The Pantheon or Winter Ranelagh, Oxford Street
Designed as the "Winter Ranelagh" by James Wyatt, the main room a rotunda based on the Santa Sophia in Constantinople, with the ceiling based on the Pantheon in Rome. The building was estimated to cost £25,000 so fifty shares were sold at £500 each. The main entrance on Oxford Street,(where Marks and Spencer's is today) had a portico over the front.
The opening took place on 28th January 1772, where over seventeen hundred people attended, including all the Foreign Ambassadors and several Dukes. Initially there was no dancing or music and the cost of admission was half a guinea. Subscribers paid six guineas a season for admission to twelve assemblies.
In addition there were normally two masquerades each season.
Charlotte Burney whose father was an original shareholder, wrote to her sister to say that he had given his Proprietor's Ticket for the opening night to their cousin and it is likely that he was talking about one of the above in silver which have low numbers. Copper ones were seemingly for subscribers.
Fanny Burney recorded in her book Evelina that "the concerts are exceedingly good".
Walpole described the Pantheon as "the most beautiful edifice in England" and Gibbon considered it "the wonder of the 18th century and of the British Empire".
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