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Mansfield Street, number 18


Number 18 Mansfield Street (previously number 3) is on the east side of the street, the penultimate house at the southern end. The lease was taken by the carpenter and builder, John Hobcraft (c1720-1802). Hobcraft worked with the Adam brothers at Croome Court, Worcestershire, and was doubtless one of the builders working on Mansfield Street. Moreover, Hobcraft was a subscriber to Robert Adam's Ruins of the palace of the Emperor Diocletian at Spalatro in Dalmatia (1764).

In 1774 the lease was purchased by Thomas Bermingham, 19th Baron Athery (1717-99), who was created Earl of Louth (of the second creation) in 1777.

Number 18 is one of the surviving houses, although a nineteenth-century Doric entrance has been added. Adam's ante room and drawing room ceilings survive in situ, as well as his ornamentation to the stairwell, including Adam's original anthemion ironwork balustrade. Moreover, there are eighteenth-century Adam-style ceilings surviving in the ground-floor rooms of this house, and although there are no drawings for these ceilings, it is likely that they were also designed by Adam.

All of the houses on the east side of the street were purchased after the Second World War by the British Employers Confederation, and remained their headquarters until 1997. In 1998 a 150-year lease was acquired for all four buildings from the Howard de Walden estate by a developer who separated the houses, and sold the leases individually. The house is now divided into one office and two private residences.

See Mansfield Street scheme notes.

Frances Sands, 2013



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.

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 18