Foots Cray Place (ca. 1754-60) is one of the four noted English villas based on Palladio's Villa Rotonda. Attributions of the design of the villa thus far have been on weak grounds and inconclusive. The discovery of a letter of Matthew Brettingham the Younger and four drawings permit an attribution to Brettingham, who, despite some recognition, has only one remodeling of a country house to his name. Further consideration of the Anglo-Palladian rotondas sustains a more general argument: in moving away from the ideal rigor of the Villa Rotonda, the English houses privilege perception over conception and incorporate the quotidian aspect of the sacred/domestic spectrum. Within the strict limits of the rotonda type, Foots Cray deserves attention for its successful adaptations to site and internal accommodation while reasserting some of the rigor of its precedent villa.
- Copyright 1994 The Society of Architectural Historians