Home House

Home House, 20 Portman Square, was completed in 1777 for the Countess of Home, a very wealthy lady who enjoyed entertaining on a grand scale. It is generally agreed to be the finest surviving example in London of the work of the great 18th century architect, Robert Adam.

From 1789 to 1794, throughout the period of the French Revolution, it became the French Embassy. Subsequent tenants included Earl Grey and the Duke of Newcastle and most famously, Samuel Courtauld, who moved there in 1927. In 1932, following the death of his wife, he made over his lease to the Courtauld Institute of Art, which remained at Home House until it moved to Somerset House in 1990.

From 1947 to 1974 the director of the Courtauld was the art historian and spy, Anthony Blunt; he lived in a flat at the top of the building. In 1964 M15 identified Blunt as a spy, giving him immunity from prosecution in return for a full confession, but in 1979 he was publicly unmasked and stripped of his honours.

After extensive restoration work Home House became a private club in 1996. Its magnificent interior decoration includes several ceilings by James Wyatt, the original architect of the house, as well as paintings by the Italian artist, Antonio Zucchi.


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