Middleton Buildings can be dated almost exactly from 1759. There are numerous facts and visual pointers to substantiate this: the size and shape of the windows, the constitution and formation of the brickwork – and the recesses to the side of the door, which housed a characteristically Georgian foot-scraper.
The history of the site is also relatively well established. On John Rocque’s map of 1746, it is shown simply as fields. However, on Thomas Jefferys’ map of 1762, the buildings are clearly visible in their present disposition.
We also know from the rate books that Middleton Buildings was completed – but not occupied – by 1759.
The dwellings appear to have taken their name from one of the four men responsible for their construction – a Wells Street bricklayer called John Middleton or Middelton. Middleton had three partners in the enterprise Stephen Bowditch, Robert Maile – son of George Maile, a carpenter – and Robert Winkworth, ‘gentlemen of Marylebone’. As far as can be ascertained, the project was a speculative one. None of the principals lived here themselves – but there was a Richard Winkworth resident in 1762 who may have been related to Robert.