Carlton House Terrace is a street in the St James's district of the City of Westminster in London. Its principal architectural feature is a pair of terraces of white stucco-faced houses on the south side of the street overlooking St. James's Park. These terraces were built on Crown land between 1827 and 1832 to overall designs by John Nash, but with detailed input by other architects including Decimus Burton, who exclusively designed No. 3 and No.4. This building was once the original location for offices belonging to the Information Research Department (IRD), a secret branch of the UK Foreign Office dedicated to creating pro-colonial and anti-communist propaganda during the Cold War.
The land on which Carlton House Terrace was built had once been part of the grounds of St James's Palace, known as "the Royal Garden" and "the Wilderness". The latter was at one time in the possession of Prince Rupert of the Rhine (cousin of Charles II), and was later called Upper Spring Garden.
From 1700 the land was held by Henry Boyle, who spent £2,835 on improving the existing house in the Royal Garden.Queen Anne issued letters patent granting Boyle a lease for a term of 31 years from 2 November 1709 at £35 per annum. Boyle was created Baron Carleton in 1714, and the property has been called after him since then, although at some point the "e" was dropped.
On Carleton's death the lease passed to his nephew, the architect and aesthete Lord Burlington, and in January 1731 George II issued letters patent granting Burlington a reversionary lease for a further term of 40 years at an annual rent of £35.By an indenture dated 23 February 1732 the lease was assigned to Frederick, Prince of Wales, eldest son of George II, who predeceased his father, dying in 1751; his widow, Augusta, continued living in the house, making alterations and purchasing an adjoining property to enlarge the site. She died in 1772 and the house devolved to her son, George III.
The property was granted by George III to his eldest son, George, Prince of Wales (later Prince Regent) on the latter's coming of age in 1783. The Prince spent enormous sums on improving and enlarging the property, running up huge debts. He was at loggerheads with his father, and the house became a rival Court, and was the scene of a brilliant social life.
When the Prince became King George IV in 1820 he moved to Buckingham Palace. Instructions were given in 1826 to the Commissioners of Woods and Forests that "Carlton Palace" should be given up to the public, be demolished and the site and gardens laid out as building ground for "dwelling houses of the First Class".By 1829 the Commissioners reported that the site was completely cleared and that part of it had already been let on building leases. Materials from the demolition were sold by public auction, with some fixtures transferred to Windsor Castle and to "The King's House, Pimlico". Columns of the portico were re-used in the design for the new National Gallery in Trafalgar Square, interior Ionic columns were moved to the conservatories of Buckingham Palace, and some of the armorial stained glass was incorporated in windows of Windsor Castle.
After Carlton House was demolished the development of its former site was originally intended to be part of a scheme for improving St James's Park. For this John Nash proposed three terraces of houses along the north of the Park, balanced by three along the south side, overlooking Birdcage Walk. None of the three southern terraces and only two of the three northern ones were built, the latter being the west (No.1–9) and east (No. 10–18) sections of Carlton House Terrace.These two blocks were designed by Nash and Decimus Burton, with James Pennethorne in charge of the construction. Decimus Burton exclusively, without Nash, designed No. 3 and No. 4. Carlton House Terrace. These elegant townhouses took the place of Carlton House, and the freehold still belongs to the Crown Estate. Nash planned to make contiguous the two blocks with a large domed fountain between them (re-using the old columns of the Carlton House portico), but the idea was vetoed by the King; the present-day Duke of York's Steps took the place of the fountain. In 1834 the Duke of York's Column was erected at the top of the steps. It consists of a granite column designed by Benjamin Wyatt topped with a bronze statue by Richard Westmacott of Frederick, Duke of York.
The terraces, which are four storeys in height above a basement, were designed in a classical style, stucco clad, with a Corinthian columned façade overlooking St James's Park, surmounted by an elaborate frieze and pediment. At the south side, facing the park, the lower frontage has a series of squat Doric columns, supporting a substantial podium terrace at a level between the street entrances to the north and the ground floor level of the modern Mall.The houses are unusual as they are expensive London terraces which have no mews to the rear. The reason for this was that Nash wanted the houses to make the best possible use of the view of the park, and also to present an attractive façade to the park. The service accommodation was placed underneath the podium and in two storeys of basements (rather than the usual one storey).
According to the architectural historian Sir John Summerson Nash's designs were inspired by Ange-Jacques Gabriel's buildings in the Place de la Concorde, Paris. Summerson's praise of the buildings is muted:
The central pediments are a somewhat too contrived means of preventing an apparent sag in a very long façade and the attics on the end pavilions may be over-emphatic. Subtlety of modelling there is none. In fact, Carlton House Terrace is thoroughly typical of the extraordinary old man who designed it, but whose only contribution to the work was probably the provision of a few small sketches, done either in the glorious painted gallery of his Regent Street mansion or the flower-scented luxury of his castle in the Isle of Wight.
The authors of the Survey of London take a more favourable view:
The houses … form a double group each side of the Duke of York's Column. Designed as an architectural entity, facing the Park, they represent with their range of detached Corinthian columns, a pleasing example of comprehensive street architecture; an effect greatly enhanced by the freshness of their façades … The end house to each block is carried up above the roof of the main façade, thereby effecting a successful pavilion treatment. The return fronts of the houses facing the steps are also effectively treated in a complementary manner.
Although Nash delegated the supervision of building to Pennethorne, he kept the letting of the sites firmly in his own hands. Ground rents, payable to the Crown, were set at the high rate of 4 guineas per foot frontage. Nash himself took leases of five sites – nos 11–15 intending to let them on the open market at a substantial profit. In the event he could not cover his total costs and made a small loss on the transactions.
In 1832 the later to be famous Carlton Club, which had been formed by the Duke of Wellington and others shortly beforehand, took up residence in number 2courtesy of one of its supporters Lord Kensington. Number 2 remained the home of the club and de facto headquarters of the Tory Party for only a short while however as the building quickly grew too small and it moved to a new purpose built clubhouse on Pall Mall in 1835 but retains the Carlton name to this day.
In the 20th century the Terrace came under threat of partial or complete demolition and redevelopment, as were country houses at that time. By the 1930s there was little demand for large central London houses, and the Commissioners of Crown Lands were having difficulty in letting the properties. Two properties were let to clubs: no 1 to the Savage Club and no 16 to Crockford's gambling club, but residential tenants became hard to find.Proposals for redevelopment were put forward by the architect Sir Reginald Blomfield, who had earlier been one of those responsible for replacing Nash's Regent Street buildings with larger structures in the Edwardian neo-classical style. Blomfield proposed rebuilding "in a manner suitable for hotels, large company offices, flats and similar purposes". The suggested new buildings were to be two storeys higher than Nash's houses, and there was an outcry that persuaded the Commissioners not to proceed with the scheme.
The Terrace was severely damaged by German bombing during the Second World War. In the 1950s the British government considered acquiring the Terrace as the site for a new Foreign Office headquarters. The Nash façades were to be preserved, but it was widely felt that the height of the redevelopment behind them would be unacceptable.
The Terrace has had many famous residents, including:
Most of the houses are now occupied by businesses, institutes and learned societies.
The Crown Estate had its headquarters for many years in four houses in the Terrace (Numbers 13–16). However, the organisation moved in 2006 to another property that it owns in New Burlington Place, an alleyway off Regent Street. In 2006, the Hinduja family purchased the vacated property for £58 million.
At the west end of the Carlton House Terrace is a cul-de-sac called Carlton Gardens, which was developed at around the same time. It contained seven large houses. Robert Loyd-Lindsay, founder of the British Red Cross inherited Number 2 from his father-in-law Samuel Jones-Loyd, 1st Baron Overstone in 1883, and it remained his London residence until his death in 1901. His widow Lady Wantage later briefly leased Number 2 to Lord Kitchener. Number 4 was home to two Prime Ministers, Lord Palmerston and Arthur Balfour, and later served as Charles de Gaulle's government in exile, Free France.
All the houses except numbers 1, 2 and 3 have been replaced by office blocks. Number 1 is an official ministerial residence normally used by the Foreign Secretary.Number 2 is used by the Privy Council Office. Number 3 has been owned by billionaire hedge fund manager Ken Griffin since January 2019.
John Nash was one of the foremost British architects of the Georgian and Regency eras, during which he was responsible for the design, in the neoclassical and picturesque styles, of many important areas of London. His designs were financed by the Prince Regent and by the era's most successful property developer, James Burton. Nash also collaborated extensively with Burton's son, Decimus Burton.
Regent Street is a major shopping street in the West End of London. It is named after George, the Prince Regent and was laid out under the direction of the architect John Nash and James Burton. It runs from Waterloo Place in St James's at the southern end, through Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Circus, to All Souls Church. From there Langham Place and Portland Place continue the route to Regent's Park.
Regent's Park is one of the Royal Parks of London. It occupies high ground in north-west Inner London, administratively split between the City of Westminster and the Borough of Camden. In addition to its large central parkland and ornamental lake, it contains various structures and organizations both public and private, generally on its periphery, including Regent's University and London Zoo.
Hyde Park Corner is between Knightsbridge, Belgravia and Mayfair in London, England. It primarily refers to its major road junction at the southeastern corner of Hyde Park, that was designed by Decimus Burton. Six streets converge at the junction: Park Lane, Piccadilly (northeast), Constitution Hill (southeast), Grosvenor Place (south), Grosvenor Crescent (southwest) and Knightsbridge (west). Hyde Park Corner tube station served by the Piccadilly line has many accessways around the junction as do its notable monuments. Immediately to the north of the junction is Apsley House, the home of the first Duke of Wellington; several monuments to the Duke stand in the vicinity, both in his lifetime and subsequently.
Decimus Burton was one of the foremost English architects and urban designers of the 19th century. He was the foremost Victorian architect in the Roman revival, Greek revival, Georgian neoclassical and Regency styles. He was accomplished also in the cottage orné, picturesque and neogothic styles. He was a founding fellow and, later, vice-president of the Royal Institute of British Architects, and architect to the Royal Botanic Society from 1840 and an early member of the Athenaeum Club, London, whose club premises he designed and which the company of father, James Burton, the pre-eminent property developer of Georgian London, built. Modern architectural historians Guy Williams (1990) and Dana Arnold (2004) contend that Burton's contribution to architecture has been underestimated: as a consequence of the misattribution to John Nash of many of his works; of his vituperation by his neo-gothic rival, Augustus Pugin; and of the consequent retention of his archives by his family.
The Duke of York Column is a monument in London, England, to Prince Frederick, Duke of York, the second eldest son of King George III. The designer was Benjamin Dean Wyatt. It is sited where Regent Street meets The Mall, a purposefully wide endpoint of Regent Street known as Waterloo Place and Gardens, in between the two terraces of Carlton House Terrace and their tree-lined squares. The three very wide flights of steps down to The Mall adjoining are known as the Duke of York Steps. The column was completed in December 1832 and the statue of the Duke of York, by Sir Richard Westmacott, was raised on 10 April 1834.
Wellington Arch, also known as Constitution Arch or (originally) as the Green Park Arch, is a Grade I-listed triumphal arch by Decimus Burton that forms a centrepiece of Hyde Park Corner in central London, between corners of Hyde Park and Green Park; it stands on a large traffic island with crossings for pedestrian access. From its construction (1826–1830) the arch stood in a different location nearby; it was moved to its current site in 1882–1883. It originally supported a colossal equestrian statue of the 1st Duke of Wellington by the sculptor Matthew Cotes Wyatt, as a result of which it has acquired the name "the Wellington Arch" in the vernacular. A bronze quadriga by Adrian Jones has surmounted it since 1912.
Carlton House was a mansion in Westminster, best known as the town residence of King George IV. It faced the south side of Pall Mall, and its gardens abutted St James's Park in the St James's district of London. The location of the house, now replaced by Carlton House Terrace, was a main reason for the creation of John Nash's ceremonial route from St James's to Regent's Park via Regent Street, Portland Place and Park Square: Lower Regent Street and Waterloo Place were originally laid out to form the approach to its front entrance.
Henry Holland was an architect to the English nobility.
Cumberland Terrace is a neoclassical terrace on the eastern side of Regent's Park in the London Borough of Camden, completed in 1826. It is a Grade I listed building.
London's rich architectural heritage involves a wide variety of architectural styles from a variety of historical periods. London's distinctive architectural eclecticism stems from its long history, continual redevelopment, destruction caused by the Great Fire of London and The Blitz, as well as state recognition of private property rights which often prevented large scale state planning. This sets London apart from other great European capitals such as Paris and Rome which are more architecturally homogenous and adhere to a universal plan. London's eclectic architectural heritage ranges from the Romanesque central keep of The Tower of London, the great Gothic church of Westminster Abbey, the Palladian royal residence Queen's House, Christopher Wren's Baroque masterpiece St Paul's Cathedral, the High Victorian Gothic of The Palace of Westminster, the industrial Art Deco of Battersea Power Station, the post-war Modernism of The Barbican Estate and the Postmodern skyscraper 30 St Mary Axe 'The Gherkin'. Being the capital of the United Kingdom, London contains the most important buildings of the British state such as the Palace of Westminster: the centre of British democracy, Buckingham Palace: the official residence of the British Monarchy, 10 Downing Street: the official residence of the British Prime Minister and Westminster Abbey: the official church of Royal Family as well as the site of the majority of the coronations of English and British monarchs since 1066. London also contains numerous monuments such as the 17th-century Monument to the Great Fire of London, Marble Arch, Wellington Arch, the Albert Memorial and Royal Albert Hall in Kensington. Nelson's Column is an internationally recognised monument in Trafalgar Square, often regarded as the centre of London.
Albany Street is a road in London running from Marylebone Road to Gloucester Gate following the east side of Regent's Park. It is about three-quarters of a mile in length.
Chester Terrace is one of the neo-classical terraces in Regent's Park, London. The terrace has the longest unbroken facade in Regent's Park, of about 280 metres (920 ft). It takes its name from one of the titles of George IV before he became king, Earl of Chester. It now lies within the London Borough of Camden.
Lieutenant-Colonel James Burton was the most successful and imperative property developer of Regency and Georgian London. By the time of his death in 1837, Burton had built over 3000 properties, and his buildings covered over 250 acres of central London. His imperative contribution to the development of the West End has been acknowledged by James Manwaring Baines, John Summerson, and Dana Arnold. Steen Eiler Rasmussen, in London: The Unique City, commended Burton's buildings, but did not identify their architect. The 21st century Oxford Dictionary of National Biography contends that Burton was 'the most successful developer in late Georgian London, responsible for some of its most characteristic architecture'.
Park Crescent is at the north end of Portland Place and south of Marylebone Road in London. The crescent consists of elegant stuccoed terraced houses by the architect John Nash, which form a semicircle. The crescent is part of Nash's and wider town-planning visions of Roman-inspired imperial West End approaches to Regent's Park. It was originally conceived as a circus (circle) to be named Regent's Circus but instead Park Square was built to the north. The only buildings on the Regent's Park side of the square are small garden buildings, enabling higher floors of the Park Crescent buildings to have a longer, green northern view.
Park Square is a large garden square or private appendix to Regent's Park in London and is split from a further green, the long northern side of Park Crescent, by Marylebone Road and (single-entrance) Regent's Park tube station. It consists of two facing rows of large, very classically formed, stuccoed, terraced houses with decorative lower floor balconies and a colonade of consecutive porticos by architect John Nash, and was built in 1823–24. Alike, shorter-length terraces flank its corners at right angles, equally Grade I listed buildings: Ulster Terrace, Ulster Place, St Andrew's Place and Albany Terrace.
Cornwall Terrace is a Grade I listed building of consecutive terraced mansions overlooking Regent's Park in the City of Westminster, London. It is situated at the park's southwest corner, near Baker Street, between York Terrace and Clarence Terrace, within the park's Crown Estate development. Cornwall Terrace was part of the scheme of the Prince Regent, later King George IV, to develop grand housing in Regent's Park. The buildings are Grade I listed buildings.
13 Kensington Palace Gardens, also known as Harrington House, is the former London townhouse of the Earls of Harrington. It is now the official residence of the Russian Ambassador. There were earlier Harrington Houses in London, located at Craig's Court, Charing Cross and at Stable Yard, St James's.
Royal Terrace is a grand street in the city of Edinburgh, Scotland, on the north side of Calton Hill within the New Town and part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site inscribed in 1995, built on the south side of a setted street, facing the sloping banks of London Road Gardens, formerly Royal Terrace Gardens, with views looking north towards Leith and the Firth of Forth.
Carlton Terrace is a residential street in Edinburgh, Scotland. It is located on the east side of Calton Hill, at the eastern extremity of the New Town, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site inscribed in 1995.
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