Dec 7th, 2010 | | Portfolio | Private Houses | Residences | No Comments

Fife House, Brighton

Patrick Baty carried out paint analysis in this building

Fife House was originally built in 1828 by Thomas Cubitt, as part of the Kemp Town estate. It was bought in the following year by William Cavendish, 6th Duke of Devonshire.

He had the property, on Lewes Crescent, joined internally with an adjacent property that he also owned at 14 Chichester Terrace, using workmen from Chatsworth. The Duke had the property redecorated by John Gregory Crace in 1848, and lived there until his death in 1858.

The Duke of Fife lived in the property from 1896 with his wife, Princess Louise, the daughter of King Edward VII.

I was commissioned to carry out limited paint analysis in four areas of No 1 Lewes Crescent – the Dining Room; first floor Landing; the Entrance Hall and Drawing Room. Samples were also taken from the railings.

Some elements of the Dining Room displayed fifteen decorative schemes of decoration. This may be at odds with Antony Dale’s assertion that the room was seldom used by the Duke. It was thought that he preferred to dine on the first floor of No 14 (next door). The joinery in the room was originally grained in imitation of a pale wood, probably satinwood, as was found at nearby 13 Brunswick Square. Mahogany graining appears at a later stage. The walls, in particular, were very interesting as they displayed a considerable number of arsenical green schemes.

The then owners of the house have since sold and for a while it was occupied by squatters. In 2008 it was offered for sale at £2,250,000.

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