Henry Dixon & Son, Shaftesbury House, Aldersgate Street

Shaftesbury House, Aldersgate Street, ca.1879

From: Henry Dixon & Son

RA Collection: Art

"Thanet House, of which Howel speaks in the passage quotes above, (see 06/196), is now known as Shaftesbury House. It was built about 1644 by Inigo Jones. This house has had varied fortunes. From the Earls of Thanet it passed to Anthony Ashley Cooper, afterwards first Earl of Shaftesbury, Dryden's "Achitophel" and one of the Cabal Ministry, whence its present name. At the beginning of the eighteenth century it came again into the possession of the Thanet family, was afterwards an inn and a tavern, and in 1750 became a Lying-in-Hospital, and subsequently a Dispensary."

The above description, by Alfred Marks, was taken from the letterpress which accompanies the photographs. Shaftesbury House, (numbers 35 to 38 Aldersgate), was described by Walter Thornbury in 1878 as a fine old house, distinguished by a series of eight pilasters, lying on the east side of Aldersgate Street. Aldersgate was one of the four original gates of London, which according to Thornbury, [Old and New London] was sold and demolished in 1761. The street itself, was the site of many small businesses, aided by the proximity of a new Post Office opened in 1829 at the junction of St Martin's-le-Grand with Newgate Street. It seems, that at the time of Dixon's photograph, the general dispensary, which Marks mentions, had gone and the the building had been divided into shops. In this capacity, it survived a little longer but as Marks reports in the 1882 letterpress, Shaftesbury House long threatened, had at last fallen.

Object details

Shaftesbury House, Aldersgate Street
Photographed by
Published by
Object type
Carbon print mounted on card

225 mm x 179 mm

Royal Academy of Arts
Object number
Purchased from
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