Built to elaborate specifications
by William Waldorf Astor, later first Viscount Astor, in 1895
as his residence and estate office on reclaimed land following
completion of the Victoria Embankment in 1870, Two Temple Place
has been acquired and preserved by the Bulldog Trust and offers
a unique location in the heart of central London, overlooking
the River Thames.
An imposing casket of Portland
stone on the exterior, inside is a testament to the skills
and expertise of some of the finest sculptors of the nineteenth
century, and the building provides an unrivalled venue for
functions of a personal or corporate nature, combining the
grandeur of a state occasion with the intimacy of a party
in a private house.
John Loughborough Pearson,
a pre-eminent figure in his profession, was the architect
chosen by Lord Astor to build Two Temple Place. Unfettered
by consideration of finance and emboldened by the full liberty
of expression granted to him and materials and craftsmen
of the highest quality at his disposal, he was able to create
a building worthy of its distinguished owner.
From the gilded weather vane in
beaten copper of Columbus's caravel, the Santa Maria, perched
high above the house to the meticulously carved stonework, the
grilles and screens of ornamental ironwork, Two Temple Place embodies
much of the outstanding workmanship and architecture of the late-Victorian
period. Even a flying bomb in July 1944 was granted only a transitory
triumph before careful restoration returned the building to its
The enchanting bronze lamp standards
flanking the base of the balustraded entrance steps, playfully
representative of the marvels of electricity and telephone in
the shape of two small boys, are a foretaste of the riches within.