A small landscaped area planted with trees forms a common frontage to Cumberland Place facing the Outer Circle, enclosed by stone balustrades and plain wrought-iron geometrical railings on a low wall. The block of 4 houses, giving the impression of being one large house, were built as part of Nash's plan of 1811 to develop the Crown Estate lands as a fashionable residential area, with the backing of the Prince Regent, later George IV. Authorisation had been given in 1794 for developing the land, once part of Henry VIII's hunting park but by then leased mainly as farmland, which was due to revert to the Crown in 1811. Cumberland Place was named after George III's son Ernest, King of Hanover and Duke of Cumberland.
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Cumberland Place, July 2002. Photo: S Williams
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Cumberland Place consists of four houses giving the impression of being one large house, which was built in 1826 by John Nash and possibly James Thomson as executant architect. A small landscaped area forms a common frontage facing the Outer Circle planted with trees. It is enclosed by stone balustrades and plain wrought-iron geometrical railings on a low wall. Previously known as Marylebone Park it formed part of the royal hunting chase appropriated by Henry VIII in 1538 and remained so until 1646, and later used as farmland. At the end of the Civil War it had been sold by Cromwell to John Spencer but reverted to the Crown at the Restoration and was subsequently leased to various noblemen, finally the Duke of Portland, whose lease was due to revert to the Crown in 1811. John Fordyce, appointed Surveyor General of His Majesty's Land Revenue in 1794 was authorised to produce a plan for the area of Marylebone Park and various architects competed for the tender. On Fordyce's death the offices of Land Revenue were combined with those of Woods and Forests and the architects of the two departments were asked to produce plans. John Nash (1752-1835), who was official architect to the Commission of Woods and Forest and a friend of the Prince Regent, designed the layout of the park as it is today as part of his grand plan for London that was approved by the Treasury in October 1811. His plan had an avenue stretching from Marylebone via Portland Place and Regent Street to Carlton House Terrace and Gardens (q.v.), and included the 400-acre park was to be surrounded by palatial terraces and villas.
Cumberland Place was named after George III's son Ernest, King of Hanover and Duke of Cumberland.
Camden Listed Buildings website; Peter Woodford (ed.) 'From Primrose Hill to Euston Road' (Camden History Society, 1995 ed); Bridget Cherry and Nikolaus Pevsner, 'The Buildings of England London 3: North West' (Penguin, 1999 ed)