Every month CabbieBlog hopes to show you a little gem of a building which you might have passed without noticing, this one stands on one of London’s busiest junctions.
If the original owners of Brunswick House were to look around at what surrounds their property today their impression would be of having entered a dystopian nightmare, for its neighbours are some of the ugliest that London has to offer.
[N]ow overshadowed by St. George’s Wharf in Vauxhall, Brunswick House once stood in three acres of riverside parkland. Built in 1758 this listed Georgian manor house was originally called Belmont House, taking its name from Belmont Row the road which ran alongside the property we now know as Nine Elms Lane.
The house, which was once a mini-rival to the amazing Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens nearby originally had offices, a coach-house and stables. Now the house’s most noticeable feature, a semi-elliptical white central porch with two free standing fluted double columns capped in a water-leaf design are thought to be a later addition made of Coade Stone.
At the end of the 18th century the house was divided into two – one half was eventually sold to The Western Gas Company, the other half remained in private hands.
In 1811 this half was purchased by Friedrich Wilhelm, Duke of Brunswick, who fled to England after taking part in the battle of Wagram against Napoleon but returned to Brunswick in 1813 and was killed in battle two years later.
Over the years most of its original features have been lost, eventually taken over by squatters and was on English Heritage’s buildings at risk register until it was acquired by The London Architectural and Supply Company (‘LASSO’) in 2004.
Now restored it contains eclectic mix architectural paraphernalia – including a working set of traffic lights – with a cafe in one of London’s most unique settings.
Picture of Brunswick House Stephen Richards.