|Stephen Colin's illustration of Devonshire House shows how the residence looked before the contents were removed in 1914. From "Country Life" magazine, August 25, 2010.|
Devonshire House was built by the 3rd Duke in 1733-34 on the Piccadilly site of Berkeley House, the 17th century residence that burned the previous year. The new house with a severe classical brick exterior and grand classical interior was designed by William Kent, 1685-1748, and built on the foundations of the old house. (Kent was a protege of friend and neighbor, the Earl of Burlington. The Duke's son later married Lord Burlington's daughter, Charlotte Boyle, and inherited Chiswick Villa a Neo-Palladian masterpiece that was a design collaboration by Burlington and Kent).
|The marble staircase with the unusual crystal handrail disappeared and was the only major architectural feature not included in the auction.|
|The Ballroom of Devonshire House.|
|The Saloon of Devonshire House.|
|The Dining Room of Devonshire House.|
|A side view of the Francois Herve settee, one of a pair, commissioned for Chatsworth.|
The house was occupied by the Red Cross during the First World War, and sold to a property company in 1919 to help the 9th Duke pay Death Duties of GBP 500,000 plus the debts of the 7th Duke which he also inherited. But a condition of the sale was that if the house was demolished and replaced by an apartment building of the same name, all the interior architectural details reverted to the Devonshire/Cavendish family. In 1925, the fittings were carefully dismantled and sent to storage at Chatsworth. Evelyn, Duchess of Devonshire, oversaw the recording and removals, reinstalling the art at Chatsworth and seeing that the salvaged details of one of London's most famous mansions were preserved.
|Photo of the Devonshire House apartment building by Curt DiCamillo from|
The DiCamillo Campanion.
Across from the Piccadilly entrance to Green Park, the entrance gates and sphinx-topped piers are all that remains in place from historic Devonshire House with the exception of the Wine Cellar, now the ticket office of the Green Park Underground Station. More about Devonshire House can be read here on the remarkable website The DiCamillo Companion. Curt DiCamillo's site includes a database that is a continuing effort to document every country house in Britain and Ireland, plus, and this is invaluable to this writer, a Pronunciation Guide.
|Photo of the current Duke of Devonshire at the exhibition tent for the|
Sotheby's Attic Sale at Chatsworth, October, 2010.
The black & white interior photographs were taken by "Country Life" in 1914 before the house was closed and were reprinted, along with the color cut-away illustration, in the August 25, 2010, issue of the magazine. More information about subscriptions to the magazine can be found at www.countrylife.co.uk/.