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London’s Squares and Townhouses between the 17th and 19th Centuries
Mon 5th Mar 2018 @ 10:30 am - 4:00 pm
The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries saw many aristocratic landowners developing their London estates, building fine town mansions and laying out elegant squares and terraces, thus creating a fashionable West End. Inigo Jones’s Covent Garden Piazza, built in the 1630s for the 4th Earl of Bedford, was London’s first formally laid out architectural space, but it was in Bloomsbury that the Earl of Southampton, in the 1660s, laid out London’s first so-called ‘square’. The development of St. James’s, with St. James’s Square at its heart, soon followed and, because of its proximity both to Whitehall and St. James’s Palace, it immediately became the most sought-after place to live. In the eighteenth century, rapid development proceeded to the north with the laying out of the Grosvenor, Harley-Cavendish and Portman estates, and by the end of the century London had reached what is now the Marylebone Road. This talk will look at the rise of these estates, at some of the extremely grand mansions and townhouses that were built, of which Burlington House, Spencer House and Home House are among the survivals, and at the character of the ordinary terrace house and the craftsmen who built them.
Lecturer: Philippa Barton
Philippa is a freelance lecturer in the fine and decorative arts for The Arts Society, V&A and others, specialising in English architecture, interiors and furniture from the 16th to the 19th centuries. Philippa runs her own lecture series and events and specialised courses.
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