I recently purchased two reference books that I adore.

The first is The Great Houses of London by David Pearce (The Vendome Press) in which there is a floor plan for 26 Grosvenor Square (Derby House) c 1773 by Adams.

The floor plan shows two stories on a rectangular lot that was 50 feet wide. The house is shaped a bit like a squared off lower case b with the bottom portion of the B being the street facing side. The gap between the upstroke of the b and the rectangle of the lot appears to be a garden or other outdoor area. There was also a square structure at the back, the width of the lot, also two stories. That housed the kitchen on the ground floor and was connected by a walkway to the main house. The first floor of this structure housed the laundry, the hayloft and the groom’s room.

In the house proper, in the lower (square) of the b, the entry is on the left into the hall. To the right of the hall is an ante-room. “Above” the hall are two staircases, one to the left, the other to the right. To the right of the right-most staircase is a parlor.

In the upstroke of the b, from bottom to top are:

Great Eating Room
Lord Derby’s Dressing Room
Staircase || Cabinet
a staircase || a space into which the kitchen passage would exit.

Following that same pattern for the 1st floor:

Ante Room || First Drawing Room
Stairs || 2nd drawing room

In the upstroke of the b:
Third Drawing room
Lady Derby’s Dressing Room
Bed Chamber
stairs || Closet

Do you notice there is only one bedchamber?

The library is an oval (on its side)

Lady Derby’s Dressing Room is easily 1.5x the size of the bedchamber and, since it is over the library, it is also oval.

Lord Derby’s Dressing Room is really pretty small, and on the ground floor, while Lady Derby’s HUGE dressing room is on the 1st floor.

The 3rd drawing room as built opens into Lady Derby’s Dressing room and the opening is wide wide wide with columns. There would be no privacy between the two spaces.

The other book I bought is The Lost Mansions of Mayfair by Oliver Bradbury (Historical Publications). It is, as you might guess, all about Mayfair mansions that no longer exist. There are a LOT of pictures and illustrations. This book is lovely, but it makes me sad.


So. Why do YOU think Lord Derby’s Dressing Room is so small and where did he sleep?