Dartmouth House is a large and luxurious Georgian house in Mayfair, central London, England. It now acts at the headquarters for the English-Speaking Union (ESU), an educational charity. It is located at 37 Charles Street, southwest off Berkeley Square. Over 40,000 people use the building each year.
The original building was constructed in the 1750s and what today comprises Dartmouth House was two separate residences, numbers 37 and 38 Charles Street. The first owner of number 37 was Henry Herbert, 2nd Earl of Carnarvon from 1757–1776.
In 1870, the banker Edward Baring bought both properties and on his creation as Baron Revelstoke in 1885, he converted the two houses into one to house his collection of Louis XIV furniture and art. He remodelled and refurbished the house in an Anglo-French style. There is a painted ceiling by Pierre-Victor Galland above the grand staircase. However a crisis at Baring Brothers and Co Bank meant that spending on the buildings was curtailed and all building and design work ceased. Many of Lord Revelstoke’s furnishings and objects d’art had to be sold at auction, although he continued to live here until his death in 1897.
The next owner, Lord Dartmouth (6th Earl of Dartmouth) made the most significant changes to the interior of the house in 1900, with the creation of the Long and Small Drawing Rooms. The house was used as the Dartmouth family home until the outbreak of war in 1914, when it was used by the British Red Cross as a military hospital. It was sold again in 1918 to the Hon. Mrs Robert Lindsay.
Dartmouth House was purchased by the English-Speaking Union in 1926 for the sum of £45,000 from the Hon. Mrs Robert Lindsay. It was formally opened as the London Headquarters of the ESU by the then Prime Minister, Sir Stanley Baldwin, on the 22 February 1927.
Today, Dartmouth House is an important heritage building in Mayfair. It was upgraded by the UK government Department of Culture, Media and Sport to be a Grade II* listed building. In addition to being the home of the ESU, the building is a location for private events, weddings and corporate events. The restaurant "Leith's at Dartmouth" is located in the Revelstoke Room.
- Images of Dartmouth House, English-Speaking Union website.
- Dartmouth House