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37 and 38, Charles Street W1, Westminster

Description: 37 and 38, Charles Street W1

Grade: II*
Date Listed: 1 December 1987
English Heritage Building ID: 209118

OS Grid Reference: TQ2870680392
OS Grid Coordinates: 528706, 180392
Latitude/Longitude: 51.5078, -0.1468

Location: 45 Charles Street, Westminster, London W1J 5 W1J 5LW

Locality: Westminster
County: Greater London
Country: England
Postcode: W1J 5LW

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Listing Text

(South side)
Nos. 37 and 38


Grand town mansion. A rebuild-conversion of two mid C18 houses in1890 by W. Allwright of Turner Lord for A C Baring later Lord Revelstoke. Built in French Rococo style to create a setting worthy of his collection of French antique furniture and "objets d'art". Some internal embellishments of 1900 and 1901 by Lord Dartmouth and minor alterations of 1927 by Clough Williams Ellis to convert the building into the English Speaking Union. Refaced in Portland stone ashlar, slate roof, part of original brickwork survives to the rear. 4 storeys, basement and dormered mansard. Symmetrical composition of 3 major bays. Central entrance bay with vermiculated rustication to ground floor with polished granite columned Doric porch, the columns reputed to have been sent from St Petersburg. Giant pilasters through lst and 2nd floors flanking elaborately framed central windows contained in semicircular arched channelled niche; festooned oculus in tympanum of 3rd floor. The flanking bays each of 3 windows; semicircular arches in channelled ground floor; flat arches on 1st floor below exaggeratedly broad pediment with enriched tympanum, surmounted at 2nd floor level by ornate oeil-de-boeuf and flanked by windows with eared architraves and mask keystones. Eared architraves to 3rd floor each with a pair of consoles supporting the crowning cornice. Continuous balustraded parapet with urns. Moulded string and sill courses. Rich 'Rococo' wrought iron area railings, with lampholders.
Rear elevation has some C18 stock brickwork to left but 1890s staircase bay with chamfered corners to right. Lower floors are faced with ashlar with female mask keystone flanked by griffins and iron balustrade. Attached by a stone wall with semi-circular arch and two lamp brackets is the 1890 former mews building, now offices. This is of ashlar, but with some brickwork to the rear, with a mansard slate roof. One storey and attics. Central curved bay with male mask and swags flanked by two pilasters each side. Two further bays with panels with shell moulding and swags beneath ground floor window. Left window has dormer window carved with martial achievements. INTERIOR: Small Drawing Room has c1740 dado panelling. Eight rooms are panelled in very high quality French mid C18 panelling thought to have come from Parisian "hotels" and the Drawing Room has C18 French painted doors. There are a number of fine fireplaces including a Robert Adam fireplace in the Drawing Room, originally at Derby House, Grosvenor Square, an Italian inlaid marble fireplace to the ground floor, a marble fireplace to the small Drawing Room with gold urn, paterae and ram's heads and a similar marble fireplace to the Wedgewood Room with large brackets gilded. An elaborate full-height staircase hall was constructed in 1890, lined with Belgian marble and with an elaborate Imperial staircase with cast iron balustrading incorporating the Baring shield. The ceiling painting is by Pierre Victor Galland (1822-1892) who was also responsible for the painted panels in the Wedgewood Room. The Wedgewood Room has elaborate plastered panelling of c1890. Many elaborate plastered ceilings, including 1900 ceiling to Drawing Room and 1901 ceiling to Small Drawing Room added by Lord Dartmouth after a financial crisis in 1893 had caused work on the property to stop. A spectacular interior in the grand European manner and an early example of this kind of decoration in Mayfair.

[Pevsner BOE London: Volume One p559-560.]

Listing NGR: TQ2870680392

This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.