Dean Street Area: Portland Estate, St. Anne's Court, eastern range

Pages 142-143

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

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St. Anne's Court: eastern range

The western range of this court was built on the Pulteney estate and is described on page 295. The eastern part was originally built in c. 1690 opening off Dean Street, under forty-year building leases bearing date in October of that year, granted by Edward Andrews of St. James's, esquire, and Nicholas Burnell, citizen and haberdasher of London, sometimes together and sometimes individually. They had at an unknown period possessed sites in the western range. Here in the eastern part their lien on the property seems to have derived from Nicholas Barbon. The leases granted by them allowed peppercorn terms of one and a quarter years. The names of some of the lessees were Martin Heatley of St. Anne's, bricklayer, Henry Lidgbird of St. Martin in the Fields, bricklayer, Thomas Stroud of the same, mason, and Joseph Warden, carpenter: an early assignee of a site was Peter Cottgreave of St. Anne's, joiner. (fn. 1) It is uncertain whether this part of the court communicated from the beginning with the western part on the Pulteney estate (see page 289n.).

In 1735–7 this eastern part (except, perhaps, for the former No. 26) was rebuilt, and some of the houses then erected still survive in carcase.

Nos. 1–8 (consec.) St. Anne's Court

No. 8 demolished

These houses, and the public house at No. 85 Dean Street, rebuilt in 1799–1800 (see page 137), which comprise all the south side of the eastern range of the court, were built in 1735–6 (fn. 2) (Plate 117b, 117c). A sixty-five-year Portland building lease of the whole range from Michaelmas 1734 had been granted in that year to Thomas Richmond of St. Anne's, carpenter. (fn. 3) In 1735 Richmond had granted subsidiary building leases of some individual plots to three other builders, John Devall of St. Marylebone, mason, (fn. 4) William Frith, carpenter, (fn. 5) and John Sanger of St. James's, carpenter: (fn. 6) an early mortgagee of Devall's was John Welbeloved of St. Anne's, joiner. (fn. 7)

Nos. 27 and 28 St. Anne's Court and Nos. 86 and 87 Dean Street

These houses on the north side of the court were built in 1735–6, (fn. 2) under a sixty-five-year Portland building lease from Michaelmas 1734 granted in 1733 to William Bignell of St. Anne's, glazier. (fn. 8) All but one of the other houses on this side of the eastern range of the court (the former Nos. 21–25 consec.) were rebuilt by Bignell at about the same time.

Architectural Description, St. Anne's Court

St. Anne's Court is a pedestrian way of irregular plan extending from Wardour Street to Dean Street. The buildings fronting to the narrow western range have been rebuilt at various times, but several original houses survive in the eastern range, mostly on the south side (Plate 117b, 117c). A plan of this south side is included in the Portland estate plan, made in 1792–3. This shows the public house at the Dean Street end, and eight small houses having an average frontage of seventeen feet and a depth of twenty-two feet, the interior being simply divided by panelled partitions to form a front room, a back room, and a dog-legged staircase. There were no closet wings, but each house had a small yard containing a privy and sometimes a shed.

All the houses contain three storeys and a roof garret, and the fronts, where original, are of the simplest design and built of russet stock bricks. The two windows of each upper storey have exposed frames set flush in openings with flat arches of red rubbers. On the north side, Nos. 27 and 28 are original houses, similar in size and finish to those on the south side, although the front of No. 28 is three windows wide. Moulded architraves of stucco have been added to the windows of both houses, and No. 28 has the remains of an original wooden doorcase, consisting of a moulded architrave and a single carved console-bracket. Most of the houses have shop fronts, generally nondescript and modern but sometimes incorporating earlier features such as the mutule cornice at No. 7.

No. 86 Dean Street is a three-storeyed house with frontages to St. Anne's Court and Dean Street, both three windows wide. Above the modern shop front is a restored face of stock brickwork where the side windows of each front are set with flush frames in plain openings having flat arches of gauged red bricks. The middle windows of the St. Anne's Court front are blind, but those in Dean Street have concealed frames recessed in openings dressed with cement architraves, friezes and steep pediments, suggesting that these windows were also blind originally.


  • 1. P.R.O., LR1/283, ff. 1–8; C5/181/54; C5/358/ 58; C8/359/21; M.L.R. 1715/6/31; 1719/6/187.
  • 2. R.B.
  • 3. M.L.R. 1735/2/469; 1735/3/487; Nottingham University, Portland MSS., Soho lease book.
  • 4. M.L.R. 1736/1/23.
  • 5. Ibid., 1735/2/472–3.
  • 6. Ibid., 1735/2/470–1.
  • 7. Ibid., 1736/1/24.
  • 8. Ibid., 1735/3/394, 464; Nottingham University, Portland MSS., Soho lease book.