Back to News

Decimus Burton: The Architect who Created Clifton Cresent

Written by Emma Morley

Date: 13.09.2019

  • Decimus Burton

Portrait of Decimus Burton, from the Burton's St Leonards Society (1).

Eager to learn more about the story behind No.3 Clifton Crescent, we have been delving into the history books to understand the fascinating past of the building and the people behind it.

We begin with the man behind the design…

Starting with an idea, it was the Earl of Radnor in the mid 1800's who commissioned the architect Deciumus Burton, to lay out the plans for the 'West Cliffe Estate' area of Folkestone. Positioned next to The Leas promenade, Clifton Crescent is a distinctive collection of mid-Victorian stucco villas.

Decimus Burton was the son of James Burton, who lived in Mabledon (2), a castelled mansion in Tunbridge Wells. James was the developer and builder behind a large number of Georgian character properties including Regent Street, St James's and much of the Bloomsbury district including Bloomsbury Square and Tavistock Square.

James's partner was the architect John Nash, famed for his designs of Buckingham Palace and The Royal Pavilion in Brighton. Decimus trained under Nash and went on to design many parts London is still famed for today; including the Hyde Park Screen located at Hyde Park Corner, as well as both The Palm House and Temperate House at Kew Gardens, the latter of which was recently reopened after 5 years of restoration works.


Calverley Park 1831 – individual houses in a parkland setting (3)

Closer to home in Kent, Decimus was commissioned to create the 'Calverley Estate', which still exists today, with the Calverley Park villas that sit grandly in the heart of Tunbridge Wells. Part of his design included the surrouding landscaping and parkland, which is now known as Calverley Park (4).

With a father and mentor of such distinction, it was only right for Decimus to go on to create such a wonderful selection of properties that have stood the test of time, not only structurally but also aesthetically, the character of his designs have stood the test of time.

Perhaps the most important work of both James and his father, was their creation of the town of St Leonard's. It was James' idea to create a seaside resort for the aristocracy and wealthy members of society to visit. Decimus continued his fathers work in this East Sussex town (5).


TEXO New Homes are proud to be bringing No.3 Clifton Crescent, part of Decimus' Folkestone plan, back to life.