James ✨

It seems that all directions are leading me to St James square. 🤗

In 1662 Charles II extended a lease over the 45 acres of Pall Mall (St James’s) Field held by Henry Jermyn, 1st Earl of St Albans to 1720 and soon afterwards the earl began to lay out the property for development. The earl petitioned the king that the class of occupants they both hoped to attract to the new district would not take houses without the prospect of eventually acquiring them outright, and in 1665 the king granted the freehold of the site of St. James’s Square and some closely adjacent parts of the field to the earl’s trustees. The location was convenient for the royal palaces of Whitehall and St James. The houses on the east, north and west sides of the square were soon developed, each of them being constructed separately as was usual at that time.

St James’s Square circa 1752.

In the 1720s seven dukes and seven earls were in residence. The east, north and western sides of the square contained some of the most desirable houses in London. At first glance they do not appear much different from most other houses in the fashionable parts of the West End, but this is deceptive. The windows were more widely spaced than most, the ceilings were high, and deep plots and ingenious planning allowed some of the houses to contain a very large amount of accommodation indeed (see the plans in the Survey of London extract linked below and note that this is not reflected in the extract from Horwood’s map shown as he had no access to the interiors). Some of the houses had fine interiors by leading architects such as Matthew BrettinghamRobert Adam and John Soane.

Statue of St. James the Less in the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran by Angelo de Rossi

thanks wiki

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