Rocque's important large-scale survey of London was the first "post-fire" map to be made since William Morgan's plan of 1682, and the primary topographical record of mid-18th-century London. John Rocque, a Huguenot, had come to London c. 1730, and having trained as a surveyor and engraver, made estate surveys of Kensington Gardens and Hampton Court. By 1737 Rocque had moved to mapping towns and counties, beginning his ambitious survey of the entire built-up area of London in 1737, which was to take nine years to complete.
Woburn Abbey has been the seat of the Dukes of Bedford for nearly 400 years. Edward VI granted Woburn Abbey to Sir John Russell in 1547, though it did not become a family home until 1619. In 1747, the Fourth Duke commissioned Henry Flitcroft to rebuild the west range in the Palladian style, including the grand series of staterooms, but carefully retaining the original North Wing and its famous grotto room, from sentimental and historical motivation. The next improvements to the house were made by Stiff Leadbetter, Flitcroft's successor, and William Chambers. It was the 4th Duke, catholic in his tastes, who bought so much of the superb French furniture and Sèvres porcelain to Woburn, following his appointment as ambassador to the Court of Louis XV in 1762. The 5th Duke employed Henry Holland to carry out further improvements to the house, and also added the famous greenhouses that he filled with some of the sculpture that he and his father and grandfather had collected on their travels. In 1802, Humphry Repton landscaped the park as it appears today. The 5th and 6th Dukes continued to acquire furniture and works of art with an enthusiasm equal to that of the 4th Duke, resulting in the superb collection remaining at Woburn today.
The westward development of the Bedford Estate, the London property of the Russell Earls and Dukes of Bedford, began with the building of the Covent Garden piazza by Inigo Jones in 1630-1. The rest of the Southampton estate was not properly developed until the fourth Duke of Bedford, influenced by the success of the developments in the West End, began to build terraces upon what had in the 1750s been virgin fields. His most successful site was that of Bedford Square. Begun in 1775, Bedford square represented the first attempt in Britain to create symmetry by matching opposites in the disposition of the pilastered portico.