Jacob Leroux (c.1737-1799), the London based architect and speculative builder, was born in Convent Garden. In 1766 he was employed by Francis and William Goodge to supervise the development of their estate near Tottenham Court Road. In 1768 Leroux was engaged by Isaac Mallorie and John Carnac to design their planned Polygon development in Southampton. It was an ambitious scheme designed to match the new, genteel buildings of other spa or resort towns like Bath and Tunbridge Wells. The original plan by Leroux was for a polygonal ensemble covering c.22 acres and consisting, within an encircling carriage road, of 12 large houses with long gardens, a hotel, an assembly room and a chapel. In 1771 Leroux, evidently an artist as well as an architect, exhibited at the Royal Academy A view of part of the Polygon, now building at Southampton and in 1772 A design for the publick chapel and shops, forming a forum, intended to be built in the Polygon, Southampton. In fact only three of the houses and none of the other buildings were built, lack of money causing the scheme to be aborted in c.1773.

In the 1770s Leroux remodelled Cams Hall in Fareham, also for John Carnac who had purchased that estate in 1767.

In 1793 Leroux erected a second Polygon, with the same layout as that planned in Southampton, on the Somers estate near Clarendon Square in North London. This scheme fared rather better than the Southampton Polygon, but was similarly not fully completed.

See also:

Further reading:
More Stories of Southampton Streets, by A. G. K. Leonard, p10-13. (HS/h)
A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, by Howard Colvin, p645-646. (720.922)


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