- Robert and James Adam office drawings
In 1772-73 the lease was acquired by Nathaniel Curzon, Baron Scarsdale (1726-1804), who was Adam's patron at Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire. Scarsdale had succeeded his father as 5th Baronet in 1758. He served as MP (Tory) for Clitheroe in 1748-54, and Derbyshire in 1754-61; was created 1st Baron Scarsdale in 1761, and served in the House of Lords until 1790.
Number 15 has a longer plot than the other houses on the west side of Mansfield Street, enabling Adam to create a second first floor ante room, as in the houses on the east side of the street. Moreover, it was the most sumptuous house of all ten, most likely owing to the Adam brothers wish to please Scarsdale: their long-standing patron at Kedleston Hall. It is perhaps because of this that number 15 was one of only two houses on Mansfield Street which was not complete, or nearing completion on the banking crisis of 1772. In order to release the funds to complete the house, it was included in the Adam brothers' Adelphi lottery in early 1774. It is unclear how, but by March of that year Scarsdale owned the property, and remained there until 1801.
Number 15 is not one of the surviving houses. It was badly damaged by damp, dry rot, and World War II requisitioning, and was demolished in 1954. A facsimile of Adam's house was built in 1956-67 to designs by William Biggs of Stone, Toms and Partners, and has been the headquarters of the Royal College of Midwives since its completion.
See also: Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire
See Mansfield Street scheme notes.
Frances Sands, 2013
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.
Browse (via the vertical menu to the left) and search results for Drawings include a mixture of Concise catalogue records – drawn from an outline list of the collection – and fuller records where drawings have been catalogued in more detail (an ongoing process).
Contents of Mansfield Street, number 15
- Record drawing for a chimneypiece for the front drawing room for Robert and James Adam, 1772 (1)
- Record drawing for a chimneypiece for the ante room for Robert and James Adam, 1772 (1)
- Record drawing for a chimneypiece for the back parlour for Robert and James Adam, 1772 (1)
- Finished drawing for a ceiling for the front drawing room for Lord Scarsdale, 1772, as executed (1)
- Finished drawing for a mirror frame for the front drawing room for Lord Scarsdale, 1772, as executed (1)
- Preliminary design and finished drawing for a ceiling for the back drawing room for Lord Scarsdale, 1772, as executed (2)
- Preliminary design for the ceiling for the ante room for Lord Scarsdale, 1772, probably as executed (1)
- Design for a ceiling for the front parlour for Lord Scarsdale, 1773, as executed (1)
- Design for a ceiling for the back parlour for Lord Scarsdale, 1773, as executed (1)