Vanbrugh Hill, SE10

Place Name

Previously Conduit Lane. Named after Sir John Vanbrugh (January 1664  – March 26, 1726) the architect-in-charge at Greenwich Hospital from 1703 and succeeding Sir Christopher Wren as the official architect. Vanbrugh is probably best known as the designer of Blenheim Palace and Castle Howard – perhaps all the more remarkable because he had no formal training, having previously been a playwright. He also built a large property at the top of Maze Hill called Vanbrugh’s Castle in 1719. Beryl Platt’s in A History of Greenwich says the house was known locally as Bastille House, “under the mistaken notion that it was a replica of the prison – in which Vanbrugh had actually been incarcerated [for spying].”


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