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Detail of portico on north front of main block

Between 1822 and 1828 the north front of Hamilton Palace was massively enlarged and enhanced by Alexander, 10th Duke of Hamilton (1767-1852) working in collaboration with the distinguished Glasgow architect, David Hamilton (1768-1843), whose design represented an interpretation of the 1819 drawings of the Neapolitan architect Francesco Saponieri. The old north front was replaced by a monumental edifice 80.5m long, the fašade of which was centred upon a colossal portico of hexastyle (that is, of six column) form and Corinthian Order.

This dramatic view through the hexastyle portico on the north front emphasises the sheer scale and grandeur of its double row of Corinthian columns, each of which was 7.6m high, 1m in diameter and fashioned from a single block of stone. They were evidently quarried at Dalserf, from where they were transported in a specially made vehicle drawn by 30 horses.

 
                 
  The gap in the inner row of columns (right) marks the position of the doorway into the equally grand and spacious entrance hall at first-floor level. Richly paved with marble, this lofty reception area was no less than 12.8m high and 16.5m square on plan.  
                 
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