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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XXXVIII.—No. 18 QUEEN ANNE'S GATE (Formerly No. 5 Park Street).
The freehold is the property of Christ's Hospital.
The exterior consists of four storeys in plain brickwork over a basement, and a slated mansard roof to the attic (Plate 80). The windows to the first floor open on to a balcony, a feature probably added early in the 19th century, when the window-sills were lowered to the floor level. The front area has wrought-iron railings, and on each side of the entrance are iron lamp-standards. The back is similar to No. 20.
The main staircase, which is of stone, and continues in a semi-elliptical sweep to each floor, from ground to second floor, has a wrought-iron balustrading of panels of "S" design and a mahogany handrail of light section.
The entrance door with a small window in each side is contained within a semicircular brick arch, the tympanum being filled with a fanlight of good design; a second fanlight occurs over the inner doors to the staircase.
On the first-floor landing are two Ionic columns standing free, and two wall pilasters which support an entablature at the second-floor level, the frieze being decorated with guilloche ornament, which is carried in a band round the wall of the staircase. Above this, on the side walls, are two elaborate elliptical borrowed lights, with cobweb glazing bars, the frames being surrounded by plaster foliage in relief. In the ceiling of the stair is an elliptical domed skylight, with festoons in plaster around the drum.
The back room on the ground floor has a carved mantelpiece in white and sienna marbles, with a central panel containing a sculptured representation of Ganymede.
On the first floor the front room has a good plaster ceiling, part of which was cut away when the room was made smaller by the insertion of the secondary staircase. It is divided into panels containing representations of the Arts in low relief, while the centre is decorated with a circular painted panel (Plate 89). The mantelpiece in this room is in Genoa green and white marbles, with a sculptured centre tablet representing Diana and her Nymphs. The ceiling of the back room is similar to one in No. 20, and is treated with a series of painted panels within a floral wreathing. The mantelpiece is in white marble, with fluted Ionic ¾-diameter columns, and a sculptured centre tablet containing a representation of Hercules resting after his Capture of the Erymanthian Boar (Plate 88).
The north room on the second floor is entered from a vestibule with fluted columns and entablature.
In the entrance hall is preserved a carved wood door frame removed from the Queen Square Chapel (see p. 138).
Condition of Repair.
According to the ratebooks, the occupiers of the house were as follows:—
|1779–80||John Petteward. (fn. n1)|
|1782–90||Sir Gilbert Elliot.|
|1796–1800||Hon. Wm. Wyndham.|
|1801–14||George White. (fn. n2)|
|1825–35||Sir W. Millman.|
Sir Gilbert Elliot, son of the statesman, philosopher and poet of the same name, was born in 1751. In 1774 he was called to the Bar, and in 1777 succeeded his father in the baronetcy. In the previous year he had entered Parliament, and in 1787 he brought forward an impeachment of Sir Elijah Impey for perversion of justice in Bengal. The motion was lost, but the speeches made by Elliot won him a considerable reputation. In 1793 he was appointed Civil Commissioner at Toulon, and from 1794 to 1796 was Viceroy of Corsica. He returned to England in 1798 and was created Baron Minto. In the following year he was Minister Plenipotentiary at Vienna. In 1806 he became President of the Board of Control and was soon after appointed Governor-General of India, a position which he held with success until 1813. On his retirement in that year he was created Viscount Melgund and Earl of Minto. He died in 1814, a few weeks after his arrival in England.
William Windham, son of Colonel Windham, the author of the Plan of Discipline, was born in 1750. At first averse from a public career, he gradually drifted into politics, and in 1783 became secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland. In the following year he entered Parliament. In 1788 he was one of the band of members who managed for the Commons the impeachment of Warren Hastings. In 1794, on Burke's advice, he consented to take office under Pitt, becoming Secretary at War until the fall of the Ministry in 1801. He opposed the peace of 1802 and assisted Cobbett to found the Political Register. In 1806–7 he held the War and Colonial Office under Lord Grenville, in which position with a view to making military service more attractive he carried Bills for reducing the term of service and increasing the pay. He died in 1810.
In the Council's Collection are:—
(fn. n3) General exterior of premises (photograph).
Marble mantelpiece, back room on ground floor (photograph).
(fn. n3) Plaster ceiling to front room on first floor (photograph).
Marble mantelpiece, front room on first floor (photograph).
(fn. n3) Plaster ceiling to back room on first floor (photograph).
(fn. n3) Marble mantelpiece, back room on first floor (photograph).
(fn. n3) Ground and first-floor plans (measured drawing).