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London: No. 49 (formerly 44) Grosvenor Square: alterations for Robert Knight, 1801-2 and 1818-19 (47)

See London: No. 49 (formerly 44) Grosvenor Square: alterations for the Dowager Countess of Pembroke, 1797-9 for an earlier account of the house.

Lady Pembroke stayed only a short time before the house was then let on a long lease (from 1802) to Robert Knight (1768-1855), illegitimate son of the Earl of Catherborough. The Earl's legitimate son having died, it was arranged by an Act of Parliament that Robert would take the surname Kinght and inherit his father's property.

Alterations and additions for Mr Knight were made in two phases: alterations to the house including its enlargement by 14 feet, 1801-5, and new offices and stables, 1818-19. The first phase saw the entrance (which was in Charles Street) enlarged so that the canted bay of the first and second floors became continuous to the ground thus allowing for a larger entrance hall. The existing library was taken down, the columns preserved for further use, and the entire building extended into the garden by 14 feet. Subsequently there was a proposal for refitting the library as a dining room (previously on the ground floor front) with its curved wall replaced by very large niches. On the first floor, the 14 feet extension allowed for a large drawing-room facing the garden while the second floor had the addition of a bedroom and dressing room. The second stage of alterations and additions, 1818-19, was for a new kitchen and laundry as well as stables with coach house and covered way.

Litererature. Survey of London, The Grosvenor Estate in Mayfar, volume XL, pp. 161-4 and 'Grosvenor Square: Individual Houses built before 1926', in Survey of London: Volume 40, the Grosvenor Estate in Mayfair, Part 2 (The Buildings), ed. F H W Sheppard (London, 1980), pp. 117-166 http://www.british-history.ac.uk/survey-london/vol40/pt2/pp117-166

Jill Lever
June 2015
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