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Number 18, Adam Street: Adelphi Tavern


Number 18 Adam Street

The Adelphi Tavern was located at number 18 Adam Street, on the western side of the street, on the northern corner with John Street. This building is now part of the Royal Society of Arts, and along with its neighbours has been given an extra storey beneath a mansard roof. The tavern opened in October 1772, under the ownership of William Osborn, who lived in the neighbouring house at number 21 (later number 2) John Street. He was also a member of the RSA.

The ceilings on the ground and first floors were executed in accordance with Adam’s designs and survive in situ.

In 1957 the RSA acquired a 99-year lease of numbers 20 and 21 (later numbers 2 and 4) John Street, as well as number 18 Adam Street. They purchased the freehold of these three buildings in 1977, 1979 and 1980 respectively. In the 1990s a lecture theatre was built in the former wine vault beneath the building.



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

If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: drawings@soane.org.uk

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 Number 18, Adam Street: Adelphi Tavern