Charlton House, Charlton ("Kentish Suburbs"). T. R. Way. Signed and dated 1899. Lithograph. Source: Reliques of Old London, 97. Click on image to enlarge it.

Commentary by H. B. Wheatley from Reliques of Old London

CHARLTON HOUSE, Kent, is a most interesting old palatial residence, and, like Holland House, Kensington, is a grand relic of the fine domestic architecture of the early part of the seventeenth century. Considering its near neighbourhood to London, it is astonishing that it should have remained in so fine condition to our own time.

This, the manor-house, was commenced in 1607 by Sir Adam Newton, tutor to Henry, Prince of Wales, and completed in 1612. It is said to be the work of Inigo Jones, and there is considerable reason to believe that the tradition is true. . . . Charlton House is strikingly like Charlton in Wilts (Earl of Suffolk's), which was built by Inigo Jones about the same time. . . .

Charlton House is built of red brick and stone, the plan that of a capital "E" with projecting wings and porch. There is a turret at each end, and a balustrade along the whole front, hiding the roof. The interior has a large central hall, panelled with oak, and a chapel adjoining the principal dining-room. This was consecrated in the year 1616. . . .

In Charlton Church there is a tablet by Chantrey to the memory of Spencer Perceval, Prime Minister, who was shot in the lobby of the House of Commons, May 11th, 1812. The church and churchyard are rich in other memorials to celebrated men. The early fellows of the Royal Society, Henry Oldenburg, and Robert Hooke, who did so much for the promotion of science, both died at Charlton, and the former was buried in the churchyard, but without a monument. [97-98]

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Way, T. R., and H. B. Wheatley. Reliques of Old London upon the Banks of the Thames and in the Subburbs South of the River. London: George Bell and Sons, 1909. [title page] Internet Archive version of a copy in the Boston Public Library. Web. 22 April 2012.

Last modified 23 April 2012