Endsleigh Place, WC1H

PLACE NAME

Endsleigh was a property in Tavistock, Devon (hence Tavistock Square and Taviton Street, Taviton being a corruption of Tavistock) acquired by local landowners, the dukes of Bedford, at the dissolution of the monasteries in 1540. The dukes added Bloomsbury to their extensive landholdings in 1669. Today the Devonshire property is a hotel. Its website says that, “in the medieval period Endsleigh formed part of the estate of the abbots of Tavistock, and had been given to the Church by the Edgcumbe family of Cotehele, Cornwall. In 1540, the abbot’s 15,000 acre estate was granted to John Russell, first Earl of Bedford. The abbots of Tavistock had a hunting lodge at Leigh Barton, south-east of Endsleigh, but after the Reformation it fell into disuse, and no permanent residence was established on the estate until the early C19, when John, sixth Duke of Bedford decided to replace ‘an irregular farmhouse little better than a cottage’ which existed near the site of the present house.” The street was built in the early 19thCentury by Thomas Cubitt, and houses followed as part of a speculative development by architect Lewis Vulliamy in 1827. It appears laid out on the 1819 revised edition of Horwood’s plan. At first it was called Gordon Place, after Lady Georgiana Gordon, the 2nd wife of John Russell, 6th Duke of Bedford. Prior to its development, the area had been fields.

 

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