Friday, September 3, 2010

Location, Location, Location!

Newspapers of the Regency era were full of property advertisements. Much like today, real estate was changing ownership constantly. The advertisements are as full of hyperbole in 1800 as they are today. Desirable, substantial, and spacious are words that appeared as frequently then as now.
"A Spacious, elegant, Leasehold Mansion, with Stabling for Six Horses, double Coach House, and every necessary attached and detached Office, suited to a large Family, late the Residence of a Lady of Fashion: The Premises are desirably situate No. 12, on the South Side of Hereford-Street, Grosvenor-Square, with Command of View over Hyde-Park from both Fronts, and contain a splendid suit of Apartments on each Floor, and have been recently put in the most elegant and compleat Repair."
To be sold by Auction by Mr. Christie, At his Great Room, in Pall-Mall (from the Daily Advertiser, January 1, 1796

In the same paper on the same day, Mr. Christie also offered the property of Sir John Lade for sale. Sir John and his wife Letty cut a swath through Regency society, being neither particularly cultured nor polite, but possessed it seems of a fine home.
"A spacious and singularly elegant Leasehold House, capital Stabling for eight Horses, Harness-Room, four Coach-Houses, Loft, Granary, and Servants Room, and suitable domestick Offices, suited to a large Family, having an additional Story, the Residence and Property of Sir John Lade, Bart. The Premises are elegantly situate the upper End of Piccadilly with beautiful Command of View over the Green Park, Surry Hills, etc. and the Locality to Hyde-Park renders them particularly eligible; and contain a Suit of three elegant Apartments on each Floor, principal and back Staircase, In the most elegant and compleat Repair, and fit for the immediate Reception of a large genteel Family. At the same Time will be sold, all the elegant Houshold Furniture, large French Plate Pier-Glasses, large Stock of excellent Wines, and other vaulable Effects."
One could only wish that prices were attached to these advertisments. How much did such a property cost? Further research is required!

If one removed from London, a garden villa was an option. One was sold by private contract by Mr. Scott of Ludgate-hill who advertised in the Courier and Evening Gazette in 1800.
"Champion Hill, near Camberwell, Surry - The Lease of a Genteel Modern Villa with Coach-house and Stables and a large Garden, delightful situate on the Summit of the Hill within four Miles of London, containing an elegant Drawing-room, Dining-room, and Study, eight Chambers, etc. with LAND ...with the Advantage of purchasing the valuable modern furniture at a fair valuation, and the Option of the genteel Drawing-room furniture."
There were also more modest, and business-like properties for sale. In the Morning Chronicle of March 1814, Mr. Lloyd in Nelson-Square offered:

"To be sold a Bargain, the Lease of a capital, substantial, new built House with two good parlours with folding doors, a large drawing-room, three good bedrooms, two attics, two good kitchens, cellars, and a counting house detached. Pleasantly situated having a commanding view of Blackfriars-road."
The possibilities were endless, but none of them mention bathrooms, or water-closets, gas lighting, or heating options. One can only assume all such amenities were for the future. The advertisments make the most interesting reading however, and bring us that little bit closer to the real people of the Regency and their fascinating world.

'Til next time,



Janet said...

Not much has really changed with real estate 'blurbs'! Since we've just finished the real estate rounds, these 'catch phrases' aren't very different than the stuff I was reading. And you're right, it would be wonderful to know the asking price.

Imagine in a two hundred years - will the people of the future be looking back and reading our real estate advertisements?

Lesley-Anne McLeod said...

I expect so :) I wonder what they'll think of all the granite countertops and sub-floor heating...
Take care during the hurricane, Janet!

Charles Bazalgette said...

Prices are hard to come by, but I have a couple of examples:
1. Oakley Farm, Mottisfont, Hampshire was bought by my gggggfr Louis Bazalgette from Walter Smythe, of Brambridge, on 4th June 1799 for £5,350. It consisted of 180 acres enclosing two arms of the River Test.
2. Louis bought South Stoneham House, near Southampton, on November 3rd 1804, Louis paid ₤9768/2/1 to Hans Sloane (Stanley), and on 17th December, he paid him ₤989/11/9, with a further ₤300 the following May. He then sold it in 1809 for ₤16,986/2/3 to the merchant John Lane.