Londonderry House

Londonderry House

Londonderry House was an aristocratic townhouse situated on Park Lane in the Mayfair district of London, England. The house was the home to the Irish, titled family called the Stewarts who are better known as the Marquesses of Londonderry.It remained their London residence until its demolition in 1965.

Brief History

Londonderry House was bought by the Third Marquess of Londonderry in 1819 to serve as a home whilst the family stayed in London during the season. Although the house was in their possession for more the 150 years it actually started life before the Londonderrys.The house was bought by the Sixth Earl of Holdernesse more than half a century before in the 1760's when the Earl is thought to have bought the house next door as well but at a later date. He later joined the two so the house became a double fronted "London Mansion".

In 1819 Charles William Vane, Third Marquess of Londonderry bought the huge house to become the London home of the family during their long stays in the capital. (The family also owned the palatial Wynyard Park, County Durham and Mount Stewart in Northern Ireland). Soon after this, he began redecorating. The Marquess spared no expense- shown in his taste of architects: the Wyatt brothers, Benjamin Dean Wyatt and Philip Wyatt.

By 1835 the grand transformation was complete and it was the awe of London. The main stairway was meant to outdo that of nearby Lancaster House in nearby St James. It succeeded in this- it had a large skylight, Rococo chandelier and two individual flights of stairs flanking each other. This graceful stairway led into the Grand Ballroom which, rather individually held pictures of the Stewart family men in Garter Robes. Said to have been inspired by the 'Waterloo Chamber' of Apsley House, it also outdid that. Around the room were large Marble statues by Canova and chairs in the French style.On from that was the Dining Room which held the Londonderrys' amazing collection of silver, known as the 'Londonderry Silver' (most of which was bought by the Brighton council for the Royal Pavilion where it can be seen today, along with the Ormonde silver too).

Another elegant room was the tri-partie Drawing Room which held more Londonderry Silver, French furniture, international paintings and painted ceilings with birds.

During World War I the house was requested for use by the government like the nearby Grosvenor House (London home of the Duke of Westminster), also on Park Lane. The state rooms were gutted and the house was rarely used again even though it remained their possession.The Londonderry age was over by the late 1950s due to the huge expense a house of that size would create.

It was sold in 1965 when the Hilton Hotel which now stands on the site demolished it to increase the size of the hotel.

Marquesses of Londonderry (1816)

*Robert Stewart, 1st Marquess of Londonderry (1739-1821)
*Robert Stewart, 2nd Marquess of Londonderry (1769-1822)
*Charles William Vane, 3rd Marquess of Londonderry (1778-1854)
*Frederick William Robert Stewart, 4th Marquess of Londonderry (1805-1872)
*George Henry Robert Charles William Vane-Tempest, 5th Marquess of Londonderry (1821-1884)
*Charles Stewart Vane-Tempest-Stewart, 6th Marquess of Londonderry (1852-1915)
*Charles Stewart Henry Vane-Tempest-Stewart, 7th Marquess of Londonderry (1878-1949)
*Edward Charles Stewart Robert Vane-Tempest-Stewart, 8th Marquess of Londonderry (1902-1955)
*Alexander Charles Robert Vane-Tempest-Stewart, 9th Marquess of Londonderry (b. 1937)

The Heir Apparent is the present holder's eldest son Frederick Aubrey Vane-Tempest-Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh (b. 1972)

ee also

*Mount Stewart
*Wynyard Park, County Durham
*Plas Machynlleth
*Seaham Hall
*Loring Hall

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