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Northumberland House

POI: 51.507500, -0.126667
Northumberland House (also known as Suffolk House when owned by the Earls of Suffolk) was a large Jacobean townhouse in London, which was so called because for most of its history it was the London residence of the Percy family, who were the Earls and later Dukes of Northumberland, and one of England's richest and most prominent aristocratic dynasties for many centuries. It stood at the far western end of the Strand from around 1605 until demolished in 1874. In its later years it overlooked Trafalgar Square.
Background
In the 16th century the Strand, which connects the City of London with the royal centre of Westminster, was lined with the mansions of some of England's richest prelates and noblemen. Most of the grandest houses were on the southern side of the road and had gardens stretching down to the River Thames.
Construction
In around 1605 Henry Howard, 1st Earl of Northampton cleared a site at Charing Cross on the site of a convent and built himself a mansion, which was at first known as Northampton House. The Strand facade was 162 feet (49 m) wide and the depth of the house was marginally greater. It had a single central courtyard and turrets in each corner. The layout reflected medieval traditions, with a great hall as the principal room, and separate apartments for members of the household, who would still at that time have included gentlemen attendants. Many of these apartments were reached from external doors in the courtyard in the manner still seen at Oxbridge colleges. The exterior was embellished with classical ornament in the loose way of ambitious Jacobean buildings. The most striking external feature was the elaborate four storey carved stone gateway fronting the Strand. The garden was 160 feet (49 m) wide and over 300 feet (91 m) long, but unlike those of the neighbouring mansions to the east it did not reach all the way down to the river.
Seventeenth & Eighteenth Centuries
The house passed from Lord Northampton to the Earls of Suffolk, who were another branch of the powerful Howard family headed by the Dukes of Norfolk, and in the 1640s it was sold to the Earl of Northumberland at the discounted price of £15,000 as part of the marriage settlement when he married a Howard. Regular alterations were made over the next two centuries in response to changes in fashion and to make the layout more convenient for the lifestyle of the day. John Webb was employed from 1657 to 1660 to relocate the family's living accommodation from the Strand front to the garden front. In the 1740s and 1750s the Strand front was largely reconstructed and two wings were added which projected from the ends of the garden front at right angles. These were over 100 feet (30 m) long and contained a ballroom and a picture gallery, the latter itself 106 feet (32 m) long. The style of the new interiors was late palladian and the architects were Daniel Garrett until his death in 1753, and then the better known James Paine. In the mid-1760s Robert Mylne...   ... (English)
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