(formerly Grafton Street)
Grafton Way runs east from Cleveland Street, passes by the south
block of Fitzroy Square and crosses Whitfield Street and Tottenham Court
Road to Gower Street. The part west of Tottenham Court Road was the
first to be built and of this, the section east of Fitzyroy Square was known
formerly as Grafton Street and that west of the square as Upper Grafton
Street. The section between Tottenham Court Road and Gower Street was
a later development and was known as Grafton Street East. This has no
claim upon our attention except that at one time Dr. William's Library was
housed here (see p. 96). The main portion of Grafton Way that has survived
lies between Whitfield Street and Tottenham Court Road. The numbering
is east to west, the odd numbers being on the south and the even on the
Seven houses on the south side, Nos. 35 to 45, and the corner house
which is numbered 112 in Whitfield Street still stand, but the first three
have suffered alteration. They date from 1777–8 (ref. 55) and are of four storeys, of
brick with stuccoed ground floors (except No. 41) finishing with a plain string
course forming the sills of the first floor windows. (fn. *) There are three windows
to each of the upper floors and their height diminishes in each storey. Nos.
41, 43 and 45 retain their old arched doorways with projecting quoins,
voussoirs and key blocks. That to No. 41 alternates brick and stucco;
the key block has a mask and at the springing each block has two paterae
The houses opposite on the north side are of a more elaborate type. Six
remain (Nos. 52 to 62) and according to the leases they were built in 1792 (ref. 56) ,
the first two being held by William and John Adam who leased to builders.
They are brick fronted, of four storeys with three windows to each of the
upper floors. The first floor windows are very tall, reaching to the floor, and
those of the two upper floors diminish in height. There is a stone stringcourse at first floor level and Nos. 56 and 58 have a continuous balcony here.
No. 52 has a stuccoed ground floor but retains its old arched door with side
lights and elaborate fanlight. No. 54 now has a shop front. Nos. 58 and 60
retain their fine fanlights within a wide arch with plastered reveals. The door
head is moulded with dentil ornament and the door is flanked by columns
with carved capitals. The door of No. 62 is differently designed, the angles
of the jambs and arch being recessed with a quadrant curve.
No. 58 (formerly No. 27) was occupied by Captain John Mands in 1794–98, William
Augustus Skynner, of Winkfield Plain, Berks, in 1799–1801, and General Francisco de Miranda
from 1803 to 1810, when he returned to Venezuela to lead the rebellion against the Spanish govern
ment. A plaque was affixed to the front of the house in 1942 and unveiled by Lord Robert Cecil
in the presence of several South American diplomats. It bears the following inscription—
Francisco de Miranda
Lived in this house between 1803 and 1810
Born in Caracas, Venezuela
He was the forerunner of the independence
of the republics of Latin America
Here he met in 1810 the Liberator
Although Miranda never returned to England, but was captured in 1812 and died a
prisoner in Cadiz in 1816, his name continued in the rate-books until 1822, after which it was
replaced by "Mrs. Sarah Miranda" until 1848. In the directories, however, "L. Miranda,"
Colombian Minister, occurs in several years between 1832 and 1842. This was doubtless the son
of General Miranda, born in 1803. (fn. *)
The freehold of the house was sold by Lord Southampton to William Crane Wilkins
and others in 1862 and by them to Edward Tomkins Sturage, of City Road, merchant, in the same
year (ref. 57) .
No. 57 was occupied by Captain John Fernandez from 1805 to 1810, and by Nathan
Defries, civil engineer, from 1843 to 1853, when he removed to No. 5 Fitzroy Square.
Admiral Sir John Knight lived at No. 45 from 1803 to 1826, and John Lilley, artist, was
at No. 4 in 1836 together with A. Wright, upholsterer.