Esoteric London

No. 256: Adelphi Terrace, WC2

Posted in Architectural, Literary London, Theatrical London by esotericlondon on February 21, 2011

Adelphi Terrace, London, WC2. Photo © Roger Dean 2010

London Revisited – E.V. Lucas, 1916:

[Boswell:] “On Friday April 20 I spent with him one of the happiest days that I remember to have enjoyed in the whole course of my life. Mrs Garrick, whose grief for the loss of her husband was, I believe, as sincere as wounded affection and admiration could produce, had this day for the first time since his death, a select party of his friends to dine with her. The company was, Miss Hannah More; Mrs Boscawen, Mrs Elizabeth Carter, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Dr. Burney, Dr. Johnson and myself.  We found ourselves very elegantly entertained at her house in the Adelphi, where I have passed many a pleasing hour with him ‘who gladdened life’. [. . .]  [Johnson] and I walked away together; we stopped a little while by the rails of the Adelphi, looking upon the Thames . . .’”

The Adelphi is still a favourite abode of men of letters, for it is central yet retired, and the brothers Adam planned rooms of peculiar comfort. At this moment, were a Zeppelin to destroy this secluded district and all its inhabitants, the world would be poorer at any rate by the loss of its most fanciful and freakishly humorous playwright and of its most iconoclastic and provocative playwright.

[Collcutt and Hemp’s 1936 Adelphi development stands on the site of the Adam brothers’ Adelphi Terrace.]