(b. 1664, London, d. 1726, London)

Exterior view

Vanbrugh Castle, Blackheath, London

Vanbrugh designed and built a group of small houses for himself and some of his family at Blackheath between 1718 and 1725. (Blackheath is a district of south-east London straddling the Royal Borough of Greenwich and the London Borough of Lewisham.) The first of these, and the only one to survive, is his own house, Vanbrugh Castle. As initially built in 1718-19, it was a small, tall, symmetrical building of London stock brick, with a round stair tower flanked by two square turrets on the front, and a central bow window overlooking Greenwich and the lower reaches of the Thames at the back. On his marriage in January 1719 Vanbrugh added a second block, again symmetrical in itself, to make an asymmetrical whole.