Wanstead House

BookWanstead House

Wanstead House

East London's Lost Palace


March 1st, 2022

Access Token


Other Formats



In c.1713, Sir Richard Child, heir to a mercantile fortune, commissioned Colen Campbell, to build Wanstead House, ‘one of the noblest houses, not only in England, but in Europe’. Campbell’s innovative classical façade was widely influential and sowed the seeds for English Palladianism. Its opulent interior by William Kent was equal to Kensington Palace and its extensive gardens were attributed to leading landscape designers George London and Humphry Repton.
Wanstead’s glory days came to an end in 1822, when a major sale of its contents was arranged to pay off financial debts. Two years later the house was demolished, its building fabric dispersed far and wide. A large crater on an east London golf course is all that remains of this once ‘princely mansion’.
Based on scholarly research, Wanstead House: East London’s Lost Palace provides the first illustrated history of the lost Georgian estate, charting the meteoric rise and fall of the Child dynasty. By restoring Wanstead’s reputation amongst the leading houses of the era, this book demonstrates that those lost in actuality, should by no means be lost to history.

Author Information

Hannah Armstrong completed her PhD at Birkbeck College, University of London, having previously studied at the University of Glasgow, where she graduated with a Masters with Distinction in Decorative Arts and Design History. In 2012, Hannah Armstrong was awarded the Anne Christopherson Fellowship at the British Museum's Prints and Drawings department. She lives in South West London.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Illustration credits9
Family tree12
Introduction: in search of East London’s lost palace15
Part 1 Sir Josiah Child, Bt, the ‘Albion Croesus’, 1673–9925
1 Establishing a mercantile estate in the late 17th century27
Part 2 Richard Child, Viscount Castlemaine and 1st Earl Tylney, 1704–5045
2 Setting the stage: Richard Child and ‘the noblest gardens now in the kingdom’, 1706–1347
3 Colen Campbell and the rebuilding of Wanstead House, 1713–1757
4 The interiors of Wanstead House, 1720–5075
5 The artinatural landscape, 1725–50103
Part 3 John Child, 2nd Earl Tylney, 1750–85115
6 John Child and the late 18th-century landscape117
7 ‘A bird of passage’: John Child’s sojourns in Italy131
Part 4 Catherine Tylney Long, 1805–25137
8 ‘The richest heiress of the British dominions’139
9 The Pole-Tylney-Long-Wellesleys at Wanstead: a Regency revival, 1812–22147
10 The great sales of Wanstead House, 1822–4167
11 Return from exile179
12 Epilogue: tracing the lost relics of Wanstead House and its gardens181
Appendix: locations of the contents and building fabric of Wanstead House188