The Pitt Estate in Dean Street: No. 77 Dean Street

Page 235

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

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No. 77 Dean Street

For the building of this house see the table on page 250. The first occupant, (Sir) Kenrick Clayton of Bletchingley, Surrey, M.P., (fn. 2) was succeeded from 1750 to 1762 by Sir Thomas Drury of Overstone, Northamptonshire, baronet, M.P. (d. 1759) and his widow. On entering the house Sir Thomas had work carried out under the supervision of James Steere (perhaps the architect and surveyor), which probably amounted to a thorough repair and redecoration. The workmen's bills mention walls plastered in white and colour, including those of the staircase compartment, which had an 'ornament ceiling'. The carver's bill describes work on 'a Chimney Frame … with Scroal Pediment and a Basket of Frute and flowers with two side Scroals'. A few years later a workman's bill mentions painting doors and window shutters in a chocolate colour and 'picking in' the handrail of the great staircase in the same colour. (fn. 2) (fn. 1)

Later occupants were William Thomas, 1763–74; Charles Mordaunt, fourth Earl of Peterborough, 1775–9; the Countess of Peterborough, until 1788; Charles Dormer, eighth Baron Dormer, 1789–91; and Sir Clement Cottrell-Dormer, of Rousham, Oxfordshire, knight, 1792–8. (fn. 3) From 1799 to 1851 the premises were occupied by the piano-maker, Thomas Tomkison, (fn. 4) and by 1833 all the rooms were used as workshops. (fn. 5) From 1852 until 1921 the premises were occupied by Crosse and Blackwell. (fn. 6) In 1914 the house still had painted walls, and it was asserted (although not disinterestedly) that the interior was finer than that of No. 75. (fn. 7)

Remodelling has left nothing of interest inside, and the front, which is four windows wide and was probably similar to Nos. 74–76, has been considerably altered (Plate 102b). The modern front of a restaurant, of plain design in white cement, almost fills the ground storey, the rendered face extending to the level of the first-floor window sills. Segmental-headed stepped architraves, plain friezes and pediments, two triangular between two segmental, have been added to the first-floor window openings, and a deep plain bandcourse extends below the second-floor windows, which have retained their original red brick dressings. Cement has been used for these added ornaments, which appear to date from the mid nineteenth century.

A watercolour drawing by J. P. Emslie, dated 1885, showing the fronts of Nos. 75, 76 and 77, offers evidence that No. 77 had a pedimented Ionic doorcase, like that at No. 75, in the third opening from the south. (fn. 8) The first-floor windows had already received the existing cement dressings, but the attic storey then contained a series of eight closely spaced lights instead of the present four windows. The front was finished with a cornice and a plain parapet, broken centrally by a pediment-shaped blocking.


  • 1. The workmen in 1751–2 were Charles Applebee, brazier; William Barlow, carver; William Bull, mason; Anthony Child, joiner; Charles Covey, plumber; Grantham, joiner; Robert Hardcastle, mason; Thomas Lord, paviour; Benjamin Lovett, painter; Mortimer, bricklayer; George Strutton, carpenter; Jonathan Thistleton, plumber; Thomas Towerson, bricklayer; Wattson, glazier; John Westbrook, smith; and John Whitehead, plasterer. William Day supplied an oven and stoves, In 1755–6 John Bunny, bricklayer, and William Wilton, plasterer, were also employed, and Joseph Duffour supplied girandoles.
  • 2. Norfolk and Norwich Record Office, NRS 17131, 32E3; 21089, 71X3; 21140, 75X3.
  • 3. R.B.
  • 4. R.B.; Rimbault, op. cit., p. 93.
  • 5. P.R.O., CREST 2/831, sale particulars, 7 June 1833.
  • 6. P.O.D.
  • 7. House of Lords Record Office, op. cit., (150 above), 21 May, pp. 36, 50.
  • 8. W.P.L., box A.138.