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London: 19 Curzon Street, additions and alterations for Sir John Sebright, 1803-7 (16)

Sir John Sebright, 1767-1846, 7th baronet, of Besford, Worcestershire and Beechwood, Hertfordshire. Politician and agriculturists, he was elected (independent) MP for Hertfordshire in 1807.

Of his London town house, Ptolemy Dean wrote (Sir John Soane and London, 2006, p.196) that No. 19 Curzon Street 'is a very rare and important example of a surviving Soane townhouse addition.... The house was of a fairly typical eighteenth century pattern with a bow window to the rear room overlooking southwards to the garden. Soane's scheme ... was to replace this with a new west-facing room, with a water-closet discretely inserted within the house in place of outside privies. The new room was not left as a rectangle but bowed outwards, with a large window to the west. On the original house, brick piers were removed on three storeys to allow for the insertion of a large sash or casement window with thin glazing bars to admit the maximum quantity of light.'

In the Soane Museum's green box files there is additional information including a detailed report by Ptolemy Dean in relation to proposals for demolishing part of the building including Soane's addition in 1998. However, Buildings of England: London 6: Westminster (S.Bradley and N.Pevsner, 2003, p.520) mentions the 'special interest of Soane's rear addition of c. 1807' which confirms that it was not demolished after all.

Jill lever
March 2016
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