Soho Square Area: Portland Estate, No. 17 Soho Square

Page 68

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

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No. 17 Soho Square

The early history of the house on this site has been described above with that of No. 12. Dr. Samuel Rich was living here in 1692, (fn. 1) and in 1694–5, (fn. 2) and Lady Fanshaw from at least 1703 to 1706. Other inhabitants include Sir Orlando Bridgeman, third baronet, M.P., later Governor of Barbados, 1707–9; Esquire Lockhart,? George Lockhart, Jacobite and author, 1712–14; William Legge, first Earl of Dartmouth, 1716–18; Sir Thomas Seabright, fourth baronet, M.P., 1719–31; Captain James Compton, 1757–64; Dr. Thomas White, 1782–7, and George Walker, novelist, bookseller and publisher, 1820–47. (fn. 1)

There is no indication in the ratebooks that the house built in the late 1670's was ever entirely demolished, but the present aspect of the building suggests that it was thoroughly renovated in the early nineteenth century. The front is of yellow stock brick, three windows wide and four storeys high (Plate 71a). The ground floor is faced with rusticated stucco and the entrance is set in a round-arched opening with a decorative fanlight. The first-floor windows open on to a balcony with an ornamental wrought-iron balustrade, and a plain parapet screens the slated roof. Internally, the fittings are typical work of the early nineteenth century. The hall is simple with an inner doorway to the stair compartment. The joinery is similar to that at No. 14, but the architraves are finished with wreathed stops instead of lionheads, and the plain but elegant open-well staircase is of finer quality. Several chimneypieces survive; in the two rooms on the ground floor they are of grey marble, with panelled members and roundel stops; on the first floor they are of white marble, the members again panelled but with fruit and flower carving to the tablet and stops.


  • 1. R.B.
  • 2. G.L.R.O., WCS 677/1.