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Berkeley House and Devonshire House

Berkeley Square, Mayfair Previous page: Formation of Berkeley Square

Old Berkeley House, which Evelyn calls "one of the most magnificent palaces of the town," and which had been built by Hugh May in the classical style in imitation of a design by Palladio, at one time became the residence of the Princess Anne until January 1695. In 1697 it was purchased by the first Duke of Devonshire, "the finest and handsomest gentleman of his time."

On 16th October 1733 the house was burnt to the ground through the carelessness of workmen repairing it, and although many of the more valuable contents were saved, the loss was estimated at 30,000 the sum which it was said to have originally cost.

The current house, built from designs by Kent and known as Devonshire House, was erected on the site of the former mansion, of which all that was incorporated in the later building was the portico and marble staircase.

Next page: Development of Berkeley House Estate




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