The 7th Baronet (1731-1802) had been friends with Robert Adam since his youth. He had been born at Eaton Hall; succeeded his father in 1755; was MP (Tory) for Chester (1754-61); was Mayor of Chester in 1759; was created Baron Grosvenor in 1761; was made a fellow of the Royal Society in 1771; was created Earl of Grosvenor in 1784; and died in 1802 with gambling debts of £150,000. Unfortunately he is best remembered for his disastrous marriage to Henrietta Vernon (1745-1828, m. 1764), by whom he had four sons. Henrietta famously conducted a love affair with Henry Frederick, Duke of Cumberland, the brother of King George III, which was discovered in 1769. Grosvenor sued Cumberland for 'criminal conversation' with his wife, and was awarded £10,000 in 1770. As an adulterer himself, Grosvenor could not sue for divorce, but separated from Henrietta immediately, pensioning her off with £1,200. At the beginning of this marital turmoil, in 1768, Robert Adam sent designs for making alterations and additions to the house. None of this came to fruition, most probably because of the break-down of the Grosvenor marriage.
In 1804-12, the 2nd Earl (later created 1st Marquess) rebuilt the house in the Gothic style, to a design by William Porden (1754-1822). This was altered in 1846-51 by William Burn (1789-1870) for the 2nd Marquess, and the whole was once again rebuilt in 1870-83 by Alfred Waterhouse (1830-1905) for the 3rd Marquess (later 1st Duke of Westminster). During both World Wars the house was used as a hospital, and then as an officer cadet training school until 1958. In 1961 the house was largely demolished, and replaced by a new building, which itself was refaced and remodelled in the 1990s.
C. Campbell, Vitruvius Britannicus, Volume II, 1717, p. 2; A.T. Bolton, The architecture of Robert and James Adam, 1922, Volume I, p. 45, Volume II, Index p. 10; J. Cornforth, and G. Acloque, 'The eternal Gothic of Eaton - I', Country Life, 11 February 1971; N. Pevsner, and E. Hubbard, The buildings of England: Cheshire, 1971, pp. 207-209; A.A. Tait, The creative mind: from the sketch to the finished drawing, 1996, p. 46; D. King, The complete works of Robert & James Adam and unbuilt Adam, 2001, Volume II, pp. 124-25, 218
Frances Sands, 2012
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 Eaton Hall, Cheshire, unexecuted designs for a menagerie and banqueting house, and for alterations and additions to the house for Baron Grosvenor (later 1st Earl Grosvenor), c1766-68 (19)
- Preliminary design for a menagerie and banqueting house, and finished drawing for a banqueting house, 1766, unexecuted, 1766 (2)
- Preliminary designs and finished drawings for adding wings, links and an entrance loggia to the house, c1768, unexecuted (8)
- Variant preliminary design and finished drawings for adding wings, links and an entrance loggia to the house, c1768, unexecuted (3)
- Designs and finished drawings for adding wings, links and an entrance loggia to the house, c1768, unexecuted (6)