The House from a circa 1880 wood-engraved print from "Old and New London"
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, with the completed house ready to be 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."
Title: Great Houses of London, The
Author: Pearce, David
Year Published: 1986
Reference: pgs. 100-104
Publisher: New York: The Vendome Press
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
Book Type: Hardback
House Listed: Demolished
Park Listed: No Park
Past Seat 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