Somerset House

Denmark HouseBrazil HouseLord Protector's housemore splendid establishmentSomersetSomerset House CourtyardSomerset House LaboratorySomerset House LondonSomerset House School of DesignSomerset House Trust
Somerset House is a large Neoclassical building situated on the south side of the Strand in central London, overlooking the River Thames, just east of Waterloo Bridge.wikipedia
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William Chambers (architect)

William ChambersSir William Chambers William Chambers
The Georgian quadrangle, which was built on the site of a Tudor palace belonging to the Duke of Somerset, was designed by Sir William Chambers in 1776.
Among his best-known works are Somerset House, London, and the pagoda at Kew.

Strand, London

StrandThe StrandThe Strand, London
Somerset House is a large Neoclassical building situated on the south side of the Strand in central London, overlooking the River Thames, just east of Waterloo Bridge.
These included Essex House, Arundel House, Somerset House, Savoy Palace, Durham House and Cecil House.

Henrietta Maria of France

Henrietta MariaQueen Henrietta MariaQueen
In particular, during the period between 1630 and 1635, he built a chapel where Henrietta Maria of France, wife of King Charles I, could exercise her Roman Catholic religion.
Henrietta Maria established her presence at Somerset House, Greenwich, Oatlands, Nonsuch, Richmond and Holdenby as part of her jointure lands by 1630.

Edmund Berry Godfrey

Sir Edmund Berry GodfreyEdmund GodfreyEdmundbury Godfrey
Titus Oates made full use of this prejudice in the fabricated details of the Popish Plot and it was alleged that Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey, whose murder was one of the great mysteries of the age, had been killed in Somerset House before his body had been smuggled out and thrown into a ditch below Primrose Hill.
After his death his papers were retrieved from a trunk in a coffee house at Swan's Court, by Somerset House.

Thomas Telford

Telford Thomas TelfordTelford Churches
Thomas Telford, then a stonemason, but later an eminent civil engineer, was among those who worked on its construction.
He worked for a time in Edinburgh and in 1782 he moved to London where, after meeting architects Robert Adam and Sir William Chambers, he was involved in building additions to Somerset House there.

Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz

Queen CharlotteCharlottethe Queen
By an earlier Act of Parliament, it had been placed in trust for the use of Queen Charlotte in the event that her husband King George III predeceased her.
Indeed, in 1775, an Act of Parliament settled the property on Queen Charlotte in exchange for her rights to Somerset House.

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham HouseGoring Housethe Palace
In due course, the King outlived the Queen and the property (later known as Buckingham Palace) reverted "to the use of His Majesty, his heirs and successors".
In 1775, an Act of Parliament settled the property on Queen Charlotte, in exchange for her rights to Somerset House, and 14 of her 15 children were born there.

Thomas Hardwick

Thomas Hardwick (junior)Thomas Hardwick Junior
One of Chambers's most famous pupils, Thomas Hardwick Jnr, helped build parts of the building during his period of training and later wrote a short biography of Chambers.
In 1769, aged 17, he enrolled at the new Royal Academy Schools, where he studied architecture under Sir William Chambers, for whom he later worked during the construction of Somerset House.

Anne of Denmark

Queen AnneAnneQueen Anne of Denmark
During the reign of King James I, the building became the London residence of his wife, Anne of Denmark, and was renamed Denmark House.
Anne moved into Greenwich Palace and then Somerset House, which she renamed Denmark House.

Waterloo Bridge

Waterloo
Somerset House is a large Neoclassical building situated on the south side of the Strand in central London, overlooking the River Thames, just east of Waterloo Bridge.
The north end of the bridge passes above the Victoria Embankment where the road joins the Strand and Aldwych alongside Somerset House.

Georgian architecture

GeorgianGeorgian RevivalGeorgian style
The Georgian quadrangle, which was built on the site of a Tudor palace belonging to the Duke of Somerset, was designed by Sir William Chambers in 1776.
Somerset House in London, designed by Sir William Chambers in 1776 for government offices, was as magnificent as any country house, though never quite finished, as funds ran out.

Massachusetts State House

State HouseMassachusetts StatehouseMassachusetts State Capitol
The design influenced other great buildings: Charles Bulfinch's Massachusetts State House, begun in 1795, has been described as a work "frankly derivative" of Somerset House.
For the building's design, architect Charles Bulfinch made use of two existing buildings in London: William Chambers's Somerset House, and James Wyatt's Pantheon.

Royal College of Art

The Royal College of ArtSouth Kensington School of ArtRoyal College of Arts
Its former accommodation was given over to a newly-established Government School of Design (which was much later to become the Royal College of Art); it remained in the complex from 1837 until, in 1853, the Registry of Births, Marriages and Deaths needed to expand its office space and the School relocated to Marlborough House.
The RCA was founded in Somerset House in 1837 as the Government School of Design or Metropolitan School of Design.

Giuseppe Ceracchi

Joseph Ceracchi
Designs were produced by Giovanni Cipriani and the sculptors included Joseph Wilton, Agostino Carlini, John Bacon, Joseph Nollekens, John Cheere and Giuseppe Ceracchi.
In 1778, Ceracchi sculpted the statues of Temperance and Fortitude cast in Portland stone for the Strand façade of Sir William Chambers' Somerset House, London; Carlini, who modelled the other two classical virtues for the project, was occupied with architectural sculpture for Somerset House over several years and doubtless recommended Ceracchi.

Inns of Chancery

Clement's InnNew InnInn of Chancery
In about 1549 he pulled down an old Inn of Chancery and other houses that stood on the site, and began to build himself a palatial residence, making liberal use of other nearby buildings, including some of the chantry chapels and cloisters at St Paul's Cathedral, which were demolished partly at his behest as part of the ongoing dissolution of the monasteries.
Founded in the fifteenth century it was pulled down in the 1540s by Lord Somerset in his role as Lord Protector so that he could build Somerset House.

Old St Paul's Cathedral

St Paul's CathedralSt PaulOld St. Paul's Cathedral
In about 1549 he pulled down an old Inn of Chancery and other houses that stood on the site, and began to build himself a palatial residence, making liberal use of other nearby buildings, including some of the chantry chapels and cloisters at St Paul's Cathedral, which were demolished partly at his behest as part of the ongoing dissolution of the monasteries.
Buildings that were razed often supplied ready-dressed building material for construction projects, such as the Lord Protector's city palace, Somerset House.

Agostino Carlini

Augustino Carlini
Designs were produced by Giovanni Cipriani and the sculptors included Joseph Wilton, Agostino Carlini, John Bacon, Joseph Nollekens, John Cheere and Giuseppe Ceracchi.
He worked, with fellow Italian sculptor Giuseppe Ceracchi at Somerset House, and on statues at Custom House in Dublin.

Inigo Jones

Indigo JonesJonesJonesian
She commissioned a number of expensive additions and improvements, some to designs by Inigo Jones.
1646) but Jones ended his days, unmarried, living in Somerset House.

Catherine of Braganza

Queen CatherineCatharine of BraganzaCatherine
It was then used as an occasional residence by Catherine of Braganza, wife of King Charles II.
Catherine remained in England, living at Somerset House, through the reign of James and his deposition in the Glorious Revolution by William III and Mary II.

Giovanni Battista Cipriani

CiprianiG. B. CiprianiGiovanni Cipriani
Designs were produced by Giovanni Cipriani and the sculptors included Joseph Wilton, Agostino Carlini, John Bacon, Joseph Nollekens, John Cheere and Giuseppe Ceracchi.
At Somerset House, also built by his friend Chambers, he prepared the decorations for the interior of the north block, including the rooms into which the Royal Academy moved in 1750, which now houses the Courtauld Gallery The central panel of the Royal Academy's ante-room was painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds but the four compartments in the coves, representing Allegory, Fable, Nature and History, were Cipriani's.

Royal Academy of Arts

Royal AcademyRoyal Academy SchoolsRA
The North Wing of Somerset House was initially fitted out to house the Royal Academy, the Royal Society and the Society of Antiquaries.
The Royal Academy was initially housed in cramped quarters in Pall Mall, although in 1771 it was given temporary accommodation for its library and schools in Old Somerset House, then a royal palace.

Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset

Protector SomersetEdward SeymourEarl of Hertford
The Georgian quadrangle, which was built on the site of a Tudor palace belonging to the Duke of Somerset, was designed by Sir William Chambers in 1776.

John Bacon (sculptor, born 1740)

John BaconJohn Bacon SeniorJohn Bacon the Elder
Designs were produced by Giovanni Cipriani and the sculptors included Joseph Wilton, Agostino Carlini, John Bacon, Joseph Nollekens, John Cheere and Giuseppe Ceracchi.

Royal Society

FRSRoyal Society of LondonThe Royal Society
The North Wing of Somerset House was initially fitted out to house the Royal Academy, the Royal Society and the Society of Antiquaries.
In 1780, the society moved again, this time to Somerset House.

John Francis Rigaud

J F RigaudJ. F. RigaudRigaud
Inside, most of the offices were plain and business-like, but in the North Wing the formal rooms and public spaces of the learned societies were enriched with painted ceilings (by Cipriani, Benjamin West, Angelica Kauffman, J. F. Rigaud, Charles Catton and Joshua Reynolds), ornamental plasterwork (by Thomas Collins and Thomas Clerk) and casts of classical sculptures.
Some of his exhibits at the Academy were studies for ceiling paintings, and in 1797 he showed three works described as "specimen[s] of fresco painting on Portland stone. The architect William Chambers offered him work in London at Melbourne House in Piccadilly (1772 and 1774) and at Somerset House (1780). He also helped decorate the common council chamber of the Guildhall in London (1794) and Trinity House (1796). According to the Dictionary of National Biography, all these works were "executed in the fashionable Italian style of G. B. Cipriani and Biagio Rebecca, being mostly classical figures and imitations of bas-reliefs". His works at the Guildhall, representing "Providence", "Innocence", "Wisdom" and "Happiness" were painted at the expense of Alderman John Boydell. They did not last: a guidebook to the building, published in 1819, recorded that "these Paintings never dried perfectly and turned black.