Graphical version

London Metropolitan Archives



Reference code(s): GB 0074 E/PAN

Held at: London Metropolitan Archives


Date(s): 1774-1788

Level of description: Collection

Extent: 0.15 linear metres

Name of creator(s): Twist | Philip Elias | fl 1769 | property developer


Administrative/Biographical history:

Philip Elias Twist decided in 1769 to build on his land in Oxford Street a building suitable for public entertainment, an 'indoor Ranelagh'. It was to be called the Pantheon. The project was financed by selling 50 shares in the building and its profit, in the form of leases for 61 years.

The main room was a huge and beautiful rotunda based on Santa Sophia, Constantinople. There were smaller vestibules, card rooms and tea rooms. It took more than two and a half years to complete and was opened in 1772. It was widely admired by Londoners and foreign visitors. The building was used for entertainments such as masquerades, ridottos, fetes and concerts. In 1791 it was decided to turn the building into a theatre, but it was burnt down in 1792.

The ruined building was restored by Crispus Clagett, the proprietor of the Apollo Gardens, and reopened in 1796. However, the project proved too expensive, and Clagett disappeared leaving his debts. The building changed hands several times, each owner finding it too expensive to adapt. In 1813 the owner Nicholas Cundy violated the terms of the licence by opening a theatre in the building and was closed down by the Lord Chamberlain. In 1814 it was stipped of its fittings and left empty. It was converted into a bazaar in 1833 and sold to Marks and Spencer in 1937. They demolished it and built in its place their Oxford Street shop.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records relating to the Oxford Street Pantheon, comprising counterparts of the shares/leases sold by owner Philip Elias Twist to fund the building, 1774-1788. The leases include a room by room schedule of fixtures, fittings and furnishings, and marginal plans.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

Ten documents in chronological order.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright rests with the City of London.

Physical characteristics:


Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Records of the Pantheon, Oxford Street, and the estate of Philip Elias Twist, received in the Greater London Record Office, County Hall, London, SE1 14 October 1976.


Publication note:

For a detailed account of the Pantheon see The Survey of London Vol.XXXI. St James Westminster Part II North of Piccadilly (pp.265-283)

DESCRIPTION NOTES Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: July to October 2009

Leases (documents) | Title deeds | Deeds | Documents | Information sources
Legal documents | Law
Property owners | People by roles | People
Property ownership | Civil law | Legal systems | Law
Public entertainment | Entertainment | Leisure time activities | Leisure
Property law x Right to property

Personal names
Twist | Philip Elias | fl 1769 | property developer

Corporate names
Pantheon | Oxford Street