Brettingham Family

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William Kent (1685—1748) painter, architect, and designer of gardens and interior furnishings

James Paine (1717—1789) architect

Robert Adam (1728—1792) architect


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Matthew (1699–1769) developed a large East Anglian practice as an architect, builder, and surveyor, and from 1734 supervised the building of Kent's Palladian mansion of Holkham Hall, published as The Plans, Elevations, and Sections of Holkham in Norfolk, the Seat of the late Earl of Leicester (1761), the plates of which attribute the designs to him as ‘Architect’, Kent's name being omitted. Holkham led to other commissions, including Norfolk House, St James's Square (1748–52), York House, Pall Mall (1761–3), neither of which survives, and 5 St James's Square (1748–9), which does. One of his most important works was Kedleston Hall, Derbys. (c.1758), another great essay in Palladianism. Only the wings were built as part of Paine's revised design, but Paine was in turn replaced by Robert Adam, who completed the house.

His son, Matthew (1725–1803), was responsible for the Neo-Classical work at Charlton House, Wilts. (1772–6). Robert William Furze Brettingham (c. 1750–1820), grandson of the older Matthew Brettingham, designed several gaols, including the noble front to Downpatrick Gaol, Co. Down (1789–96), and was responsible (with S. Woolley) for the charming Gothick choir refurbishment in the Cathedral of the Holy and Undivided Trinity, Downpatrick (1795). For Arthur, 2nd Marquis of Downshire (1753–1801) he carried out enlargements of Hillsborough House, Co. Down (c. 1795–7), drawings for which were exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1797. George Smith was trained in his office.

Colvin (1995);W. Papworth (1852);Summerson (ed.) (1993);Jane Turner (1996)

Subjects: Architecture.

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