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Roger Morris, 1695–1749, British

Whitton House, Middlesex: Two Alternate Elevations of the Court Front and Corresponding Ground Floor Plans

Former Title(s):

Design for Whitton House, Middlesex

between 1732 and 1739
Graphite, pen and black ink and gray wash on medium, slightly textured, cream laid paper
17 5/8 x 24 1/8 inches (44.8 x 61.3 cm)

Inscribed on recto, upper left, in pen and black ink: “Court Front of the Plan under”; in pen and black ink on lower left: “Plan of the Ground floor of the same House with Letter A having a | different disposition of offices”; in pen and black ink on upper right: “Court Front of the Plan under”; in pen and black ink on lower right: “Plan of the Ground floor of the same House as Letter A with a Second disposition | of the offices”; in pen and black ink on lower left, ground floor plan of east office wing labeled: “Porter Lodge / 12 Sqr”, “7-6 / By / 12-0 / Scullerie”, “10-0 / By / 12-0 / Servants eating / Room”, “11-0 / By / 12-0 / Butterie”, “Back Court / 17-0 / By / 23-0”, “Kitchin / 15-0 / By / 23-0”; in pen and black ink on lower left, ground floor plan of center range labeled: “Entry / 10-0 / By / 15-0”, “Stewarts [sic] Hall / 15-0 / By / 10-6”, “Larder / 7-6 / by / 16-6, Cellar / 19-6 / By / 15-0”, “Cellar / 19-6 / By / 15-0”, “Cellar / 7-6 / By / 16-6”, “Servants Hall / 15-0 /

Watermark: IV and fleur-de-lis within crowned cartouche with W below

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 houses | floor plan
Associated Places:
England | Europe | Middlesex | United Kingdom
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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 drawing shows two variant entrance front elevations and corresponding floor plans of the house and office wings. The offices on the left-hand side of the sheet are a square plan; the alternative design incorporates covered passages on curving plans. The designs for the basement are more similar, showing a house with a spinal corridor on the east-west axis and an entrance at the north front that is flanked by the steward’s room and servants’ hall. Cellars and larders line the south wall. In elevation, the wings appear as loggias terminating in decorative pavilions. The house’s north front is shown with variant rooflines.

Madeleine Helmer, 2014

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