister-Kaye, wife of (Sir) Cecil Lister-Kaye, later 4th bt., 1887.
Nos. 55–57 (consec.)
Nos. 55–57 (consec.) were rebuilt with Nos. 4–26 (even) Davies Street in 1910–12 (see page 74).
Occupants include: No. 56, John Dalrymple, ophthalmic surgeon, 1843–7 (subsequently at No. 60). Charles Keetley, surgeon, 1890–1909. No. 57, Lady Stapleton, wid. of Sir William Stapleton, 3rd bt., 1725–33. Sir Robert Cotton, 5th bt., 1784–8. Capt. (latterly Adm. Sir) Charles Howe Fremantle, G.C.B., 1850–69: his wid., 1869–77. (Sir) Ellis Ashmead Bartlett, (kt.), politician, 1881–5 (subsequently at No. 6).
No. 58 was built under a sub-lease granted to John Green, joiner, in 1724 by Thomas Barlow, the estate surveyor, who held a lease of all of the south side of Grosvenor Street between Davies Street and the estate boundary. (fn. 82) All that remains of Green's house is the much-altered façade and perhaps some panelling on the second floor. The remainder of the interior dates principally from 1907–9 when extensive alterations were made in two stages. In 1907–8 £10,000 was spent on the house by the 7th Earl (later 1st Marquess) of Aberdeen; the architect was J. D. Coleridge and the builders were W. D. Hodges and Company. (fn. 83) Almost immediately on completion of the work Lord Aberdeen sold the house, and the new owner, Herbert Samuelson, and his wife had it refurbished yet again to suit their tastes. This work, which was put in the hands of Charles Mellier and Company, included the installation of a new main staircase and a lift and the addition of a ballroom on the ground floor. (fn. 84) In 1936 the house was converted into offices by Anns and Haigh. (fn. 85)
The present red-brick façade of four main storeys and a garret storey owes little to its Georgian origins (Plate 47a in vol. XXXIX, on left). The fourth storey was added in 1907–8 (fn. 86) and the windows have been given stone architraves, while the ground floor is taken up with two dignified wooden shop windows set in polished stone surrounds and an elaborate wooden doorcase, all dating from the alterations of 1936. (fn. 87) A thin, geometrical iron balustrade in front of the lengthened first-floor windows also dates from 1936 and completes the essential modernity of the front.
Inside the Edwardian work is of high quality. A large entrance hall divided into three bays by shallow beams and wide pilasters leads to a central compartment lit by an oval toplight containing a wall-hung staircase of wood with carved step-ends and a wrought-iron balustrade in the Georgian manner. More excellent ironwork is found in the gates to the back stairs and lift. Much decorative work has been lost in the conversion to office use, but the former main drawing-room at the front of the house has been little touched. Here the style is of the 1740's with plaster panels and other decorative work on the walls, a modillion cornice, and rococo plasterwork on the ceiling of the kind popularized by Isaac Ware at Chesterfield House. There are now few good chimneypieces in the house, but this room has a simple marble one with fluted columns, and a more elaborate one, also of marble, with terms, is in the entrance hall.
Occupants include: Baron Ranelagh, 1726–54: his wid., 1754–5: her 2nd husband, Sir John Elwill, 4th bt., 1755–78: his wid. (styled Lady Ranelagh), 1778–81: her son-in-law, Lionel Felten Harvey, 1781–5. Sir John Smith of Sydling St. Nicholas, 1st bt., 1787–99. Dow. Countess of Ely, wid. of 1st Earl, 1808–21. Adm. Frank Sotheron, 1828–40. Hon. Mrs. Fitzroy, 1841–50: her kinsman, 3rd Baron Southampton, 1852–61. Adm. Arthur Duncombe, younger son of 1st Baron Feversham, 1862–73. George Palmer, biscuit manufacturer, 1884–7 (previously at No. 68). Col. (later Maj.-gen. Sir) Reginald Talbot, (K.C.B.), later Governor of Victoria, 1889–99. 7th Earl and later 1st Marquess of Aberdeen, sometime Governor General of Canada, 1900–8. (Sir) Herbert Samuelson, Chairman and Treasurer of University College Hospital, (K.B.E.), 1910–36.
No. 59 was built under a sub-lease granted in 1725 to David Audsley, plasterer, by Thomas Barlow, the estate surveyor, who was also the head lessee and developer of this stretch of Grosvenor Street. (fn. 88) In 1905 the house was described as 'very old fashioned', (fn. 89) and in 1909–10 £8,000 were spent on major alterations and renovations for Ralph Lambton, a wealthy banker, by White Allom and Company in conjunction with the architect Robert Oglesby, who was associated with the firm. The builder was C. P. Roberts of St. Paul's Road. (fn. 90)
The house now has four main storeys and garrets, but the fourth storey was added in 1909–10 (fn. 91) and the original three storeys are marked by rusticated brick pilaster strips at the sides, a plain cornice and elaborate stone or stucco embellishments. These include a Doric portico with a balcony above, individual balconettes with ornate iron railings in front of the first-floor windows, and wide architraves to the windows with triple keystones on the first and second floors and pediments above those of the first floor: the windows were originally segmental-headed. All of these particularly attractive features were added by White Allom in 1910 with the exception of the portico (which was erected in 1869 to the designs of Mayhew and Knight and enclosed in 1910), and it is surprising that on the fourth storey, which was then being built, the windows do not have dressings (although this also happened at No. 25 Grosvenor Square, see page 142). (fn. 92)
In 1906 Eustace Balfour, the estate surveyor, stated that the 'covered main staircase … must not be removed without permission', and the Board was later informed that Lambton 'likes the staircase'. (fn. 93) The result is the survival of the fine staircase compartment at the front of the house, probably with little alteration but much restoration. It consists of a double-storey hall with the staircase rising around three sides to a gallery at first-floor level in a manner common to many early-Georgian houses. The wooden staircase itself is also of a familiar type with carved step-ends, three turned and twisted balusters per tread, fluted newel columns and a moulded handrail ramped over the newels and voluted at the bottom, with a corresponding dado-rail and fluted pilasters on the wall side (Plate 9d in vol. XXXIX). Above the staircase is a richly ornamented plaster ceiling which has a deep cornice with modillions and rosettes, irregular panels with moulded frames and a large, plain central compartment within a wide border enriched with a band of oak leaves.
There are two secondary staircases, one starting from first-floor level, and both of 1909–10, but elsewhere it is difficult to disentangle Georgian features from skilful Edwardian additions. Many of the cornices and no doubt much of the panelling which is found throughout are of the later period, as are several of the fireplaces, although in the ground-floor front room the chimneypiece may consist of a Georgian marble fireplace with a later overmantel.
Among the Edwardian alterations was the rebuilding of the mews building at the rear. The Board did not want any new stabling there and 'not even a garage', and so instead Lambton built a racquets court with bedrooms above. (fn. 94) White Allom housed them in a building of much character, with rusticated brick pilasters, a bull's-eye window, a prominent eaves cornice and a tiled roof, linked to the main house by a corridor with a glazed arcade treated in an equally Baroque manner.
Occupants include: Sir Robert Rich, 4th bt., later field marshal, 1726–42. 4th Marquess of Tweeddale, 1744–62: his wid., 1762–78. Sir Thomas Beauchamp-Proctor, 2nd bt., 1780–7. Sir Henry Dashwood of Kirtlington, 3rd bt., 1788–9. John Weyland, either the writer on the poor laws or his father, 1799–1825. Lord William Bentinck, Governor General of India, 1826–31. 2nd Earl of Charlemont, 1832–5 (later at No. 49). Lord William Bentinck, 1835–9: his wid., 1841–3: her nephew, Viscount Acheson, latterly 3rd Earl of Gosford, 1843–64: his wid., and his son, 4th Earl, 1864–8. Sir Charles Lowther, 3rd bt., 1869–94: his younger son, James Lowther, politician, 1869–1904. Ralph Lambton, 1909–14. Baron Maurice de Forest, politician, 1915–24.
No. 60 was built under a sub-lease in 1723 to John Neale, carpenter, from Thomas Barlow, the estate surveyor, who held the head lease of this part of Grosvenor Street. (fn. 95) In 1725 Neale sold the house to the celebrated actress Anne Oldfield, who lived there until her death in 1730. (fn. 96) According to a memoir of her life published shortly after her death, she paid £2,200 for the house—a very high sum for a modest house with only a twenty-fourfoot frontage, even though it had spacious grounds at the rear. (fn. 97) Of Anne Oldfield's house only the façade of brown brick with rubbed red-brick dressings to its segmentalheaded windows survives and even this has been considerably altered. A large plate-glass shop front has been inserted on the ground floor (at the time of writing in 1978 in process of further alteration), individual iron window guards have been added to the lengthened first-floor windows, and the house was heightened by a storey during the nineteenth century. In 1897 the interior was destroyed by fire and virtually completely rebuilt to the designs of Fabian Russell. (fn. 98)
Occupants include: Anne Oldfield, actress, 1725–30. Charles Bosanquet, ?City merchant, 1814–23. John Dalrymple, ophthalmic surgeon, 1847–52 (previously at No. 56). John Edward Tilt, physician, 1861–76. 7th Earl De La Warr, 1879–96. 7th Viscount Galway, 1918–20.
Nos. 61–63 (consec.)
Nos. 61–63 (consec.) are three narrow red-brick and stone houses with balconies at first-floor level supported by large, rounded brackets, canted bays on the first and second floors, and prominent triangular gables half obscuring very large dormer windows behind. They were built by John Garlick as a speculation in 1904–6. (fn. 99) Garlick's architect was R. G. Hammond, and it was almost certainly he who was responsible for these rather pedestrian elevations. An obituary of Eustace Balfour, the estate surveyor, claimed, however, that he was the architect for rebuilding on the sites of Nos. 61 and 62 (which are exactly similar houses to No. 63). (fn. 100)
Balfour was involved at one time during rebuilding, for in December 1904 he stated that he had been asked to design one house for the 5th Earl of Wilton in place of two of the proposed houses. (fn. 101) This house may well have been begun, for in July 1905 Balfour and Turner were given consent by the London County Council to erect projecting bay windows and a porch at a house on the site of Nos. 61 and 62, (fn. 102) but Lord Wilton must have withdrawn. In November 1905 Garlick gave notice that he was about to 'pull down and rebuild' two houses, (fn. 103) and as the previous houses on the site had been demolished in 1904 (fn. 104) this suggests that the partly built house for Lord Wilton was in effect demolished and Hammond's original design reverted to.
Occupants include: No. 61, Lady Allen, ?wid. of Sir William Allen, 1st bt., 1725–36. Lady Louisa Dawson, da. of 1st Earl of Portarlington, 1814–23. Lionel Smith Beale, physician and microscopist, 1860–1904. No. 62, 2nd Baron Haversham, 1730–4. 1st Viscount Galway, 1748. 5th Earl of Pomfret, 1850–67. No. 63, Edward Smith, physician, 1856–9.
Nos. 64 and 65
Nos. 64 and 65 were designed to be built as a uniform block of shops, showrooms, and workrooms to the designs of George Anag in 1937. In the event only No. 65 could be built before the war of 1939–45 and No. 64 was not erected until 1957–9, still to Anag's designs but with modifications by G. Langley-Taylor and Partners. (fn. 105)
The result is an unremarkable pair of commercial buildings in red brick with stone dressings, six windows wide and seven storeys high, the top storey being set back with dormer windows.
Occupants include: No. 64, (Sir) Francis Wood, latterly 1st bt., 1782–95. 'South American Ambassador', 1827–8. Maj.-gen. William Nassau Lees, orientalist, 1886–9. Dow. Duchess of Newcastle, wid. of 6th Duke, 1904–7. No. 65, Sir William Fordyce, kt., surgeon, 1791. (Sir) John Grant Lawson, 1st bt., 1903–6.
No. 66, despite later additions, is still recognizable as the early-Georgian house which was built under a sublease granted in 1723 to Joshua Fletcher, mason, by Thomas Barlow, the estate surveyor and head lessee of this part of Grosvenor Street. (fn. 106) The façade of brown brick with red-brick dressings to the straight-headed windows, has retained its original three main storeys, but a porch and balcony have been added (probably in 1793–4), and two further storeys within a high-pitched roof behind a stone balustrade replaced the original garrets in 1912, when the horizontally coursed brick pilaster strips also appear to have been added (fn. 107) (Plate 11a). Large panes of plate glass have now been inserted in the ground floor in place of sashes and the area has been covered over and the railings removed.
In the interior no early-Georgian work survives, but some of the 'very great improvements' made by Charles Elliott, upholsterer, in 1793–4 remain. (fn. 108) Elliott bought the house, together with three others in Grosvenor Street, in 1792 at an auction of the property which had once belonged to Thomas Barlow. (fn. 109) He was certainly responsible for the main stone staircase (Plate 14c) which rises in sweeping curves around a toplit inner hall and has a balustrade identical with that of the similarly positioned staircase at No. 18 Upper Grosvenor Street (Plate 61a), which house was altered by Elliott at about the same date. (The balustrade itself was perhaps supplied by Underwood, Bottomly and Hamble, fanlight makers of High Holborn, see page 229.) The front room on the ground floor, which has a cornice in an Adamesque manner, a ceiling with a roundel painting of muses in the centre and door architraves in a similar style, is perhaps also Elliott's work. On the exterior the Doric porch with an unusual blank panel in the centre of the entablature (Plate 11a) is very similar to the porch at No. 18 Upper Grosvenor Street and must be by Elliott, although the plinths to the columns were altered in 1912. (fn. 110) The balcony with its delicate wrought-iron balustrade also looks to be Elliott's. The supporting cast-iron brackets were, however, added in 1876. (fn. 111)
In 1872 the builder William Longridge made alterations to the interior to the designs of E. M. Barry for James Lloyd Ashbury, industrialist and later M.P. for Brighton, but, apart from improvements to the kitchens, the extent of these works is not known. (fn. 112)
In 1912 Arthur Hanbury of Pont Street bought the house and spent some £6,000 on it, including the alterations to the top storeys already mentioned and modernisation of the stabling at the rear to include a billiard-room. The architect was Lucas (probably William) and the builders were Harris and Wardrop. (fn. 113)
In the following year Hanbury, who 'found that he could not afford to live in the house', sold it for £20,000 to Robert Emmet of Moreton Paddox in Warwickshire. (fn. 114) Emmet, who was born in New York and married the daughter of a New York banker, had settled in England in 1900. (fn. 115) At No. 66 his architect, W. H. Romaine-Walker, transformed the first floor using genuine French boiseries sent from Paris by Carlhian-Beaumetz. Romaine-Walker made a wide opening with Ionic columns and pilasters between the front and rear rooms to create a large double drawing-room (Plate 15a). Here Louis XVI panelling from the Couvent des Soeurs de Saint Maur in the Rue de l'Abbé Grégoire was installed. This includes not only tall, elegant wall panelling, but also smaller carved and giltenriched panels, door and window architraves, and pierglasses. (fn. 116) Romaine-Walker also replaced the chimneypieces with new ones, probably of his own designing, to harmonize with the decorations. (fn. 117) These rooms, which have survived virtually intact, also have fine parquet flooring. At the rear of the first floor another room in a wing extending into the garden was converted into a boudoir and lined with Louis XV oak panelling with rocaille carving taken from a hôtel which once belonged to the Carambacères family, probably one which stood in the Rue de l'Université. (fn. ) This room also survives intact. The entrance hall also seems to be largely by Romaine-Walker. The builders for the alterations of 1913–14 were Litchfield and Company of Bruton Street. (fn. 118)
The house continued in private occupation until 1936. In the following year it was converted into a millinery and dressmaking establishment and has since remained in commercial use. (fn. 119)
Occupants include: 2nd Baron Barnard, 1725–9. Earl of Dalkeith, latterly 2nd Duke of Buccleuch, 1730–8 (previously at No. 69, also at No. 67). Sir William Parsons, 2nd bt., 1739. Marquess of Carnarvon, later 2nd Duke of Chandos, 1740–4. 2nd Earl of Stair, general and diplomatist, 1744–6. 4th Baron Botetourt, 1764–70. 10th Earl (later 1st Marquess) of Exeter, 1796–7 (previously at Nos. 71–72). 5th Earl of Plymouth, 1797–9: his wid.'s 2nd husband, 2nd Baron (latterly 1st Earl) Amherst, diplomatist and statesman, 1800–57. 4th Earl of Carnarvon, statesman, 1865–72. James Lloyd Ashbury, industrialist, 1872–81. 7th Earl of Hopetoun, later 1st Marquess of Linlithgow, first Governor General of Australia, 1900–1. Victor Cazalet, M.P., 1928–36.
No. 67, although much altered, has never been completely rebuilt. The house was erected under a sublease granted in 1723 to Thomas Cook and Caleb Waterfield, carpenters, by Thomas Barlow, the estate surveyor and developer of this part of Grosvenor Street. (fn. 120) The adjoining house, No. 68, was also sub-let to Cook and Waterfield in 1723, (fn. 121) and the two houses, which have common storey heights, have recently been integrated. The façade of No. 67, which is four windows wide and has four storeys and garrets, has been stuccoed. The fourth storey is a later addition, and the windows, which are now straight-headed, were probably originally segmentalheaded as at No. 68. A pseudo-Georgian bowed shop front has recently been inserted in the ground floor, but the doorcase, which is of wood and consists of Corinthian pilasters supporting a thin hood and which now looks illproportioned, may incorporate the original pilasters and jambs. An inventory of 1742 describes the house as having 'a wood fronticepiece after the corinthian order fully enricht covered with lead', (fn. 122) and a drawing of 1881 shows the pilasters to have been then surmounted by an elaborately carved entablature with a deep cornice which has since been stripped away. (fn. 123) In 1742 there were outside shutters to the ground-floor windows. Inside, all the rooms below the garrets were panelled (at least one, on the second floor, to full height), and had marble or, in some bedrooms, Portland-stone chimneypieces. (Ten years before, three of the bedrooms were designated as 'crimson damask', 'green mohair' and 'green damask'. (fn. 124) ) The great stairs, which survived until 1978, had wooden 'fluted and twist balusters', fluted newel posts and carved brackets. The dining-room extended across the first-floor front. At the end of the garden was a panelled alcove 'after the dorick order'. (fn. )
William Cubitt and Company made alterations to the house in 1881, probably including the addition of a large double-storey extension at the rear, (fn. 125) but a fire in 1936 which 'severely damaged' the upper storeys (fn. 126) and a recent remodelling of the lower storeys which is still in progress at the time of writing (1978) has denuded the interior of most features of interest. In 1975 the first-floor front room contained a mid-Georgian white marble fireplace with fluted sides and a bas-relief in the centre, and a room on the second floor had eighteenth-century pine panelling reassembled from elsewhere.
Occupants include: Lady Strafford, wid. of 2nd Earl, 1725–32. 2nd Duke of Buccleuch, 1733–42 (previously as Earl of Dalkeith at Nos. 66 and 69). Ambrose Dawson, physician, 1750–73. Dow. Lady Suffield, wid. of 1st Baron, 1813–21. Col. George HelyHutchinson, brother of 3rd Earl of Donoughmore, 1826–45. Wilson Fox, physician, 1871–87. Viscount Coke, latterly 3rd Earl of Leicester, 1901–12.
No. 68 is a stucco-fronted three-bay house with a basement, four storeys and an attic. It has segmentalheaded windows and is basically an early-Georgian house, although much altered inside and out. It was built in 1723 by Thomas Cook and Caleb Waterfield, carpenters (see No. 67 above).
Apart from the stuccoing of the façade, the house has almost certainly been raised by a storey, and an open portico with thick, graceless Corinthian columns and a balcony above with simple iron railings have been added (Plate 11b). The portico was erected in 1867 to the designs of Henry McCalla, (fn. 127) and the balcony may be of the same date.
In 1910 extensive repairs were carried out to the designs of Banister Fletcher and Sons, including the conversion of the stables to a garage (since again rebuilt), (fn. 128) but little of interest survives inside the house, which is again being remodelled at the time of writing (1978).
An unusual episode in the history of the house occurred between 1801 and 1819 when it housed Richard Du Bourg's museum of cork models of antique ruins. (fn. 129)
Occupants include: Brig.-gen. Richard Ingoldsby, 1732–59. Sir Henry Wyatt, 1831–9. Rev. Lord Frederick Beauclerk, younger son of 5th Duke of St. Albans, 1840–50: his wid., 1850–66. Robert Bourke, later Baron Connemara, 1875–80 (later at No. 43). George Palmer, biscuit manufacturer, 1881–3 (later at No. 58).
No. 69 is a stucco-fronted house, four windows wide and having four main storeys plus garrets (Plate 11b). Although its outward appearance is now almost entirely of the nineteenth century, it was built under a sub-lease granted in 1723 to Benjamin Timbrell, carpenter, by Thomas Barlow, who was both the estate surveyor and the head lessee of this stretch of Grosvenor Street. (fn. 130)
Most of the façade probably dates from 1851 when the Jewish architect David Mocatta submitted plans for alterations, including an extra storey, to the Grosvenor Board on behalf of a new owner, Leon Solomon. The Board required certain changes, including the addition of a Doric portico. (fn. 131) The distinctive window dressings, however, are likely to be of the architect's own designing, as this method of updating early-Georgian façades was not typical of the Grosvenor estate although it was used elsewhere in London—in Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, in 1859, for instance. (fn. 132) The builders were Haynes and Company of Coleman Street. (fn. 133)
Inside, John Soane prepared the house in 1799–1800 for the Dowager Duchess of Leeds but the work seems to have been confined to repairs, wallpapering and painting. (fn. 134) In 1831 Henry Gally Knight, Member of Parliament, traveller and writer on architecture and antiquities, obtained an extension of his existing leasehold term in the house on condition that he spent at least £1,000 in additions and repairs. (fn. 135) Much later a number of alterations were made in 1903 and 1907 for the Ladies Empire Club, three architects being involved, Alfred Burr, R. G. Hammond (who was, as usual, working with John Garlick's building firm) and John Johnson. (fn. 136)
The result is a very eclectic interior combining neoclassical, Italianate and neo-Georgian details. Particularly remarkable is the main toplit staircase compartment where the upper parts of the walls are decorated with anthemions and other plasterwork details including pilasters with unusual Composite capitals which have representations of a goddess nestling among the acanthus leaves. The staircase itself is wall-hung, of stone sharply cut away on the undersides, with a heavy cast-iron balustrade of interlacing scrolls and C-curves and a broad mahogany handrail. The secondary staircase is also of stone with another cast-iron balustrade in a similar but not identical design (Plate 14a).
A new block at the rear, which replaced the existing stabling in 1906–7, was designed by John Johnson. He provided a large ground-floor reception room with conventional Edwardian Georgian decor including two elaborate chimneypieces. The builders were Dove Brothers. (fn. 137)
Occupants include: Earl of Dalkeith, later 2nd Duke of Buccleuch, 1725–9 (later at Nos. 66 and 67). Dow. Countess of Dysart, wid. of 3rd Earl, 1731–40: her da., Dow. Marchioness of Carnarvon, 1740–54. Dow. Duchess of Leeds, wid. of 5th Duke, 1800–20 (later at No. 73). Henry Gally Knight, writer on architecture, 1828–46. 3rd Baron Kensington, 1864–72: his son, 4th Baron, 1872–96: the latter's son, 5th Baron, 1896–9.
No. 70, a commercial building of seven storeys (the top storey set back with dormer windows) faced with red bricks and a modicum of stone dressings, was erected in 1960–4 to the designs of David Landaw and Partners. (fn. 138)
The previous house had been rebuilt or recast after a fire in 1873. (fn. 139) In 1910 the estate surveyor, Eustace Balfour, thought the staircase 'very fine', (fn. 140) and some panelling was highly esteemed by the Estate in 1929. This was when the house was being opulently remodelled by Oliver Hill for the first Baron Forres in a well-publicized scheme. On the ground floor Hill provided a simple, pine-panelled diningroom and a 'garden room' with cool marbling and concealed lighting (Plate 13d). At first-floor level there was a double drawing-room in pine, 'bleached silver-grey', with Corinthian pilasters and a modillion cornice, also all in wood. Sir Edwin Lutyens, as architectural adviser to the Estate, had a hand in the design of the new panelling in this room, which was installed by Lord Forres to replace the admired panelling removed by the executors of the previous lessee. (fn. 141) Lutyens, however, had nothing to do with a mock-mediaeval music room which Hill built over the garage at the rear and which had walls formed of a composition of shell-pink marble dust and a hooded fireplace of Verona marble. The builders were Holland and Hannen and Cubitts and the carvers A. Broadbent and Sons. (fn. 142)
Occupants include: 3rd Earl of Bute, later Prime Minister, 1748–52. Sir Armine Wodehouse, 5th bt., 1757–9. William Thorne, private hotel, 1863–74. Frederick Leverton Harris, art collector, ship owner and politician, 1907–26. 1st Baron Forres, company chairman and politician, 1930–1: his wid., 1931–4.
Nos. 71–72, a single block of shops and offices, five bays wide and seven storeys high, the topmost storey having dormer windows, was erected in 1938–40 to the designs of Anns and Haigh. (fn. 143) It is fully within the red-brick neoGeorgian tradition that prevailed on the estate during the inter-war years.
Originally the site was occupied by one big house with a forty-two-foot frontage which was erected by the master builder Benjamin Timbrell in 1722–4. (fn. 144) Its first young mistress, Lady Hertford, delighted in its complete panelling, the good lighting of the back stairs, and the remoteness of the kitchen. (fn. 145) In the early 1790's it boasted an organ. (fn. 146) The house was converted into two by the builder John Elger in 1841–2. (fn. 147)
Occupants include: No. 71, Earl of Hertford, later 7th Duke of Somerset, 1724–48. Lord Burghley, latterly 9th Earl of Exeter, 1750–7, 1766–93: his mother, Dow. Countess, 1757–65: his sister, Lady Elizabeth Chaplin, 1765–6: his nephew, 10th Earl, later 1st Marquess, 1793–5 (later also at No. 66). Dow. Marchioness of Bath, wid. of 1st Marquess, 1796–1825. No. 72, (Sir) James Ronald Martin, kt., surgeon, 1850–61. Henry Thomas Lowry Corry, politician, 1862–8. (Sir) Samuel Wilks, physician, latterly bt., 1882–1901 (previously at No. 77). Sir James Reid, physician, 1st bt., 1902–18: his wife (latterly wid.), 1919–37.
No. 73 (formerly No. 72), which is four windows wide and has three stuccoed storeys above a modern shop front, was built in 1722–4 under a sub-lease granted by Thomas Barlow, who held a head lease of this part of the street, to John James, bricklayer, (fn. 148) but the house has been almost totally transformed inside and out. In 1838–40 and again in 1851 alterations were made by John Elger, the builder, (fn. 149) and he was probably responsible, at the latter date, for raising the house by an extra storey (with straight-headed windows in contrast to the segmental-headed ones beneath), stuccoing the façade and providing a deep cornice resting on consoles at roof level. The shop front was installed by Collcutt and Hamp in 1928. (fn. 150)
Inside, a heavy oak dog-leg staircase, with thick balusters in the lower stages changing to a wrought-iron balustrade above first-floor level, is probably part of alterations made in 1906–7 by the architects Kemp and How, (fn. 151) and may incorporate portions of a Victorian back stair at the upper level.
Occupants include: Sir Edward Ernle, 3rd bt., 1724–9. Sir Baldwyn Connyers, 1729–31. 2nd Viscount Barrington, 1741–6. Lady Widdrington, wid. of 4th Baron, 1747–57. Dow. Marchioness of Donegall, wid. of 1st Marquess, 1800–2. Matthew Baillie, morbid anatomist, 1803–20. Dow. Duchess of Leeds, wid. of 5th Duke, 1821–37 (previously at No. 69). Sir Arthur Paget, G.C.B., diplomatist, 1839–40.
No. 74 (formerly No. 73) is an attractive four-storey stuccoed house, four windows wide, with a Doric portico, a continuous balcony behind a stucco balustrade resting on ornate brackets at first-floor level, and a plain cornice at third-floor level. There are also small iron window-box holders of intricate design in front of the second-floor windows. The windows, which are segmental-headed, disclose by their shape and proportions the early-Georgian origins of the house. It was built under a sub-lease granted in 1722 to Stephen Whitaker, brickmaker, by Thomas Barlow, the estate surveyor, who was also the leaseholder of this part of the south side of Grosvenor Street. (fn. 152) The builder of the house was probably John James, bricklayer, who was a party to the sub-lease and who also built No. 73 adjoining, which has similar storey heights and window openings.
In 1849 the house was raised by an extra storey and the façade was altered to the designs of Thomas Cundy II, the estate surveyor. (fn. 153) The portico and balcony were added in 1872 by Matthew Hackforth, builder and decorator, replacing the original flat Doric doorcase. (fn. 154) Cement was allowed to be used for these rather than stone as the front of the house was already stuccoed.
Cundy's elevation was part of a major scheme of remodelling undertaken in 1849–50 for the Devy family, who combined the businesses of silk mercer, milliner and court dressmaker. (fn. 155) The ground and first floors were converted into offices and 'magasins' (although no external show of business was allowed) and a small wing at the back was rebuilt to provide domestic accommodation including a dining-room and a small drawing-room. (fn. 156) The architect and builder are unknown.
Despite these and later alterations, both the frontcompartment staircase and the secondary stairs behind have retained their original position, but the main staircase looks to have been much renewed. It is of wood with carved step-ends, two barley-sugar balusters per tread and plain newel posts. Immediately behind is a Georgian dogleg staircase with bulbous balusters and a simple rail. A third staircase, of stone, was added at the rear of the extension in 1849–50. There are raised-and-fielded shutters to the front windows on the ground and first floors, and the latter floor also has two very elaborate chimneypieces with pilasters, broken scrolled pediments, armorial bearings and inset oval paintings. The chimneypieces were perhaps fitted at some time between 1872 and 1919 when the house was in private occupation. (fn. ) There is a cistern dated 1724 in the front area.
Occupants include: Lord Compton, latterly 5th Earl of Northampton, 1725–9. Sir John Shelley, 6th bt., 1809–15. Viscount Holmesdale, latterly Baron Amherst, later 3rd Earl Amherst, 1880–2. Baron De Brienen, 1886–7.
No. 75 was built by George Trollope and Sons in 1912–14 to the designs of Edmund Wimperis, the estate surveyor, and his new partner, William Begg Simpson. (fn. 157) The previous house had been built before 1725 by Thomas Barlow, carpenter, who was also the estate surveyor. (fn. 158) In 1906 the then estate surveyor Eustace Balfour, who admired its 'original entrance doors and staircase', had been willing to prolong its existence, but by 1912 Wimperis had succeeded him, and the replacement of what he called an 'old and badly arranged house' proceeded. (fn. 159) The present building is a neo-Georgian red-brick house with four main storeys and another tall storey within a steeply pitched roof. There are stone mask keystones to the windows of the first two storeys and a deep modillion cornice in stone above the third storey. A plain secondary cornice above the fourth storey supports a metal balustrade which owes little to Georgian precedent.
The doorcase, which is of wood with very elaborately carved brackets supporting a flat hood, was salvaged from the previous house on the site. (fn. 160)
The confident neo-Georgian style of the present house was to become a hallmark of Wimperis's firm over the next two decades, and its inception appears to date from the arrival in the firm of Simpson, probably firstly as an assistant and then as partner by 1913. The work inside the house is equally accomplished, with good decorative features in an early- and mid-Georgian manner.
Occupants include: Lady Dodington Montagu, da. of 1st Duke of Manchester, 1741–73: her niece, Lady Caroline Montagu, 1773–5. Alexander Patrick Stewart, physician, 1849–83. (Sir) Henry Montague Hozier, later K.C.B., secretary of Lloyd's, 1886–92.
This block of offices was built in 1938–40 for Hillier, Parker, May and Rowden, the auctioneers and surveyors, to the designs of P. Macpherson, a staff architect with the firm. The contractors were Harry Neal Limited. (fn. 161) It is a large building with six full storeys and an additional storey in the roof. Although basically adhering to the Grosvenor Estate's favoured neo-Georgian tradition with red brickwork and sash windows, the façade is also decked out with much stonework at the lower levels including tall Ionic columns and other detail with a Baroque flavour.
The chief interest of this site, however, lies in one of the houses which was demolished for the new block. This was No. 76 (formerly No. 75 until renumbered in 1866), which was the London home of Robert and James Adam from 1758 until 1772. In January 1758 Robert Adam returned from the Grand Tour and took the house shortly afterwards, having realized that a fine house in London would be needed 'to blind the world by dazzling their eyesight with vain pomp'. (fn. 162) The Adam brothers set antique marbles in the area wall, and drew up a number of plans to transform their early-Georgian house. (fn. 163) One provided for a large and very ornately decorated octagonal room at the rear backing on to the mews. This was to have a toplight in the centre of a domed and coffered ceiling, with large niches in four of the sides to take some of the marbles or plaster casts which had been acquired in Italy (Plate 15b, c). One scheme called for this room to be preceded by a rectangular ante-room with two apses. The great room, as the octagonal room was designated, was almost certainly never built, and the extent of any other alterations is unknown (although plans show the laundry-block had a columned front to the garden by the 1790's (fn. 164) ). Negative evidence suggests that perhaps little was done, an advertisement for an auction of the house in 1809, when the Adam brothers' fame was still high, making no reference to any features by them, or, indeed, to any special characteristics of the house. (fn. 165)
Occupants include: No. 76, Robert and James Adam, architects, 1758–72. Lady Bulwer, wife of Sir Henry Lytton, later Baron Dalling and Bulwer, diplomatist, 1868. (Sir) Arthur Hayter, latterly 2nd bt., politician, 1869–80. Charles Hilton Fagge, physician, 1882–3. No. 77, Lord Charles Hay, maj.-gen., son of 3rd Marquess of Tweeddale, 1757 (later at No. 46). Adm. Sir Thomas Bladen Capel, K.C.B., 1839–48, 1850. Samuel Wilks, physician, later bt., 1870–81 (later at No. 72). Arthur C. N. Dixey, politician, 1929–31. No. 78, Jeremiah Meyer, ? miniature painter, 1781–5.
Nos. 79 and 80
Nos. 79 and 80 (formerly Nos. 78 and 79) were built in 1852–3 to the designs of Sydney Smirke by Lucas and Company of Lambeth. (fn. 166) The plot was formerly occupied by the Mount Coffee House (later Mount Hotel), which had been established on the site of No. 80 as early as 1721 (fn. 167) and had expanded to take in the neighbouring house on the site of the present No. 79 in c. 1810. (fn. ) Smirke originally planned to build only one house but submitted amended designs for two houses in July 1852. (fn. 168)
No. 79 is a two-bay, four-storey house which is in part built over the passageway leading from Grosvenor Street to Grosvenor Hill, as its predecessor had been. The remainder of the ground floor is now taken up by a shop with plain glass fronts, but when built there was a normal domestic entrance with a Doric doorcase here. The façade above is now rendered but would originally have been brick faced in the same manner as No. 80. The windows, unusually, are wooden casements.
Because Grosvenor Street narrows considerably at this point No. 80 has two elevations, one facing west down Grosvenor Street and the other facing north on to the narrow part of the street, the corner between them being rounded. Smirke's drawings show only one large window per floor, but additional windows have since been inserted in both flanks. A Doric porch with a stone balustrade above survives, but the rest of the ground floor is now given over to a modern shop front. The remainder of the façade is faced with brick —white Suffolks according to the specifications but now of a distinctly grey hue—with Portland cement stringcourses and a cornice. The large segmental-headed windows on the first and second floors have cement dressings but the other windows are plain with brick heads.
Smirke, himself, lived at No. 80 from 1853 to 1870. (fn. )
No. 81 (formerly No. 80) is a narrow, one-bay house, four storeys high, with a recent shop entrance on the ground floor below a roughly rendered façade which has iron tie-rods arranged to form a pattern and odd decorative ironwork around the windows. Its history is as obscure as its appearance is undistinguished. Originally it probably formed part of the curtilage of the Mount Coffee House at No. 80 but a separate occupant appears in the ratebooks from 1736 onwards. (fn. 169) In 1880 it was described by the estate surveyor as very old, and he recommended its demolition, but it has survived to the present day. (fn. 170)