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Mansfield Street, number 15

Number 15 Mansfield Street (previously number 6) is on the west side of the street, at the northern end, and was one of the two houses retained by Robert and James Adam.

In 1772-73 the lease was acquired by Nathaniel Curzon, Baron Scarsdale (1726-1804), who was Adam's patron at Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire. Scarsdale had succeeded his father as 5th Baronet in 1758. He served as MP (Tory) for Clitheroe in 1748-54, and Derbyshire in 1754-61; was created 1st Baron Scarsdale in 1761, and served in the House of Lords until 1790.

Number 15 has a longer plot than the other houses on the west side of Mansfield Street, enabling Adam to create a second first floor ante room, as in the houses on the east side of the street. Moreover, it was the most sumptuous house of all ten, most likely owing to the Adam brothers wish to please Scarsdale: their long-standing patron at Kedleston Hall. It is perhaps because of this that number 15 was one of only two houses on Mansfield Street which was not complete, or nearing completion on the banking crisis of 1772. In order to release the funds to complete the house, it was included in the Adam brothers' Adelphi lottery in early 1774. It is unclear how, but by March of that year Scarsdale owned the property, and remained there until 1801.

Number 15 is not one of the surviving houses. It was badly damaged by damp, dry rot, and World War II requisitioning, and was demolished in 1954. A facsimile of Adam's house was built in 1956-67 to designs by William Biggs of Stone, Toms and Partners, and has been the headquarters of the Royal College of Midwives since its completion.

See also: Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire

Literature:
See Mansfield Street scheme notes.

Frances Sands, 2013
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