History

About London Square


Ancaster House, as it was originally called, was built in 1773 for Peregrine Bertie, 3rd Duke of Ancaster and Kesteven. He commissioned Robert Adam, one of the leading architects of the day, to build him a fine mansion in keeping with his status as a Duke and a General in the British Army. Ancaster House was intended as a weekend retreat for the Duke and his family, conveniently situated for when he was attending the Royal Family at Richmond Lodge.

The Duke and Duchess only occupied their new house for a few seasons before it was sold to Sir Lionel Darell, MP and close friend of George III. Sir Lionel apparently persuaded the King to grant him extra land in neighbouring Richmond Park, and to show his appreciation, equipped his stables to accommodate the King’s horses when he visited.

In 1865 the house was sold to Sir Francis Burdett for £7,100, and his family lived there for much of the Victorian era. Since the 1880s Ancaster House has fulfilled several roles. It became a school, then in 1915 formed part of the estate of The Star and Garter charity, being used as a nurses’ home and Commandant’s House. In 1950 it was Grade II Listed. Now, London Square is opening a new chapter in the story by returning Ancaster House, as Ancaster Gate, to its original purpose as a place for families to live and enjoy the charms of Richmond.