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Roger Morris, 1695–1749
Whitton House, Middlesex: First Floor Plan
Former Title(s):
Design for Whitton House, Middlesex
between 1732 and 1739
Materials & Techniques:
Pen and black ink with gray wash over graphite on medium, slightly textured, beige laid paper
Sheet: 12 5/8 x 18 1/2 inches (32.1 x 47 cm)

Inscribed on recto, lower center, in pen and black ink: “First floor of the House Letter A”; in pen and black ink on left, first floor plan of east wing labeled: “Men | Servants Lodgeing / Room / 24-0 / By / 16-0”, “Men / Servants Lodgeing / Room / 16 Sqr”; in pen and black ink on center, first floor plan of center range labeled: “Vestibule / 10-0 / By / 15-0”, “Parlour / 15-Sqr”, “Alcove / 11-0 / By / 8-6, 5-6 / by / 7-6 / Closet”,“Great Room / 40-0 / By / 21-0”, 5-6 / by / 7-6 / Closet”, “Alcove / 11-0 / By / 8-6”, “Withdrawing Room / 15 Sqr”; in pen and black ink on right, first floor plan of west wing labeled: “Women Servants / Lodgeing Room / 16 Sqr”, “Landry”

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
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 first floor plan is part of a set of drawings for a five-bay, three story house with a slightly shouldered plan and flanking office wings. The wings are set behind loggias that extend out in a curve and terminate in three-bay pavilions. This first has the principal entrances and rooms for entertaining, including a large south-facing “Great Room” measuring 40 by 21 feet. The main elevations have five bays with projecting ends. Though Roger Morris is known as a Palladian architect, the layout of this building is more vernacular, having a conventional double-pile plan and a rectangular great room on axis with the entrance. The first floor of the offices is accessed by spiral staircases and includes a laundry and lodging for the servants.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2014

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