Town Houses Part 4

Town Houses Part 4

So in Part 3 last month, we looked at how London grew during the Georgian era, estate by estate. I thought to wrap up this little series I’d share more about what surviving town houses are used for today. And of course I’ve got loads more pictures to share, so let’s get right to them!

Ham House is another of those Twickenham-Richmond area homes, although it’s older (and unlike some of the others I featured in Part 3, it looks its age) and remained in the center of an estate.
It’s owned by the National Trust, which means…
…spaces like this beautiful Jacobean long gallery are preserved. But while many historic houses that I’ve featured in this series are owned either by the National Trust or English Heritage, they are by no means the only historic houses around. Open House London gave me a chance to see inside some of them.
42 Portland Place is occupied by Christie’s Education (yes, of Christie’s auctions fame).
I was excited to get a chance to go in as part of Open House London last year, as Portland Place was done by James (and likely Robert) Adam.
I was even more excited when I got inside to see the plasterwork. But our guide told us that they had an expert in and most of it is likely not original. Apparently it was popular in the Edwardian era to bring back the old Georgian-style plasterwork, and that meant imitating the Adam style.
10-11 Carlton House Terrace is home to the British Academy, and features some lovely and impressive interiors, at least some of which seem to date to the period.
It features some impressive gilt work!
And plaster work!
It was also open as part of Open House London.

It was nice to have a chance to wander through some pretty incredible rooms, and even to shoot some 360 video so you can wander through them, too!

Down the street, neighbour 6-9 Carlton House Terrace is home to the Royal Society, and many of its spaces were more updated, like this Beaux Arts stairway.
This room appears more to the period, but it’s over the top enough that it could just be Edwardian masquerading as something older.
This former Georgian country house, another that’s been encompassed by the growth of London, has been home to the Hurlingham Club for many years.
The old entertaining rooms are still at the heart of things, although additional buildings have been added.
Sadly, not every house is doing so well. For Hanworth Park House, the open house was a chance to raise awareness of what they’re trying to do with the house.
The friends of Hanworth Park House are trying to preserve it for community use.
Clearly, though, it needs a LOT of work. The issue is, they need to build houses on some of the land in order to fund the restoration of the house, but the land is designated green belt, and so things have been at a bit of an impasse.
It’s got some really interesting features, though.
They think James Wyatt was the original architect, but don’t have definitive proof.
It’s also grown some appendages over the years.
I would love to come back some day and see that beautiful plaster ceiling fully restored.

That’s a bit of a depressing note to end on, although I hope some day I’ll be back with photos of a restored Hanworth Park House. Instead of leaving you with that, though, I’ll remind us of all of the houses that have survived, and are being used. Beyond the ones I got to take a look at during the open house, there are so many that hotels, or houses, albeit sometimes broken up into multiple flats. And someone gets to live in this rather small two-bay house, where men’s fashion changed forever:

Beau Brummel's house

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14 Responses to Town Houses Part 4

  1. Thank you for sharing these excellent photos. My dream is to see the interior of No. 44 Berkeley Square–and its beautiful Kent staircase.

  2. As always, lovely pictures. I’ll probably never get to see those sites and locations in my lifetime so I appreciate you taking us on your trip via your photos. Thanks.

  3. I had to go back and read all the previous posts on this topic. I feel so educated this morning! Thank you

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