In his post about Hogarth’s The Rake’s Progress a few weeks ago, Tony Grant mentioned Brunswick House as a possible stand-in for Tom’s inherited home. Brunswick House was built in 1758 on #30 Wandsworth Road and was the former home to the Dukes of Brunswick.
It sat on 3 acres of land along the South Bank of the Thames River near what was once Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens. This once popular entertainment destination, with its vast gardens, pavilions, and nightly illuminations, looms large in Georgian biographies and novels and modern books set in the Regency era.
The 3-story house, almost square in shape, was once described as a mansion house with offices, coach-house, and a stables. Its surroundings, once filled with vistas of green fields, woods, and river, is now crammed with tall buildings and flats made of concrete, steel and glass.
This relic of the Georgian era sits in Nine Elms on the South Bank opposite Vauxhall Tube Station and next to the green glass edifice of MI5…
…its centrally placed semi-elliptical porch of painted Coade’ stone facing busy Wandsworth Road, where cars, lorries, and buses rush by at a fast pace.
“has two free-standing and two engaged columns with enriched moulded bases, fluted and cabled shafts, and water-leaf capitals. The entablature has a frieze decoration of rams’ skulls linked by floral festoons, and the cornice bedmouldings are enriched. The surmounting blocking-course continues the lines of the first-floor platband.” – British History Online
While Brunswick house’s exterior remains largely as it once was, the interior has changed so much that the original plans are no longer discernable. Today the structure is the home of LASSCO (The London Architectural Salvage and Supply Company) antique dealers.
“After the squatters were removed, the building was restored and it’s now used by LASSCO as a premises from which to sell architectural salvage. Members of the public are welcome to visit the restored building for a glimpse of Vauxhall’s elegant past.” – Time Out London http://www.timeout.com/london/museums-attractions/event/2156/brunswick-house
Images from LASSCO’s launch party in 2005 show glimpses of the restored interior, especially the wood floors.
More about Brunswick House: