The Pitt Estate in Dean Street: No. 72 Dean Street

Pages 213-214

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

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No. 72 Dean Street


The site of this house, built c. 1756, at the same time as the former Nos. 71 and 73 (see table on page 250), is now part of that of No. 72–74 Dean Street, Royalty House.

The occupants of the eighteenth-century house included Joseph Cradock, author, c. 1765–8; (fn. 1) Richard Newcome, Bishop of St. Asaph, 1769; Daniel Wray, antiquary, 1770–83; and Joseph Constantine Carpue, surgeon, 1806–1833. (fn. 2)

The plans for reconstructing and enlarging the adjacent Royalty Theatre, submitted to the London County Council by Cecil Masey in 1943, (fn. 3) show that No. 72 Dean Street was planned on similar lines to No. 73, with an open-well staircase between the front and back rooms. Unlike Nos. 71 and 73, however, the back wall was not built as a canted bay, but was straight with a Venetian window in each of the principal storeys. A photograph taken in 1912 (fn. 4) (Plate 102a) shows that the front elevation had suffered little change. It was a plain design in brick sparingly dressed with stone or stucco. The windows were recessed in openings having flat arches of gauged brick and stone sills, originally continuous on the first floor. Plain pilasters marked the party walls, and a narrow frieze and shallow cornice extended below the attic storey.

The following description, based on an inventory dated 29 August 1765, gives an idea of the handsome style in which the interior of No. 72 Dean Street was finished. (fn. 5)

The basement front room was a servants' hall, with two sash windows, the floor being paved with Portland stone which was also used for the chimneypiece. The back room, allotted to the housekeeper, also had two sash windows, the walls were fully wainscoted and there was a marble chimneypiece. The rear passage, with fully wainscoted walls and a Purbeck stone floor, led to the kitchen, past a back area containing a lead cistern. The kitchen, under the back yard, was roofed with lead and paved with Purbeck stone; it was lit by a skylight and a Venetian window. In the back yard was a boghouse, probably adjacent to the stables which contained six stalls, a double coach-house, with lofts and rooms over.

The front door, protected by a 'portico', opened to a passage paved with marble squares. The walls had a dado with a moulded base and an impost, the upper face being finished with a plaster block-cornice. An arch opened to the compartment containing the staircase, which had a 'mahogany rail and bannisters with carved mahogany brackets from ground to first flight of the 2 pair-of-stairs storey', above which the rail and banisters were of deal.

The front parlour walls were finished with a dado having a moulded base and impost, below wainscoting with plain and ovolo-moulded panelling. The doorcases were capped with pulvinated friezes and cornices, and the two sash windows were provided with inside shutters. The fireplace had a firestone hearth, black marble covings, marble slab and chimneypiece, the last framed with a carved ovolo moulding finished with a carved pulvinated frieze and a cornice-shelf with two carved members. A block-cornice of plaster surrounded the plain ceiling. The large back parlour, with three windows, was more richly finished, the dado-rail or impost having dentils and three carved members. Carving ornamented the ovolo panel-mouldings and the architraves to the windows and doors, the latter being finished with 'contracted' friezes and dentilled cornices having two carved members. The chimneypiece consisted of a moulded frame flanked by two trusses supporting a frieze and dentilled cornice-shelf, all with carving. A plaster block-cornice 'with flowers and two members enriched' surrounded the ornamented ceiling. There was a 'pair of folding doors to go into Yard'.

In the first-floor front room the walls were papered above a dado having a moulded base and an impost enriched with a fret and one carved member. The mouldings to the doors and window shutters were carved, as were two members of the architraves to the three windows and the 'six sides of doors'. Each doorcase was finished with a carved pulvinated frieze, and a dentilled cornice with two enriched members. The fireplace, with black marble coving and a firestone hearth, had a veined marble slab and a statuary marble chimneypiece, the last framed in a carved ovolo moulding below a pulvinated frieze, also carved, and a cornice-shelf with three carved members. A plaster block-cornice, with flowers and three enriched mouldings, surrounded the ornamented ceiling.

The first-floor back-room walls were hung with a flock paper above a dado, having a moulded base and an impost with a fret and three carved members. There was a Venetian window with fluted pilasters, the shutter mouldings being carved like those of the doors. The fireplace had a firestone hearth and black marble covings, a veined marble slab and a statuary marble chimneypiece. This last was framed by a carved moulding, between a 'Pair of Trusses knee high Carved, Two Trusses with Ornaments Carved on the flatt, Frieze Flora's Head on Tablet, a Dentill Cap and three Members Carved'. A plaster blockcornice, with roses and three ornamented members, framed the ornamented ceiling. The lobby between the rooms had a dado, with a moulded base and impost, and the landing was similarly finished.

The second-floor front-room walls were papered above a dado, having a moulded base and impost; the three sash windows had inside shutters; there were two marble chimneypieces, each with a bath stove set in marble. The back room, which had a Venetian window, was similarly finished, both rooms having plaster cornices and plain ceilings. The four garret rooms were wainscoted 'chair high' and papered above. There was a marble chimneypiece in each room except the north-west, which had one of Portland stone. The lanthorn skylight was presumably above the staircase well, and a 'step ladder to go out on roof was provided.


  • 1. R.B.; W.P.L., BA.69/42; E. F. Rimbault, Soho and its Associations, 1895, pp. 94–5.
  • 2. R.B.
  • 3. G.L.C., Dept. of Architecture and Civic Design, Theatre Section, case 444.
  • 4. G.L.C., Photograph Library.
  • 5. W.P.L., BA.69/42.