Charlton House

BY CHARLES EVANS

Among several English houses with the name Charlton House, the most prominent is a Jacobean building in Charlton, London. It is regarded as the best-preserved ambitious Jacobean house in Greater London. It was built in 1607–12 of red brick with stone dressing, and has an “E”-plan layout. The interior features a great hall, chapel, state dining room, saloon and gallery.

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The house was built by the crown to house Sir Adam Newton and his royal charge. He was then Dean of Durham and tutor to Prince Henry, the son of James I, and older brother of the future Charles I. Greenwich Palace, where their mother lived much of the time, was nearby. But the prince died almost as soon as the house was finished, in 1612. Newton became Receiver-General, sold his office as dean, and in 1620 became a baronet.

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Charlton has a fine staircase, moulded ceilings and grotesquely modelled chimney-pieces, the designs for some of which were printed by Abraham de Bruyn.

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