Somerset House :: Visitors' Map of London :: A-Z Maps
Somerset HouseLike a huge palace around its central square, Somerset House was built 1776-86 in grand neo classical style by Sir William Chambers on the site of the 16th century palace of the Duke of Somerset; later occupants of which included Elizabeth I and the Queens by marriage, of James I, Charles I and Charles II.
The river frontage, in monumental Palladian style supported on rusticated arches, stands four-square, anchor like, in contrast to the elegant ocean liner lines of the modern National Theatre on the opposite bank of the River Thames. Somerset House once housed the Navy Board, the Royal Academy and Royal Society, more recently the Inland Revenue and General Register Office. The Courtyard with its animated fountain display, is now an important public open space and events venue, concerts, exhibitions and seasonal ice skating take place here.
The Courtauld Galleries occupy the northern Strand side and the Visitor Centre, Embankment Galleries, restaurants and 800ft River front Embankment Terrace make up the south side, here also displayed in the original water gate, can be see the Navy Commissioners Barge, on loan from the National Maritime Museum.
Admission charges to the various exhibitions and events. Visitor centre and courtyard free.
See Also: Courtauld Gallery
Free online map of London
Use this free online map of London to plan your days out and read about hundreds of places of interest. This map is based on our best-selling Visitors' Map of London and has been designed with tourists in mind. Use it to view information about London museums, art galleries, West End cinemas, theatres, concert halls, opera and ballet houses, places of interest and more.
Download an A-Z map of London to your smartphone
Download an A-Z London map onto your smartphone so you can use it when visiting London. Because the maps are stored on your phone you'll have instant access and no data charges.