Home > Architecture & Urban Design, Things I Like... > 63 Harley Street, London W1…

63 Harley Street, London W1…


I’m disappointed that me & And missed the opportunity to buy this beautiful Art Deco house that was up for sale in January this year…

At £6,950,000, I think it would have been a bit of a bargain… nine bedrooms, a reception area that just about covers the whole of the ground floor, a lift, two roof terraces, at least three kitchens and 5 bathrooms, not to mention a Harley Street address and Grade II Listed Status.

Designed by Edmund Wimperis, William Begg Simpson & Leonard Rome Guthrie and completed in 1934, the commission for a celebrated eye surgeon and his wife (the Blue Plaque on the front wall commemorates one “Sir Stewart Duke-Elder”) was for a suite of easily accessible, purpose-built consulting rooms with a family residence and servants quarters spread across the rest of the space.

The design of the building was a modern take on the traditional town house and the interior featured specially designed built-in furniture, panelling, and lighting fittings. The building has been empty for at least the last 5 years, however at the end of last year it was granted planning permission for change of use to a solely residential building, hence the sale…

The plans are pretty interesting, full of Art Deco curves and features, and although there appears to be no garden, set backs and internal courtyards to the rear, would have meant that the interiors would have been very bright. I particularly like the arrangements around the second consulting room (now a bedroom) at first floor level. Originally the domain of Mrs Duke Elder (or Lady Phyllis to her society chums and also a highly regarded ophthalmologist), the room is reached via a rather fine elliptical stair in the rear hallway that leads past an open terrace with a wonderful circular roof light over the Masters surgery below…

So, despite the estate agents particulars suggesting the property was now in need of “full refurbishment” I still think, that if I did have a spare £7M lying around (plus at least another £1M to do it up), I would have been very tempted to buy this rather splendid house in the centre of town… (no idea where we’d put the car though…)

There is more about the house and its owners here if you’re interested…

  1. ARW
    May 21, 2012 at 13:00

    I did buy it! And we would always be happy to let anyone seriously interested in the house have a look inside.


    • May 23, 2012 at 11:01

      Hi ARW
      If this is a serious/ genuine offer then yes, we would be interested in seeing your beautiful house. How shall we organise it out of the public domain?

      • ARW
        May 23, 2012 at 11:35

        Give me your email if you want to or drop a line to 63 Harley St with a phone number.

    • Cheval
      August 2, 2012 at 01:03

      I am a life long admirer of Art Deco architecture, and this is truly a unique fabulous example, I will be in London on business in September, would love to see it if possible..Very Sincerely, Cheval Lappa-Maciolek..my email is rissy288@msn.com :

    • Christopher Bett
      January 23, 2013 at 22:55


      I am the great nephew of Sir Stewart and would welcome the chance to see the house. I have no recollection of the Harley Street house, memories are of their house in St. John’s Wood (demolished some time ago).

      I live in the US but return to London quiet regularly and would love to see the house.

      Best regards,


      • Richenda Walsh
        January 8, 2014 at 17:28

        Sorry to be so long, by all means get in touch any time you are in London, It is still a building site, hopefully finished during the Spring

    • Drew
      October 1, 2014 at 13:21

      Hi guys, I work for a London based fashion magazine; I’d love to come and see the property and see if there would be a chance of organising a shoot?

      More than happy to give more info…is there a way to contact the current resident?


      • Richenda Walsh
        October 4, 2014 at 12:47

        Hi Joe Do you have an email for this person so I can reply without giving my phone number on the public space? Otherwise I guess I can ask them to drop a note at the house. We are finally in the finishing off stages, it has been a long haul but will be worth it. Do you happen to know an amazing young furniture designer who might make us a custom made table incorporating the existing desk? Come and see us when we move in. There will be a party! All the best to you and Andrea. Richenda

      • October 4, 2014 at 13:36

        Hi Drew
        If you respond to this, then it should appear in my Googlemail inbox and I can forward your details to Richenda…

    • Oliver Tann
      October 16, 2014 at 14:19

      Hi Richenda,

      I am the grandson of Sir Allen Goldsmith who lived No. 63 after buying it from Sir Stewart. My mother always speaks very highly of it but, unfortunately, I was only two years old when Sir Allen died and the house was sold, so I have no recollection of it.

      I would dearly love to see it and, as it happens, work just down the road in Hanover Square (for a famous magazine publishers…). Would it be possible to pop over one day?

      With best wishes,

  2. Nicola Jack
    March 9, 2014 at 20:26

    I’m the great niece of the Duke-Elders and I used to go and stay with them at this house. In fact, my sister Judith has the waiting room table- which I remember having copies of Tatler and – was it called ‘Horse and Hounds’ laid out on it for patients. Judith has the table at her farmhouse in mid-Wales…….not, perhaps the best venue! In my family we have some entertaining tales about the time Aunty Phylis and Uncle Stewart moved out of Harley Street…..involving miles of narrow beige carpet and the chaffeur’s uniforms.

    • Richenda Walsh
      March 10, 2014 at 09:59

      The house is still a building site but in the final stages. Please feel free to get in touch if you are ever in London and would be interested to see it. The waiting room will be a formal dining room and ‘Uncle Stewart’s’ consulting room has the kitchen in the back part where he examined eyes.

      I wondered where all the beige carpet (visible in early pictures) went! We are getting a copy of the original hall rug made up in India as we speak.

      Sadly, no chauffeur! Did they own one of the mews houses, I wonder?

      Richenda Walsh

      • Bengt Stange
        December 20, 2014 at 17:33

        Dear Mrs. Walsh, I would like to inform you that the Bentley Mk VI car from 1949 has survived and I am proud to be the owner. The car is in good running contition and frequently used during the summer season, Stockholm / Sweden.
        Kind regards,
        Bengt Stange

  3. Frederick Appleby
    October 11, 2015 at 20:36

    Dear ARW

    Apart from my interest in 1930s design, I would be very pleased to see inside 63 Harley Street. Sir Stewart Duke Elder was a cousin of my Grandmother, who was also brought up in Dundee. The house is looking very well cared for, and I would love to see the mysteries it hides. I can be reached on the email address below.
    With thanks in anticipation,
    Frederick Appleby

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