123 Mortlake High Street

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123 Mortlake High Street
123 Mortlake High Street front.jpg
General information
Type Residential, but converted for office use
Architectural style Georgian
Location Mortlake, London SW14, England
Coordinates 51°28′13″N 0°15′27″W / 51.4704°N 0.2574°W / 51.4704; -0.2574Coordinates: 51°28′13″N 0°15′27″W / 51.4704°N 0.2574°W / 51.4704; -0.2574
Construction started c. 1720
Awards and prizes Listed as Grade II* by English Heritage[1][2]

123 Mortlake High Street, also known as The Limes and previously referred to as Forecourt Piers[1][2] and Mortlake Terrace,[3] is a Grade II* listed[1][2] 18th-century property in Mortlake in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. The house was built in about 1720 but the facade and porch were added later.[4] The porch includes four Tuscan columns.[5]

The house's former residents include: the Franks, a family of Jewish merchant bankers who came to Mortlake from New York in 1754 and led the English Ashkenazi Jewish community for more than a century; Lady Byron, widow of the poet; the educational philanthropist Quintin Hogg;[4] and Garnet Wolseley, 1st Viscount Wolseley.[6]

Mortlake Terrace (1827) by J. M. W. Turner

From 1895 until it was damaged by Second World War bombing in 1940, the building was the seat of local government[4] for the Municipal Borough of Barnes (which was abolished in 1965). The seven-acre grounds once belonging to the house have been entirely built over. Although the interior is currently converted to commercial office use, the outward appearance is similar to what it was in two oil paintings by Joseph Mallord William Turner (1755–1851), made while visiting the house.[4]

Turner's two paintings were made for William Moffatt,[3][7] whose house it then was. Mortlake Terrace: Early Summer Morning (1826), giving a side view of the house facing onto the River Thames and featuring the trees after which the house was named, is in the Frick Collection, New York.[3][4] It was shown in the Royal Academy exhibition of 1826 where it was praised for its "lightness and simplicity".[3]

Mortlake Terrace (1827), a companion view of the terrace and river on a summer evening as seen from a ground-floor window of the house, is in the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.[3][8]

The Museum of London holds an illustration of people at The Limes, as it was then called, watching the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race. The Limes – Mortlake: 1872 is taken from London: a Pilgrimage by Blanchard Jerrold and Gustave Doré, 1872. Jerrold describes how "the towing paths presented to the view of the more fortunate people upon the private river-side terraces, a mixed population ...".[9] The house was, at the time, the residence of a Mr Marsh Nelson.[10]


  1. ^ a b c "Forecourt Piers". The National Heritage List for England. English Heritage. Retrieved 30 September 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c "Forecourt Piers, Richmond upon Thames". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 30 September 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775 - 1851) Mortlake Terrace: Early Summer Morning, 1826". Frick Collection, New York. Retrieved 30 September 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "The Limes". Barnes and Mortlake History Society. Retrieved 30 September 2013. 
  5. ^ Bridget Cherry and Nikolaus Pevsner (1983). The Buildings of England – London 2: South. London: Penguin Books. p. 513. ISBN 0 14 0710 47 7. 
  6. ^ Ben Weinreb, Christopher Hibbert, John Keay and Julia Keay (2008). The London Encyclopaedia (Third ed.). Macmillan. p. 485. ISBN 978 1 4050 4925 2. 
  7. ^ "Mortlake Terrace 1827: Provenance". National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. Retrieved 30 September 2013. 
  8. ^ "Mortlake Terrace, 1827: Overview". National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. Retrieved 30 September 2013. 
  9. ^ "The Limes – Mortlake: 1872". Museum of London. Retrieved 30 September 2013. 
  10. ^ Gustave Doré and Blanchard Jerrold (1872). "London: A pilgrimage". Chapter VI. Victorian London. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 

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