Restorations and Additions

Euston Hall

  1. The south front of the house before the fire of 1902. This shows the house very much as left after Brettingham’s Palladian remodelling of 1750-56.
  2. The Entrance Hall in 2014. View shows the door into the main entrance porch and the wall that immediately adjoined it.
  3. The Entrance Hall in 2017. The door on the left is the same one as in the previous photograph, but has been reglazed with an octagonal pattern. The wall has been removed and the space of a former cloakroom incorporated to make a symmetrical space including an open fire.
  4. The corridor leading from the door on the right of Fig 4. The vaulting is a new addition which improves the proportions of what was a very tall narrow space.
  5. Doorway onto corridor in 2014. Note the bolection architraves and low level panelling.
  6. Fig 7 Euston Cloak Room AfterwebsiteNew Cloak Room in 2017. The door way seen in Fig 6 is on the right; it has been given a new fanlight but the old architraves and panelling have been retained. Ladies and gents loos are through the doors on either side of the drying cupboard.
  7. The Inner Hall in 2014 showing the Edwardian plate glass doors and fanlight.
  8. The Inner Hall in 2017. The Edwardian Doors and fanlight seen in previous photograph have been given a more delicate pattern of glazing bars.
  9. The Drawing Room in 2014 showing the 1950s book cases and china cupboard.
  10. The Drawing Room in 2017. The china cupboards have been removed and panelling has been reinstated on the end wall. The Ionic pilasters were added to frame the crude opening that previously existed between the two halves of the room.
  11. The Library in 2014.
  12. The Library in 2017. The new book cases and fireplace were designed in the Palladian manner of William Kent by Francis Johnson and Partners.
  13. The Library in 2017. The mirror with the Kentian frame had previously been in a bedroom.
  14. Red Square in 2014. This first floor picture gallery is entirely top lit.
  15. Red Square in 2017 from the same position as previous photograph. Note the archway added on the right in order to better define the space.
  16. The second floor Gallery above Red Square in 2014.
  17. The second floor Gallery in 2017. Note that the balustrade had been replaced in a more robust style.
  18. The utilitarian Edwardian skylight and spindly balustrade in 2014.
  19. The new oval laylight inserted below the Edwardian skylight shown in previous photo. This reduced the amount of direct sunlight which had led to the deterioration of the pictures on the second floor.
  20. The former Own Bathroom in 2014 was a narrow space partitioned off a dressing room.
  21. The new Own Bathroom created by combining two small bedrooms.
  22. Corridor leading to the Balcony Bedroom in 2014.
  23. The same view as previous picture in 2017. The dead end corridor has been incorporated into the bedroom.
  24. The enormous steel beam which was discovered during the work to remove the corridor wall.
  25. The Balcony Bedroom in 2017 showing the Serlian motif with solid tympanum that was created to disguise the steel beam shown in the previous photograph.
  26. The Butler’s Pantry in 2014.
  27. The Butler’s Pantry in 2017. The partitions seen in Fig 12 have been removed and new fitted cupboards installed.
  28. The Kitchen in 2014. The space was divided into three separate rooms and had very dated fittings.
  29. The Kitchen in 2017. Now a large space for family living and informal dining, with display cupboards designed by Woody Clark.

The restoration of Euston Hall is one of the more complex jobs undertaken by Francis Johnson and Partners in recent years.

In its present form, Euston Hall comprises about half of the mansion which existed before the Second World War.  At its core was a Tudor house, reconstructed in the “French manner” in 1666-1670 and again in strict Palladian style by Matthew Brettingham for the 2nd Duke of Grafton in 1750-56.

In 1902, fire gutted the south and west ranges but the north range survived.  The house was re-constructed on the original lines (using fireproof construction) but with plain interiors.

In 1950-52, it was decided to demolish the Edwardian parts and retain only the historic Brettingham north wing and part of the west wing containing the big dining room (to house the C17th family portraits) with bedrooms over.  In that form the house was lived in unchanged for two generations until the present Duke succeeded his grandfather in 2011.  The fabric had been well maintained but the interior arrangements with cramped kitchen quarters, tired decorations and comparatively few (austere) bathrooms, were in need of upgrading to make it suitable for a new generation of family life, and to improve the practical working of the house.

The heating, hot water and electrical services have been renewed throughout.  At the western end of the north range, a large family Kitchen has been created out of three cramped 1950’s spaces and it has been linked by a new “bridge” over the back door corridor to a new west facing Family Room, formed by raising the floor level in the former Billiards Room.

The Entrance Hall has been enlarged and made symmetrical by taking in an adjacent cloakroom.  The C17th bolection moulded marble chimneypiece was relocated from an attic bedroom.  The Drawing Room, formed from two C18th panelled rooms in the 1950’s, has had the panelling reinstated on the east wall and the crude structural opening between the two rooms clad with Ionic pilasters and a panelled soffit.

A Library has been formed in the former Duke’s Study with bookcases inspired by William Kent and a new chimneypiece copied from a Kent design at Wakefield Lodge, a former ducal property.

On the first floor, the picture gallery known as the Red Square has been greatly enhanced by fitting an oval laylight within the large rectangular Edwardian skylight and replacing the spindly balustrade to the well with robust newels and balusters copied from the adjacent C17th staircase.  New bathrooms have been created for the principal bedrooms, adopting motifs from elsewhere in the hall in their design.

In the process of removing a wall between the Balcony Bedroom and a redundant corridor in the Edwardian West Wing, an enormous steel beam 4’0” deep was uncovered, which could not be removed.  The disguise of this beam called for some design ingenuity, the result being a modified Serlian motif with twin columns and a fan infill to the solid tympanum.

As well as improving the practical working of the house, the aim has been to enhance its architectural character by judicious alterations and restorations, underpinned by a thorough understanding of its history.