Season 2018-2019

The Mansion House, City of London

Sunday 14 April 2019 at 3 pm

Nicholas Thompson B Arch (Hons), RIBA, is a British architect who has specialised in the refurbishment and redecoration of historic buildings in the UK.  Having trained at Edinburgh University and with pre-qualification experience in Chicago, he joined in 1974 the specialist London architectural practice founded 60 years ago by Sir Donald Insall which went on to direct the post-fire restoration of Windsor Castle between 1992 and 1997.  Since his retirement as chairman of the practice from 1998 to 2012, he has acted as consultant to the firm and continues architectural work from his home in rural Herefordshire, where he moved to in 2015.

Whilst working for the firm in London, he was involved in repair and refurbishment projects at many of the capital’s major historic buildings, including the Palace of Westminster, The Public Record Office, The Mansion House, Somerset House, St Bartholomew’s Hospital and The Royal Albert Hall, as well as the public open space of Trafalgar Square. He has also been responsible for a number of important country house projects, both privately-owned and belonging to the National Trust.

During this time he has also been able to write and lecture, to serve on advisory boards and to contribute to the activities of such charitable organisations as The Georgian Group and The Irish Georgian Society.  He was a trustee of the Brooking Architectural Museum and chairman of a trust founded in the UK to support the work of the Czech government at an historic neo-gothic castle in Bohemia.


The Mansion House was built between 1739 and 1752 to designs derived from Palladian prototypes by the architect, George Dance the Elder as a grand home for the City’s Lord Mayor during his term of office.  It is currently the home of the City’s 690th Lord Mayor, Charles Bowman, who will hand over to his successor in November.  As well as being the Lord Mayor’s home for a year, it is also the base from which he and his staff work and where he entertains on behalf of the City and of the Nation. The house is appropriately and richly furnished and houses the important collection of Dutch and Flemish paintings, mostly of the 17th century, bequeathed to the City by the property developer, Lord Samuel in 1987.

The house was closed in 1991-93 for a major programme of repair, refurbishment and redecoration, for which Donald Insall Associates were conservation architects and interior designers under the direction of Nicholas Thompson.

Nicholas Thompson’s illustrated lecture will refer to the building’s architecture, history and collections, its purpose and use, and will describe the extensive works carried out in 1991-93.

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