The Pitt Estate in Dean Street: No. 74 Dean Street

Page 215

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

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No. 74 Dean Street


This house, built in 1734–5, was the southernmost and smallest of four similar houses of which Thomas Richmond was the building lessee (see table on page 250). In c. 1796 lodgings were taken in the house by the engraver, Gaetano Bartolozzi, and his daughter, Lucia, later known as Madame Vestris, the actress, (fn. 1) is said to have been born here in 1797. (fn. 2) From the 1830's the back part of the site was occupied by part of Miss Kelly's (later the Royalty) Theatre, and its subsequent history is included in the account of that theatre given below. Its site is now part of that of No. 72–74 Dean Street, Royalty House.

The plan of the house appears on a lease of 1840. (fn. 3) This shows a frontage of some twentythree feet, like that of No. 73, but a depth of only some forty feet (fig. 52). The plan was arranged on conventional lines, with the staircase on the south side of the back room, which had a slightly canted rear wall containing one window and a door, this giving access to a closet-wing.

A photograph of 1901 (fn. 4) shows that the three-windows-wide front of No. 74 was originally uniform with the three larger houses to the north. In the ground storey, however, there was a shop front, probably inserted c. 1796 for an upholsterer, John Weatherall. (fn. 5) This was an elegant composition of three equal arches, a window between two doorways, all with radial fanlights. The arches were finished with narrow archivolts rising from moulded imposts above panelled piers. The outside edge of each end spandrel curved in with an ogee profile to meet the frieze-fascia and cornice, the former being broken over the middle arch by a lugged tablet. In the south arch was a two-leaf door of six panels, serving the house and shop, and in the north arch were exit doors of about 1883, from the Royalty Theatre at the rear. The upper part of the front was in 1901 quite free from alteration except that the second-floor windows had probably been lengthened by lowering the sills. In 1905 the front was stuccoed and ornamented to match with No. 73 (see page 219) and is so shown in 1912 (Plate 102a).


  • 1. D.N.B.
  • 2. Memoirs of the Life of Madame Vestris, 1830, p. 8 (B.M. pressmark 1203. c. 20).
  • 3. M.L.R. 1848/1/275.
  • 4. B.M., Dept. of Prints and Drawings, National Photographic Record, box 32.
  • 5. R.B.; Kent's Directory, 1796.