Project Description

WELLINGTON

At nr 1 Sagasta street in Cádiz, otherwise 101 Calle de la Amargura according to the Parroquia del Rosario census of late XVIII century, right at the corner with the Callejón del Tinte we find this stunning 18th century Palace.

It was September 2019 when we luckily got access to this magnificent property which was undergoing a severe rehabilitation process. To date, probably the most relevant batch we have salvaged at Amber. We were able to save about 150 beams, very similar in format and most of them in “mint” condition (considering they are almost 300 years old!). We also caught a large format girder.  We organised 4 separate pickups as the builders progressively worked their way up the 4 levels of the building and demolished roofing structures.

The construction of this palace style mansion must have started around 1750 and scores the highest heritage protection level in the local council´s urban management ranking (Level 0). It hosts a square central patio, a 4 level open gallery with 2 staircases that run up both on both sides. The façade has 5 dominant symmetry axes, centered porch and high ceilings in all levels. It holds one of the biggest lookout towers in the city. The original baroque style got a profound Elizabethan facelift at some stage. The façade is full of interesting decorative features, pediments and mouldings along with curvy forged cierros (gaditan name for an enclosed balcony). An imperial staircase was built in 1860 in the center of the patio, which is crowned by a magnificent rooflight.

And this is when it gets interesting. We could feel from the very beginning that such a majestic construction must have been home to some relevant character or institution so we started researching.

We soon found out that the place was built around 1750 to host the British Embassy in Spain. Nowadays it would undoubtedly be located in the capital city (Madrid) but back in those days the extremely busy commercial activity with the Americas which was mainly channeled through the harbour of Cádiz due to its key geostrategic location, was probably the key factor for such a decision.

One of its first Ambassadors and probably the most renowned one was Sir Richard Wellesley, eldest brother of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, Britain’s most legendary military and political character of the 19th Century.

Richard Colley Wellesley, was born in Ireland in 1760 in an aristocratic angloirish family. He went to the Royal School, Armagh, Harrow School, Eton College and Christ Church in Oxford, and thanks to his persuasive oratory skills and his formidable managing abilities he became Lord of Treasury and General Governor for the West Indies.

In times of Napoleon and the Spanish Independence War (1808-1814) he became British Ambassador in Spain and arrive in Cádiz short after the famous Battle of Talavera.

Richard played a key role in the cooperation between the spanish and british government, both by himself and through his brother Arthur.

In those hard war times the Duke visited Cádiz a number of times and most definitely strategic conversations on how to expel the french troops from southern Spain took place within the thick walls of this extraordinary dwelling.

Also around those years, we only found out the name of a spanish person named Francisco Xavier Insúa that worked for the Embassy and inhabited the mezzanine floor. The ground floor hosted a tailor shop and a barber shop, where master Josef Ruiz worked and lived with his wife Rafaela Milán and daughter Consuelo.

In more recent times the wealthy family of Benito Cuesta lived in the house for many years up until the 90´s. The house has remained abandoned since.

As a consequence of so many prominent and wealthy owners over the years the property held some unique architectural and interior design treasures within. In a recent refurbishment of the premises, the builder reported having found some rare and kitschy gems: travel trunks from a trip to the Antilles, extravagant wallpapers and one of a kind decoration items for bourgeois parties and balls among other things that embody its once flashy and wealthy lifestyle.

Patio y escalera de entrada 1 - AMBER STORIES

Central Patio central and adjoining staircase.

This piece of ironwork at the entrance to the property was probably fitted by the BC British Consulate, many years ago

Imagen recuerda la condición de Consulado Británico 2 - AMBER STORIES
Montera del edificio desde el patio central 2 - AMBER STORIES

Skylight as seen from within the central patio.

Montera y torre mirador de la finca 2 - AMBER STORIES

Skylight and tower of the property with a clean 360º view of Cadiz , since there is no higher building around.

GALLERY OF STORIES

TABLES

Wellington Collection

WELLINGTON

At nr 1 Sagasta street in Cádiz, otherwise 101 Calle de la Amargura according to the Parroquia del Rosario census of late XVIII century, right at the corner with the Callejón del Tinte we find this stunning 18th century Palace.

It was September 2019 when we luckily got access to this magnificent property which was undergoing a severe rehabilitation process. To date, probably the most relevant batch we have salvaged at Amber. We were able to save about 150 beams, very similar in format and most of them in “mint” condition (considering they are almost 300 years old!). We also caught a large format girder.  We organised 4 separate pickups as the builders progressively worked their way up the 4 levels of the building and demolished roofing structures.

The construction of this palace style mansion must have started around 1750 and scores the highest heritage protection level in the local council´s urban management ranking (Level 0). It hosts a square central patio, a 4 level open gallery with 2 staircases that run up both on both sides. The façade has 5 dominant symmetry axes, centered porch and high ceilings in all levels. It holds one of the biggest lookout towers in the city. The original baroque style got a profound Elizabethan facelift at some stage. The façade is full of interesting decorative features, pediments and mouldings along with curvy forged cierros (gaditan name for an enclosed balcony). An imperial staircase was built in 1860 in the center of the patio, which is crowned by a magnificent rooflight.

IMG 20190917 124327 2 scaled - AMBER STORIES

And this is when it gets interesting. We could feel from the very beginning that such a majestic construction must have been home to some relevant character or institution so we started researching.

We soon found out that the place was built around 1750 to host the British Embassy in Spain. Nowadays it would undoubtedly be located in the capital city (Madrid) but back in those days the extremely busy commercial activity with the Americas which was mainly channeled through the harbour of Cádiz due to its key geostrategic location, was probably the key factor for such a decision .

One of its first Ambassadors and probably the most renowned one was Sir Richard Wellesley, eldest brother of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, Britain’s most legendary military and political character of the 19th Century.

1200px Richard Wellesley - AMBER STORIES

Richard Colley Wellesley, was born in Ireland in 1760 in an aristocratic angloirish family. He went to the Royal School, Armagh, Harrow School, Eton College and Christ Church in Oxford, and thanks to his persuasive oratory skills and his formidable managing abilities he became Lord of Treasury and General Governor for the West Indies.

In times of Napoleon and the Spanish Independence War (1808-1814) he became British Ambassador in Spain and arrive in Cádiz short after the famous Battle of Talavera.

Richard played a key role in the cooperation between the spanish and british government, both by himself and through his brother Arthur.

In those hard war times the Duke visited Cádiz a number of times and most definitely strategic conversations on how to expel the french troops from southern Spain took place within the thick walls of this extraordinary dwelling.

Also around those years, we only found out the name of a spanish person named Francisco Xavier Insúa that worked for the Embassy and inhabited the mezzanine floor. The ground floor hosted a tailor shop and a barber shop, where master Josef Ruiz worked and lived with his wife Rafaela Milán and daughter Consuelo.

In more recent times the wealthy family of Benito Cuesta lived in the house for many years up until the 90´s. The house has remained abandoned since.

As a consequence of so many prominent and wealthy owners over the years the property held some unique architectural and interior design treasures within. In a recent refurbishment of the premises, the builder reported having found some rare and kitschy gems: travel trunks from a trip to the Antilles, extravagant wallpapers and one of a kind decoration items for bourgeois parties and balls among other things that embody its once flashy and wealthy lifestyle.

Patio y escalera de entrada 1 - AMBER STORIES

This piece of ironwork at the entrance to the property was probably fitted by the BC British Consulate, many years ago

Imagen recuerda la condición de Consulado Británico 2 - AMBER STORIES
Montera del edificio desde el patio central 2 - AMBER STORIES
Montera y torre mirador de la finca 2 - AMBER STORIES
GALLERY OF STORIES

TABLES

Wellington Collection