Robert Adam

Long Gallery fireplace

'Bob the Roman', the renowned Neo-classical architect, interior and furniture designer created his first complete room design at Croome Court.

Robert Adam was born at Gladney House, Kirkcaldy, Fife on 3 July 1728. In 1754 he went to Italy, spending almost 5 years studying architecture under Charles- Louis Clerisseau and Giovanni Battiste Piranesi.

Robert Adam
Robert Adam

On his return Robert Adam set up a practice in London, with his brother James. He was elected a member of the Royal Society of Arts in 1758, and the Society of Antiquaries in 1761. He served as Member of Parliament for Clackmannanshire & Kinross-shire from 1768-74.

The 6th Earl of Coventry brought Robert Adam to Croome in 1760. His first garden buildings were the Temple Greenhouse, built from Painswick Limestone, in 1760-63, and the interior of St Mary Magdalene Church.

Although initially an architect, Adam was keen to assert his influence on the interior of buildings, and this he did at Croome. The Earl employed him to furnish most of the rooms in his London House in Piccadilly and three of the rooms inside Croome Court. The Long Gallery was possibly his first total room design.

The Long Gallery of the house
View of the Long Gallery

He designed everything from the plasterwork and chimneypiece to the furniture and floor covering. For the Library he had made a beautiful set of Bookcases, that are now on display at the Victoria & Albert Museum. He also had influence in the design of the magnificent set of Gobelin Tapestries for the Tapestry Room at Croome; these are now on show, together with the rest of that room’s Adam interior, at the Metropolitan Museum in New York.

Adam’s many contributions to Croome include the Park Seat or Owl’s Nest (1770-72); the London Arch; Dunstall Castle; the Worcester Gates and possibly the Island Pavillion. Robert Adam became a close friend of the Earl of Coventry, so much so that the Earl was one of the pall-bearers at Adam’s funeral in Westminster Abbey. Adam died in London on 3 March 1792.

He served as the member of Parliament for Kinross-shire from 1768 to 1774.