DiCamillo Companion

Montagu House (Portman House) (22 Portman Square), Portman Square

  • Built / Designed For: Elizabeth Montagu

    House & Family History: Montagu House, Portman Square, was a brick house of three stories built to the designs of James "Athenian" Stuart for Elizabeth Montagu. Stuart completed the designs in 1769, though work did not begin until 1774; the house was completed and occupied in 1782. The interiors of Montagu House, later Portman House, were considered among the finest domestic spaces in London. Mrs. Montagu was famous for her annual May Day party for chimney-sweeps. The house later reverted to the Portman family, who occupied it until its destruction by bombing during World War II.

    Comments: From "Great Drawings from the Collection of the Royal Institute of British Architects" by Jill Lever and Margaret Richardson: Joseph Bonomi's ballroom (saloon) at Montagu House "was one of the most outstanding examples of 18th century English Neoclassicism." "The elliptically vaulted ceiling was decorated with paintings of Olympus, friezes in imitation of antique bas-reliefs and bands of intertwining laurel leaves. The door and window surrounds and piers were of green scagliola with gilded Corinthian capitals."

  • Architect: James Stuart

    Date: 1769
    Designed: House for Mrs. Montagu

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    Architect: Joseph Bonomi the Elder

    Date: 1790
    Designed: Completed Stuart's designs and decorated Ballrrom for Mrs. Elizabeth Montagu

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  • Title: Great Houses of London, The
    Author: Pearce, David
    Year Published: 1986
    Reference: pgs. 100-104
    Publisher: New York: The Vendome Press
    ISBN: 0865650632
    Book Type: Hardback

    Title: Bombed Buildings of Britain: A Record of Architectural Casualties: 1940-41, The
    Author: Richards, J.M. (Editor); Summerson, John (Notes)
    Year Published: 1943
    Reference: pg. 69
    Publisher: New York: Oxford University Press
    ISBN: NA
    Book Type: Hardback

  • House Listed: Demolished

    Park Listed: No Park

  • Past Seat / Home of: Mrs. Elizabeth Montagu, 18th century; Edward Montagu, 5th Baron Rokeby, 1835. Edward Portman, 1st Viscount Portman, 1874; Portman family here until the destruction of the House during World War II.

    Current Ownership Type: Demolished

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Demolished

  • House Open to Public: No

    Historic Houses Member: No


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