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London: No. 49 (formerly 44) Grosvenor Square: alterations for the Dowager Countess of Pembroke, 1797-9 (18)


The house was built in aboout 1728. Changes were later made to it and, in particular, a library installed, possibly for Christopher Bethel, in c.1770-1.
The drawings catalogued here are dated between October 1797 and April 1799 and were drawn by George Mansfield, Soane's surveyor. The work was carried out for the
Dowager Countess of Pembroke (1737-1831) widow of the tenth Earl, and lady of the bedchamber to the Queen Consort. Soane had earlier (for the same client) made alterations in three phases to Pembroke Lodge in Richmond Park, 1788-98 (q.v.). Lady Pembroke moved into her Grosvenor Square house in 1799. The alterations cost £2,189. The most ambitious (though unrealised) of Soane's designs ([7]) was for moving the ground floor library forward into the garden and adding rooms behind. In the main, the work consisted of new and larger windows to rooms on the first floor, doors were generally moved, widened and centred so as to create enfilades and new chimneypieces were installed. Lady Pembroke did not stay long in Grosvenor Square, moving out in 1801. The new owner was Robert Knight who employed Soane to make further and larger alterations (q.v.).

Litererature. Survey of London, The Grosvenor Estate in Mayfar, volume XL, pp.161-162

'Grosvenor Square: Individual Houses built before 1926', in Survey of London: Volume 40, the Grosvenor Estate in Mayfair, Part 2 (The Buildings), ed. F H W Sheppard (London, 1980), pp. 117-166 http://www.british-history.ac.uk/survey-london/vol40/pt2/pp117-166

Jill Lever
May 2015



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