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The History

Chandos House was speculatively built between 1769 - 1761 by Robert Adam, the most prominent architect in Georgian Britain.

For over 130 years Chandos House was home to such notable residents as the Duke of Chandos, the Duke of Buckingham and Chandos, the Countess of Strafford, the Earl of Shaftesbury and finally the newspaper tycoon Sir James Gomer Berry, Viscount Kemsley.

For a period in the 19th century Chandos House was also used as the Austrian Embassy. The first resident Ambassador was Prince Esterhazy and for the next 25 years the house was the scene of entertainment on the most lavish scale. He left the Embassy in 1842 and was succeeded by various Ambassadors until the lease on the property expired in 1866.

During the Second World War the Grand Staircase had it's ceiling and skylight bombed out. Thankfully it was convincingly restored before ownership passed to the Royal Society of Medicine (RSM), who acquired Chandos House for the first time in 1963.

Chandos House was used by the RSM as a hotel and events venue for members, until it was sold in 1986 to finance the refurbishment of the Society's headquarters at 1 Wimpole Street.

Unfortunately the house was then unoccupied and neglected, so much so that it was placed on the English Heritage Buildings at Risk list. The Howard de Walden estate saved the house in 2002 by purchasing the lease, and identifying the RSM as future tenants.

Howard de Walden agreed to refurbish Chandos House and to restore the Adam reception rooms as required by English Heritage. Finally in 2005 Chandos House reopened after a £5 million restoration.

More Information

View our Timeline of Events
Read our Extended History