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Cobham (possibly The Mount), Surrey, variant designs for a house and additions for William Saltonstall, 1782-3, unexecuted (9)


Adam’s scheme for a house near Cobham provides alternative designs for alterations and additions to a two-storey T-shaped house. Adam’s proposals include designs in both the classical and castle styles which, as King highlights, demonstrates the architect's ability to adapt effortlessly between the two. The first design (SM Adam volumes 37/109-111) proposes additions to an earlier building, in the castle style. The second design (SM Adam volumes 45/52-53) is in the classical style and includes single-storey pavilions, which flank the earlier block, extending the principal front to 70ft in length. The final proposal (SM Adam 45/50-51), also in the classical style, proposes more substantial additions, formed with the introduction of a new front block adjoined to the original building at the rear.

Designed for William Saltonstall Esq., little is known about the scheme’s intended site. However, an account from 1797 recorded Saltonstall’s residence as the manor of Haydon, near Cobham (otherwise known as ‘The Mount’). The Manor of Haydon was recorded in the eleventh century as part of the estate of Odo, Bishop of Bayeux and half-brother of William the Conqueror.

In 1734 the estate was purchased by a Mr James Hubbard, before it passed to Richard Hornsby, Esq. Following Hornsby’s death his widow Elizabeth sold the estate to William Saltonstall, who is noted as the owner c1797.

‘The Mount’ survives today in the grounds of Cobham Hall, a sixteenth-century brick house with alterations and additions made in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The eighteenth-century additions included the construction of a new wing to the west. Described as a cruciform building, it is probably the house for which Adam’s designs were intended.

W. Bristow, ‘Parishes: Cobham’, The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 3, 1797, pp. 404-442; H.E. Malden (ed.), ‘Parishes: Cobham’, A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 3, 1911, pp. 442-447; A.T. Bolton, The architecture of Robert and James Adam, 1922, Volume II, Index pp. 7, 86; D. King, The complete works of Robert and James Adam & unbuilt Adam, 2001, Volume II, pp. 15, 121, 161; ‘The Mount’, www.historicengland.org.uk; ‘Cobham Hall’, www.historicengland.org.uk (accessed March 2021)

Anna McAlaney, 2021



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Contents of Cobham (possibly The Mount), Surrey, variant designs for a house and additions for William Saltonstall, 1782-3, unexecuted (9)