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Powis House. A front elevation of Powis House, Ormond Street, built c.1700 by William Herbert, Marquis of Powis. It was let to the French Ambassador, the Duc d'Aumont, and mysteriously burnt to the ground in January 1714, while the Duke was entertaining. The people escaped, but nearly all the valuables in the house were destroyed. It was reported that the catastrophe was planned in order to facilitate the escape of the Pretender who had come over from France with the Duc d'Aumont, and was in Powis House at the time. It was most magnificently rebuilt by the French King and was afterwards tenanted by Lord Chancellor Hardwicke and the Spanish Ambassador. At the top of the house was a great reservoir, used as a fishpond and as a resource against fire. This mansion was pulled down in 1777, and Powis Place, leading out of Great Ormond Street, on the east side of the Hospital, marks its site.
© Museum of London