Murray Tremellen – Old house, new sources: researching the first Speaker’s House, 1794-1834
The Soane Museum Study Group is an open forum for scholars – both established and emerging – to present new research into an aspect of architectural history and/or Soane’s collection.
Recovering the history of a lost building can be a daunting challenge, even when that building was a prestigious official residence located on one of the most prominent sites in London. In 1794, the Speaker of the House of Commons took over a grand but dilapidated townhouse within the grounds of the old Palace of Westminster. Under the guidance of celebrity architect James Wyatt, the house was transformed into a lavish Gothic mansion; but, after the destruction of the old Palace by fire in 1834, his work was swept away and largely forgotten.
Fortunately, a considerable volume of archival material relating to the Speaker’s House has survived. The Colchester Papers at the National Archives provide a wealth of information, and there are also several drawings and plans in the Soane Museum’s own collections. In this presentation, Murray Tremellen explains how he tackled the challenge of researching this lost building.
Murray Tremellen is a PhD candidate in the Department of History of Art at the University of York. His PhD research explores the history of the first Speaker’s House from both political and architectural perspectives. His wider interests span eighteenth-, nineteenth- and twentieth-century architecture; his MA dissertation research on the architecture of the Southern Railway has recently been published. Before starting his PhD Murray worked for the National Trust, latterly as Assistant House Steward at Uppark House & Garden, West Sussex.
Tuesday 16 August 2022, 6.00pm drinks, 6.30pm talk
On arrival please come to no. 14 Lincoln’s Inn Fields. The door will be staffed from 6.00pm