The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 4
The facade had a centre and wings, rusticated without pilasters; an entablature and ballustrade concealed the roof. The portico, which was very handsome, consisted of columns of the Corinthian order, and supported a pediment with a highly enriched frieze, and within the tympan was the royal arms.
Before the front, and on a line with the houses of Pall-mall, was a neat screen, forming a colonnade of the Ionic order.
The apartments on the ground floor, towards the street, were devoted to purposes of state; and consisted principally of the great hall, a magnificent apartment of the purest Ionic order, which led to the octagon vestibule, decorated with marble busts of the late Francis, duke of Bedford, C. J. Fox, lord Lake, and the late duke of Devonshire, by Nollekins; the great staircase, with its unique and splendid gallery; the west ante-room, containing numerous whole-lengths, by Reynolds, and other eminent artists; the crimson drawing-room, of the most tastefully splendid apartments in London, and in which prince Leopold was married to the late princess Charlotte, embellished with the most valuable pictures of the ancient and modern schools, bronzes, ormoulu furniture, &c. of English workmanship; the circular cupola room, of the Ionic order; the throne room of the Corinthian order; the beautiful ante-chamber: the rose-satin drawing room; and many other splendid apartments, all embellished with the richest satins, carvings, cut-glass, carpetings, of British manufacture.
On a lower level, towards the gardens and , were other equally splendid suite of apartments, used by his majesty for domestic purposes, and his more familiar parties. Most of these. were designed by Mr. Nash. They consisted of a grand vestibule of the Corinthian order, the shafts of the columns being of verd antique, and the bases and capitals richly gilt; the golden drawing-room, of the Corinthian order, entirely gilt; the Gothic dining.
|room, the Ionic dining-room: and the splendid Gothic conservatory; and the library, in this story, filled with a choice collection of the most valuable books. Here were also a valuable collection of cabinet pictures, of the Flemish, Dutch, and Italian schools.|
The taste, elegance, and splendour of these apartments, their furniture and decorations, reflected the highest credit on the taste and patriotism of his majesty, who in every possible instance was pleased to employ native artists in their production. Among the fine English pictures, were some by Reynolds, Lawrence, Hoppner, Beechey, Wilkie, Lonsdale, &c. There were likewise many of Bone's finest specimens of enamelled paintings. The plate-room formed an exhibition that equally astonished foreigners and natives. The palace also possessed the finest armoury in the world, which was so extensive as to occupy large rooms. In this part of the palace also was the golden throne of the late king of Candy, a seat, large, rude, and massive, with a representation of the sun (to which diamond eyes are given) forming its back. Here, likewise, were the splendid horse-armour and trappings of Tippoo Saib, and the celebrated Murad Bey; and a curious and peculiar suit of mail and plate armour, intermixed, every link and plate of which is inscribed with a verse from the Koran. A riding-house and stables were attached to the rear of the edifice, where there was, besides, an extensive garden, laid out in fine taste.
The whole of this noble building was taken down in the early part of the year , and a grand square corresponding to is being formed on its site. The houses will be all of the rate size, and embellished in the most superb style. at the north-east corner is almost finished; it is to be named the Union Club house. It has a portico of stories, the lower being Doric, the upper Corinthian. The Athenian club have also a house in course of erection.
Opposite this square is Waterloo-place and , the houses of which are of the character. This noble street was formed in , but not finished for many years after. It is undoubtedly the finest avenue in England, but certainly possesses more architectural variety than good taste.
On the west side of , is