Somerset House

Building on the Strand, London / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Somerset House is a large Neoclassical complex situated on the south side of the Strand in central London, overlooking the River Thames, just east of Waterloo Bridge. The Georgian era quadrangle was built on the site of a Tudor palace ("Old Somerset House") originally belonging to the Duke of Somerset. The present Somerset House was designed by Sir William Chambers, begun in 1776, and was further extended with Victorian era outer wings to the east and west in 1831 and 1856 respectively.[2][3] The site of Somerset House stood directly on the River Thames until the Victoria Embankment parkway was built in the late 1860s.[4]

Quick facts: Somerset House, General information, Architec...
Somerset House
The courtyard of Somerset House from the North Wing entrance (September 2007)
General information
Architectural styleNeoclassical
London, WC2
CountryUnited Kingdom
Current tenantsMultiple
Construction started1776; 247 years ago (1776)
Cost£462,323 (1801)[1]
LandlordSomerset House Trust
Design and construction
Architect(s)Sir William Chambers
DesignationsGrade I listed building

The great Georgian era structure was built to be a grand public building housing various government and public-benefit society offices. Its present tenants are a mixture of various organisations, generally centred around the arts and education.