No. 26 Queen Anne's Gate

Pages 123-124

Survey of London: Volume 10, St. Margaret, Westminster, Part I: Queen Anne's Gate Area. Originally published by [s.n.], [s.l.], 1926.

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In this section


Ground Landlord, etc.

The freehold is the property of the Mountjoy Estates, Ltd.

General Description and Date of Structure.

This is one of the two houses (fn. n1) in the square which is shown as occupied in the ratebook for 1705. On 5th April, 1726, it was sold (fn. n2) by the South Sea Company Trustees to the Countess Dowager of Winchelsea for £1555. In the indenture it is described as the first house on the north side of the square "now or late in the occupation of Lord Willoughby of Brook," containing in front 30 feet and in depth 40 feet, being three storeys high, with three rooms on a floor, having two staircases, and a kitchen, washhouse and other offices below stairs "with a flatt over them from the house to the Park wall." There were garrets in the roof, a yard 42 feet long on the east side and 39 feet 10 inches on the west, two vaults under the square and "iron palisa does" in the front. The kitchen and all the lower offices are said to be wainscotted and well fitted up, "and the first, second and third floors wains cotted throughout and well fitted up with two marble chimney peices and slabs, and one Portland chimney peice and footpaces on the first floor, three marble chimney peices, slips and slates on the second floor, and four Portland chimney peices and footpaces on the third floor." A coach-house under the Chappell" was included in the sale.

The premises have recently undergone extensive alterations (both inside and out), and efforts have been made to recreate their original atmosphere, and make them harmonise externally with No. 15 opposite. A new tile roof has been supplied and a wood modillion cornice reinstated at the thirdfloor level, while the window openings have been restored to the old proportions and the panes divided into small squares. The entrance has its original wood door-case with a decorated canopied hood cantilevered beyond the carved pilasters to the door jambs. The carving to the door-hoods on this side of the square shows a slight variation from that on the opposite side, with the ornament to the frieze in stronger relief (Plates 112 and 113).

The main staircase (Plates 114, 115, 116), which extends from the ground to the first floor, is of oak, and has turned spiral balusters with clusters forming the newels, which have carved pendants. The face of the outer strings below each tread has a carved bracket, while the apron lining to the firstfloor landing has a carved foliated frieze and a decorated cove moulding. The walls are panelled and have a moulded wood cornice with a deep cove. The back staircase extends from basement to attic around a square well, and is executed in deal with turned balusters, close strings and square newel posts, while the walls are faced with plain panelling. Two small front rooms on the second floor retain their original square panelling and moulded wood cornice. Before the recent alterations the chief rooms were covered with modern panelling out of harmony with the original character of the premises; this has now been removed and new panelling substituted in keeping with those parts of the house which retain their old features.

Condition of Repair.

The premises have recently been altered and redecorated

Historical Notes.

The occupiers of this house up to 1840, according to the ratebooks, were:

1706–11 Lord Dartmouth. (fn. n3)
1712–28 Lord Willoughby de Brook.
1729 Lady Willoughby de Brook.
1746–47 Mme. Steward.
1749–60 Mrs. Woodward.
1761–93 Mrs. Lois Andrews.
1794 Jas. Armes.
1795 Jas. Andrews.
1797–1800 Thos. Gorsuch.
1801–20 Thos. Talbot Gorsuch.
1824 M. Floodgate.
1826–27 Phil. Hollingworth.
1829–32 G. S. Turner.
1833– G. Jas. Turner.

William Legge, first Earl of Dartmouth, only son of George Legge, first Baron Dartmouth, was born in 1672, and succeeded to the Barony in 1691. In 1702 he was appointed a commissioner of the Board of Trade and Plantations and made a member of the Privy Council. In 1710 he became secretary of state for the southern department, and in the following year was created Viscount Lewisham and Earl of Dartmouth. In 1713 he was made lord keeper of the privy seal and in that capacity acted as one of the lords-justices on the death of Anne. On the arrival of George I. he retired from public life. He died in 1750.

He was succeeded in the occupation of the house by Lord Willoughby de Broke. This was George, youngest son of Sir Richard Verney, 11th Baron Willoughby de Broke, who succeeded his father in the barony in 1711. He was a canon of Windsor, was made Dean in 1713, and appointed registrar of the Order of the Garter. He died at Windsor in 1728. Lady Willoughby de Broke, who apparently continued at the house in Queen Square for a time, was Margaret, daughter of Sir John Heath.

Legge, Earl of Dartmouth.

Sir George James Turner, youngest son of Richard Turner, perpetual curate of Great Yarmouth, was born at that town in 1798. He was called to the Bar in 1821, and made Q.C. in 1840. He represented Coventry in Parliament from 1847 to 1851, and carried the measure known as "Turner's Act" to simplify Chancery proceedings. In 1851 he was appointed a vice-chancellor, knighted, and made a member of the Privy Council. In 1852 he was a prominent member of the commission appointed to report upon the practice of the Court of Chancery, and in the following year became a lord-justice of appeal in Chancery. He died in 1867.

His residence in Queen Square is shown by the ratebooks as commencing in 1833, but it is possible that the "G. S. Turner" shown as residing there from 1829 to 1832 may be a mistake for him.

In the Council's Collection are:—

(fn. n4) Detail of entrance doorway (measured drawings).
(fn. n4) Staircase details and hall panelling (measured drawings).


  • n1. The other was No. 19.
  • n2. Close Roll, 5315.
  • n3. "Dartmouth (the Lord) his House is situate in Queens Square, Westminster." (Hatton's New View of London (1708), II., 626.)
  • n4. Reproduced here.