The Grove at Muswell Hill was one of Beauclerk’s various residences during the last decade of his life. Located in the London borough of Haringay, it was originally the location of a twelfth-century well, said to hold curative properties, and around which was built a dairy belonging to the Augustinian Priory, St Mary's of Clerkenwell. The land came into private ownership following the Dissolution. The Grove itself, set within eight acres, was an eighteenth-century, three-storey, nine-bay pedimented villa, built to the designs of an unknown architect. In 1770 Beauclerk commissioned Robert Adam to make designs for a curtain wall around his observatory there, and for the interior decoration of his wife's dressing room. None of Adam's designs for The Grove were executed, but Walpole reports that a library which Adam had designed was installed in 1779 at Beauclerk's house on Great Russell Street (demolished in 1788). Beauclerk also acquired a house on the Adelphi in 1773.
Following Beauclerk's death in 1780, The Grove was sold to a Mr Poker. It passed through various hands, and was finally demolished in the 1870s, when the Alexandra Palace railway line was constructed. The eight acres surrounding the house were incorporated into Alexandra Park.
A.T. Bolton, The architecture of Robert and James Adam, 1922, Volume II, p. 30, Index pp. 23, 62; F.M. Smith, 'An eighteenth-century gentleman: the Honorable (sic) Topham Beauclerk', The Sewanee Review, Volume 34, (April 1926), pp. 205-219; B. Weinreb, and C. Hibbert, (eds), The London encyclopaedia, 1983, p. 547; J. Ingamells, A dictionary of British and Irish travellers in Italy: 1701-1800, 1997, p. 65; D. King, The complete works of Robert & James Adam and unbuilt Adam, 2001, Volume I, pp. 423-24, Volume II, pp. 179, 218
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 The Grove, Muswell Hill, Greater London: unexecuted designs for a curtain wall around an observatory, and interior decoration for a dressing room, for the Hon. Topham Beauclerk, 1770 (6)
- Finished drawings for a curtain wall around an observatory, c1770, unexecuted (2)
- Preliminary design, finished drawing and record drawing for a ceiling for Lady Beauclerk Diana's dressing room, 1770, unexecuted (3)
- Record drawing of a frieze for Lady Beauclerk Diana's dressing room, ND, unexecuted (1)