© Mr John Washington
MARLBOROUGH HOUSE AND ATTACHED RAILINGS, 54 OLD STEINE (west side)
BRIGHTON, BRIGHTON AND HOVE, EAST SUSSEX
Mr John Washington
01 October 2004
13 October 1952
Date of last amendment:
26 August 1999
The Images of England website consists of images of listed buildings based on the statutory list as it was in 2001 and does not incorporate subsequent amendments to the list. For the statutory list and information on the current listed status of individual buildings please go to The National Heritage List for England.
TQ 3104 SW BRIGHTON OLD STEINE
Marlborough House and attached
(Formerly Listed as:
Marlborough House (Education
Offices of Brighton Corporation))
House, now office. 1765; remodelled in 1786 by Robert Adam for William "Single-Speech" Hamilton, M.P. Stucco; wall to basement area faced with pebbles. Roof of slate. STYLE: 'Neo-Classical.
EXTERIOR: 5-window range. 2 storeys with attic over basement. The first- and fifth-window ranges project slightly to form end pavilions which are topped by shallow pediments. In the
centre of the elevation, reached up a short flight of steps, is the round-arched entrance with fanlight of decorative glazing.
The double, 3-panel doors are of original design and set in a moulded casing, the ensemble placed under an aedicule consisting of a pair of fluted Tuscan columns supporting an entablature with a strigilated frieze and a round shield above each column; pediment with raking cornice above, its tympanum fielded.
To either side of the entrance one flat-arched window. All ground-floor windows are floor-to-ceiling. In each end bay a Venetian window, each light bordered by an attached Tuscan column, with a balustrade across the bottom. Each of these windows is set in a round-arched recess. There is a first-floor sill band moulded in a running guilloche pattern; the first-floor windows in the pedimented bays are tripartite. All upper floor windows are flat arched. There is a dentil cornice continuous across the top of the elevation and in the raking cornices of the pediments; low parapet above. Stacks to end walls and between first- and second-window ranges. Railings to stairs and areas.
INTERIOR: inside, several rooms retain their original features and decorative schemes. The entrance hall, square in plan, with one flat-arched door opposite entrance and to left; the
doors have moulded architraves with bracketed cornice above. 2 other doors are of plain design, late C20 design. The cornice of the entrance hall has a triglyph and metope frieze and is topped by a broad coving; ceiling above divided into compartment by flat ribs; in the centre an acanthus rosette. The room to the left, most likely designed as a drawing room, has an elaborate entablature and cornice below a plain, flat ceiling. 2 flat-arched doors near the corners of the wall next to the entrance hall, that is, the n9rth wall. The doorcases are treated as Composite pilasters with responds, supporting an entablature with decorated frieze. The Venetian window in the east-facing wall has an entablature and architrave carried on 4 Tuscan pilasters.
To the right, or north, of the entrance hall, is the original dining room, with apsidal serving alcove just off the entrance hall; the apse has 2 shallow niches and a shallow half-dome roof. The room is rectangular in plan, its ceiling being divided into a groin vaulted square with a pilasters at each corner of the square; to the north and south are shallow barrel vaulted bays. There is an elaborate mantelpiece of original Adam design in the north wall. The architectural features of the room are ornamented with a wide range of mouldings, all of which are characteristic of Adam's decorative vocabulary.
Behind, that is, to the west, of the entrance hall is an octagonal room with round-arched niches in most of the walls; the decorations applied to the ceilings, walls and mantelpiece are all, again, characteristically Adam.
HISTORICAL NOTE: the first house on the site, dating to 1765, was built for Samuel Shergold, owner of the Castle Inn, for the use of wealthy visitors; it had 3 storeys and dormers and was built of red brick. In '1771 the 4th Duke of Marlborough bought the house. In 1786 he sold it to Hamilton, who hired
Adam to remodel the house completely. In April of 1789 the, Prince of Wales stayed here with Hamilton; the Prince returned in 1795 to occupy the house for nearly 3 weeks with his legal and publicly recognized wife, Caroline of Brunswick: When Hamilton died in 1790, the house was sold, thus ending the Prince's association with the property. In 1870 a new owner leased the ground floor and upper storeys to the Brighton School Board for use as offices. The Board purchased the building in 1891. The building was used as education offices until 1974, when the county took control of education.
(Carder T: The Encyclopaedia of Brighton: Lewes: 1990-: 114 K)