17 Kensington Palace
North Italian villa
According to F. H. W. Sheppard, editor of the Survey of
London, the house at 17 Kensington Palace Gardens had been altered so much since it was built by Blashfield
(1844-1846) that the original design, in the north Italian villa manner, can hardly be seen now. Its architect
was Henry E. Kendall, Jnr.
The lease of the site was granted to Blashfield in October 1844, at an annual rent of £82. When the house was
completed, he sold the lease to upholsterer John Balls of Oxford Street, London in May 1846. The
first occupant was David Laing Burn in 1847.
The three-bay extension on the south side, designed by Charles
E. Sayer, was erected in 1899 to 1900 for the banker Isaac Seligman, who bought the lease in 1899. At
the same time, the original balconies were removed from the first-floor windows. The three-bay extension over a
garage on the north side was built for (Sir) Charles Seligman in 1928.16
House auctioned in 1960
The house has changed hands many times during its
life. In June 1960, the house, which had belonged for some time to Lady Dance and which had four
reception rooms and 13 bedrooms, was sold to a private buyer for £50,000, which today (2010) would have the
same spending worth of £765,000.