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Carlton House, Pall Mall, London: unexecuted design for an entrance screen, for Augusta, Dowager Princess of Wales, 1767 (1)

Signed and dated

  • 1767


At the east end of the south side of Pall Mall, Carlton House was built in 1709 for Henry Boyle, 1st Lord Carlton. In 1732 the house was purchased from the Dowager Countess of Burlington by Frederick, Prince of Wales. Alterations to the interior and gardens were designed by William Kent (1685-1748) in 1735. Following her son's accession, Augusta, the Dowager Princess of Wales, commissioned Sir William Chambers (1722-96) to make further alterations and improvements to the house. These works were carried out in 1763-69, and included incorporating the neighbouring house, which had belonged to George Bubb Doddington until his death in 1762.

During the tenure of the Dowager Princess James Adam made a design for an entrance screen and gateway ornamented with sculptures of past sovereigns since 1603. By these means the irregular front of the house was to be concealed, but the design was not executed. According to the Works in Architecture of Robert and James Adam this screen, as well as various alterations to the interior for which no drawings survive, would have been made but for the Princess's declining health.

King George III gave the house to his son, the Prince of Wales (later the Prince Regent) when he came of age in 1783. This precipitated a large-scale and vastly expensive series of works to designs by Henry Holland (1745-1806), who added a portico, an entrance screen and remodelled the interior in 1783-96; James Wyatt (1746-1813), who redecorated the interior in 1804-5, and designed another library and strong room in 1812-13; Thomas Hopper (1776-1856), who added a conservatory in 1807; and John Nash (1752-1835), who remodelled the basement storey in 1813-15. However, when the Prince Regent became King George IV in 1820 he no longer required Carlton House, and in 1827 it was demolished. A handful of chimneypieces were salvaged for Buckingham Palace. The site is now the location of Carlton House Terrace, built in 1827-33 to designs by John Nash and James Pennethorne (1801-71).

R. & J. Adam, The works of Robert and James Adam, 1773-78, part 5, pls 1-3; A.T. Bolton, The architecture of Robert and James Adam, 1922, Volume II, Index p. 43; Survey of London, Volume XX, 1940, pp. 69-76; H.M. Colvin, (ed.). The history of the King's works, Volume V: 1660-1782, 1976, p. 138; D. King, The complete works of Robert & James Adam and unbuilt Adam, 2001, Volume II, pp. 129, 202-204, 221; S. Bradley, and N. Pevsner, The buildings of England: London 6: Westminster, 2003, p. 439

Frances Sands, 2012



Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation

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Sir John Soane's collection includes some 30,000 architectural, design and topographical drawings which is a very important resource for scholars worldwide. His was the first architect’s collection to attempt to preserve the best in design for the architectural profession in the future, and it did so by assembling as exemplars surviving drawings by great Renaissance masters and by the leading architects in Britain in the 17th and 18th centuries and his near contemporaries such as Sir William Chambers, Robert Adam and George Dance the Younger. These drawings sit side by side with 9,000 drawings in Soane’s own hand or those of the pupils in his office, covering his early work as a student, his time in Italy and the drawings produced in the course of his architectural practice from 1780 until the 1830s.

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Contents of Carlton House, Pall Mall, London: unexecuted design for an entrance screen, for Augusta, Dowager Princess of Wales, 1767 (1)