#MyPemberley: Cambridge House

Jessie Lewis's Darcy House - London

from Mistaken

Darcy House is a mid-eighteenth century mansion, built in the late Palladian style in the fashionable district of Mayfair. It was purchased by Fitzwilliam Darcy’s great grandfather, Tobias Darcy, and shares its place on one of the busiest roads in London with several other prestigious homes, including Devonshire and Burlington Houses. Though smaller than those vast mansions, Darcy House wants for neither elegance nor grandeur, having more than enough of both to make an impression on the notoriously difficult-to-impress Elizabeth Bennet of Hertfordshire.

When their conveyance pulled into a gated courtyard mere minutes after leaving Bond Street, Elizabeth was rather too busy teasing Darcy for insisting they ride in it at all to straight away notice the house. It was only as he handed her down from the carriage and whispered ‘welcome home’ in her ear that the magnitude of the moment crashed upon her. This was henceforth to be her home! Tardily appreciating the significance of the house being large enough to warrant its own gated courtyard, she looked up.

Oh, my word!

Elizabeth by no means considered herself mercenary, yet she challenged any person to be unmoved by the prospect of living in such a place. Set back from the main thoroughfare, the edifice rose three floors from the ground with additional attic rooms just visible above the parapet and was no less than seven bays wide.

She had, of course, been told the house was situated on Piccadilly, but had thought little of it, other than to ponder what would be her proximity to Jane, whose London home was in a newer part of Town. She had also admired, as they passed it, the palatial splendour of Devonshire House and had assumed Darcy House would appear modest by comparison—and indeed, so it did. Nevertheless, she had not expected it to be larger than Longbourn.

She inhaled sharply, teetering precariously on the brink of trepidation, but a sideways glance at Darcy was all she required to restore her courage. Never would bricks and mortar intimidate her whilst she inhabited them with this dear man.

“It is an exceedingly handsome house,” she told him. “I like it very well indeed.” She fancied she could guess the reason he stifled his smile, observably attempting not to appear too pleased. She stepped closer and placed a hand on his arm. “You have every reason to be proud of it.”

Nothing he showed her of the house thereafter pleased her half so well as the delight that overspread his countenance as he did so.

Features

  • A small ruin abuts the back wall of the house, overlooking the garden. The knee-height, moss-encrusted walls are the remains of an orangery, which burned down in a small fire and was never rebuilt. Darcy’s grandmother (mistress of the house at the time) arranged for the area to be transformed into a quaint seating area, ornamented with potted plants and seasonal flowers.
  • There is a purpose-built fencing parlour in the west end of the basement rooms.
  • There is a spy hole in a private family antechamber that looks over the ballroom.
  • The house is exceptionally warm and has, as a result, been known to harbour some rather sizeable house spiders.

Fact Sheet

The fictional setting is Regency London. The actual building is also in London.

Property Name: Cambridge House. Also known at various other times as Egremont House and Cholmondeley House. During it’s time as the base for the Naval and Military Club, it was colloquially known as The In and Out Club because of the prominent signs on each of the gates to the courtyard.

 

Source https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cambridge_house.jpg

 

Location: 94 Piccadilly, London

Built: 1756–1761 by Charles Wyndham, 2nd Earl of Egremont

Architectural Style: Late Palladian

More info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambridge_House

Fun Fact: This house has been bought by the Reuben Brothers who are planning to renovate it, keeping it as a single residence with a swimming pool in the basement. Definitely a home worthy of Mr Darcy! Check out this link for a fascinating video tour of the inside of the house as it is now: http://www.reubenbrothers.com/inside-the-in-and-out-club-exclusive-unseen-footage/

Spend more time in this Darcy House in

Mistaken

9 Responses

  1. Glynis
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    I really like the pictures and details of this house apart from one – the last feature point regarding the spiders put me off I’m afraid. Although, I’m sure Mr Darcy would be sufficiently able to protect me from such dangerous creatures 😂

  2. Jessie
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    Tee hee! Not to worry, Glynis. With Darcy on hand, a girl’s mind is quickly diverted to more engaging matters 😉

  3. Suzan Lauder
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    I’ve had the odd period drawing that I imagined as Darcy house before, and neighbourhoods I thought would suit based on maps from the period, but this puts it all together and makes it excellent for the author’s and reader’s imagination! Thanks so much, Jessie!

    • Jessie
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      The photos in the gallery are drawn from various other UK stately homes. The entrance hall is actually the entrance to Pitville Pump Rooms in Cheltenham. The office/library is in Melford Hall in Suffolk. The Music Room is actually a room in Queen Victoria’s Osborne House on the Isle of Wight. The ball room is an artist’s representation of what that existing room in Cambridge House could look like after renovation. Funny how we writers merge so many ideas together into one picture isn’t it?

  4. Amy D'Orazio
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    Love this Jessie, its perfect!

    • Jessie
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      Thanks Amy 🙂

  5. Jan
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    Oh my…this is a gorgeous place and a perfect envisioning of Darcy House. Love it, Jessie!

    • Jessie
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      Thanks Jan! I always make sure to arrange any trip to London to include a walk past it, if I can. I love it!

  6. Sheila L. Majczan
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    Lovely. I did like Elizabeth’s reaction and Darcy’s appreciation of her statement. I have been on a bus tour of London but it was over 20 years ago so I don’t remember the various neighborhood. Our tour consisted more of sites like the Tower of London, Piccadilly Square, the palaces, parliament, etc. We also got to take a river ride as part of that tour and it, too, was very interesting. Thanks for sharing.