Soho Square Area: Portland Estate, No. 28 Soho Square

Page 113

Survey of London: Volumes 33 and 34, St Anne Soho. Originally published by London County Council, London, 1966.

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No. 28 Soho Square


The building of this house has been described above. Unsigned designs for it are in the library of the Royal Institute of British Architects. (fn. 1) Occupants have included George Colman, dramatist and manager of the Haymarket Theatre, 1776–87, Sir Hugh Inglis, baronet, M.P., director of the East India Company, 1803–13; and Joseph Hume, Radical M.P., 1822–32. From 1834 to 1860 the house was used as the recruiting office for the military service of the East India Company. (fn. 2) In 1862 it was purchased from the Crown for the rector of St. Anne's as a parsonage house, (fn. 3) and remained in this use until 1935. In 1937 No. 28 and the adjoining house to the east, No. 27, were demolished for the erection of the present Nos. 27–28 (Nascreno House).

The drawings relating to this house comprise a front elevation and five floor plans (Plate 77). (fn. 1) The interior was evidently arranged on conventional lines, each of the principal floors having a large front room, a fair-sized back room, and a small room beyond the spacious staircase compartment. The plan forms are interesting and show that the interior was architecturally attractive. The wide hall was divided into three crossvaulted compartments; the dining-room (groundfloor front) had a sideboard recess flanked by segmental-curved walls containing doors; the second drawing-room (first-floor back) was apseended, with niches flanking the door to the front room, and even the small room was bay-ended.

The front appears to have been built in accordance with the drawing, and photographs show a well-proportioned front of simple but elegant design, four storeys high and three windows wide. The doorway was on the left of the two groundstorey windows, which were widely spaced like those in the upper storeys. The sashes were recessed in plain openings, having stone sills, stuccoed reveals, and flat arches of gauged brickwork. The brick face of the front was relieved with a plain bandcourse at first-floor level, and below the attic storey was a narrow frieze and small cornice, the former ornamented with fluting between paterae. Artificial stone was probably used for these members, and for the doorcase framing the tall doorway with a wide moulded architrave, flanked by half-pilasters and surmounted by a frieze of fluting and paterae, and a plain cornice. The front area-railing, of simple design with vase-crowned standards, was contemporary with the house, but the cast-iron balconies to the lengthened windows of the first floor were additions.


  • 1. R.I.B.A. Library, L6/6.
  • 2. R.B.; P.O.D.
  • 3. M.L.R. 1862/12/355.