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IIIF Actions
Roger Morris, 1695–1749

Whitton House, Middlesex: Elevation of the Court Front

Former Title(s):

Design for Whitton House, Middlesex

between 1732 and 1739
Materials & Techniques:
Graphite, pen and black ink and gray wash on moderately thick, slightly textured, cream laid paper
Sheet: 12 3/8 x 18 3/8 inches (31.4 x 46.7 cm)

Inscribed in pen and black ink, lower center: "The first Front toward the Court Letter A"; in pen and black ink, lower center, bar scale labeled

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Drawing & Watercolors-Architectural
Prints and Drawings
Subject Terms:
architectural subject | country house | exterior view
Associated Places:
England | Europe | Middlesex | United Kingdom
Accessible by appointment in the Study Room [Request]
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IIIF Manifest:

This drawing is part of a set of designs for Whitton Place, Middlesex, a villa begun in 1731 by Roger Morris (see drawings B1977.14.1138-44). In 1722, Archibald Campbell, first Earl of Ilay, later third Duke of Argyll, acquired forty acres of Crown land at Whitton, a hamlet about eight miles west of London. An experienced gardener, Ilay cultivated the land with exotic trees and plants. He and his brother John, second Duke of Argyll, were active builders from 1714 and often turned to James Gibbs for their commissions, including the greenhouse and folly at Whitton. Rather than the Tory Gibbs, however, Ilay commissioned the Whig architect Roger Morris. The small house was built on a forty-five-foot square plan with small single-bay projections on each of the four walls. Contemporary reports describe the first floor as decorated in chinoiserie and the ground floor as a museum of curiosities. William Chambers lived at Whitton Place later in the century. The building was demolished in the mid-nineteenth century.

The elevation is a variant design for the court front, part of a set with drawing B1977.14.1138 and showing a design that corresponds with plans and other elevations for Whitton Place in the collection. The elevation shows a “First” design for the court front, with a simpler design comprised of a hipped roof over each end bay and a restrained ornament surrounding the windows. The curving covered passages shown in plan on drawing B1977.14.1142 are revealed here in elevation as arcaded loggias. The three-bay, two story pavilions contain servants’ lodgings and domestic offices. Towers rising behind the pavilions, as well as the cupola crowning the house’s hipped roof, offer views of the Earl of Ilay’s splendid gardens.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2014

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