View of the South West Front of Belmont Castle
Engraver: Raffield, I.
South west view of this late 18th century Gothic style mansion known as Belmont Castle, in Essex. This is one of two aquatints which show the castle as it looked soon after its construction was completed in c.1785. The architect was Thomas Jeffery, about whom little is known other than he was based at Bishopsgate St in London. It was built for Zachariah Button, a wealthy landowner who had bought the Peverill Manor of Grays in 1777. By the late 18th century the Gothic style had not been completely forgotten- the style was used occasionally to build aristocratic homes although they tended to reflect the eccentric taste of the owners such as Horace Walpole's Strawberry Hill near London, which was built between c.1750-70. This house is not as imaginative or lavishly decorated as a Strawberry Hill but nevertheless was well constructed.