Somerset House Trust

Our History

THE HISTORY OF SOMERSET HOUSE:
Somerset House Trust
Somerset House Trust

Somerset House Trust was established in July 1997 to conserve and develop Somerset House and the open spaces around it for the public, with the refurbishment of the South Building, the River Terrace and The Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court as our main priority.

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The Tudor Palace
The Tudor Palace

Tells the story of the grand home built in 1547 for Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset, and describes the people who lived in it and the events that surrounded it.

Subject to numerous alterations and additions, the palace finally fell into disrepair and was demolished in 1775 to make way for the building we see today.

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The Great Institutions
The Great Institutions

Takes a closer look at the many organisations, societies and institutions that have made Somerset House their home over the years.

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Since the 18th Century
Since the 18th Century

Considers Sir William Chambers' design. Conceived as an object of national splendour, this massive building rising from the banks of the Thames was designed to house public offices, including the Navy Board and the three principal learned societies.

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Archaeology
Archaeology

Provides information about the various archaeological finds that have been unearthed during the restoration process and includes links to other relevant sites.

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> Click here to download a list of further reading on the history of Somerset House

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