Northumberland House

Large house in/near Charing Cross, existed between 1605 and 1874

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Northumberland House

MAP YEAR:1750180018301860190019502020Remove markers
Large house · * · WC2N ·
November
14
2020

Northumberland House was a large Jacobean townhouse in London, which was the London residence of the Percy family, the Dukes of Northumberland.

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 noblemen. Most of the grandest houses were on the southern side of the road and had gardens stretching down to the River Thames.

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. It had a single central courtyard and turrets in each corner. 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. The section facing the Strand was 162 feet wide.

The layout reflected medieval traditions, with a great hall as the principal room, and separate apartments for members of the household. Many of these apartments were reached from external doors in the courtyard in the style still seen at Oxbridge colleges. The most striking external feature was the elaborate four storey carved stone gateway fronting the Strand. The garden was over 300 feet long, but unlike those of the neighbouring mansions to the east it did not reach all the way down to the river.

The house passed from Lord Northampton to the Earls of Suffolk, who were a 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 £15000 as part of the marriage settlement when he married one of the Howard family.

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 between 1657-1660 to relocate the family's living accommodation from the Strand front to the garden front. In the 1740s and 1750s the facade on the Strand 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 long and contained a ballroom and a picture gallery. The style of the new interiors was 'late Palladian'.

In the mid-1760s Robert Mylne was employed to reface the courtyard in stone, and he may also have been responsible for extensions to the two garden wings which were made at this time. In the 1770s Robert Adam was commissioned to redecorate the state rooms on the garden front. The Glass Drawing Room at Northumberland House was one of his most celebrated interiors. Part of the Strand facade had to be rebuilt after a fire in 1780.

In 1819 Thomas Cundy rebuilt the garden front, and five years later, he added a new main staircase.


This painting by Henry Pether and dating from 1865, shows Northumberland House in the centre left and puts the location of the building in its modern context. The view is southwards across Trafalgar Square, with the towers of the Houses of Parliament on the skyline.

By the mid 19th century all of the other mansions on the Strand had been demolished. The area was largely commercial and was now not a fashionable place to live. The Duke of Northumberland of the day was reluctant to leave his ancestral home, despite pressure from the Metropolitan Board of Works, which wished to build a road through the site to connect to the new roads along the Embankment. After a fire, which caused substantial damage, the Duke eventually accepted an offer of £500 000.

In September 1874, the contents of Northumberland House went under the hammer. The lots consisted of three million bricks, the grand marble staircase, the elaborate ornamentation of the hall, dining, and reception rooms, the state decorations which adorned the hall and corridors, and a large quantity of lead stated to be of the weight of 400 tons. In the following month the Strand front also was sold for building materials. The aggregate sum realised by the sale amounted to but little more than £6500, and of this the grand staircase alone fetched £360.

After having stood for nearly three hundred years, the most notable house in the area was levelled in autumn 1874.

After Northumberland House was demolished, Northumberland Avenue was constructed in its place.

1875_charingx

This image, taken in the 1870s, shows Charing Cross at the south side of the Strand, with Northumberland House just prior to its demolition. The lion that used to stand on top of the building has gone, later to be set up on Syon House. The walls of the mansion display 'Sale of Materials' posters.




Main source: British History Online
Further citations and sources



The Strand front of Northumberland House (1752)

The Percy Lion is atop the central façade and the statue of Charles I at right survives to this day.

The Strand front of Northumberland House (1752) The Percy Lion is atop the central façade and the statue of Charles I at right survives to this day.
Giovanni Canaletto

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Charing Cross Charing Cross denotes the junction of the Strand, Whitehall and Cockspur Street, just south of Trafalgar Square
Embankment Embankment underground station has been known by various names during its long history - including, indeed, ’Embankment’.
Hungerford Bridge Hungerford Bridge is a rail bridge crossing the Thames into Charing Cross station.
Hungerford Stairs The Hungerford Stairs were the entrance point to Hungerford Market from the River Thames. They are now the site of Charing Cross railway Station.
Northumberland House Northumberland House was a large Jacobean townhouse in London, which was the London residence of the Percy family, the Dukes of Northumberland.
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NEARBY STREETS
Adam Street, WC2R Adam Street is named after John and Robert Adam, who built the Adelphi development in the 1760s.
Adelaide Street, WC2N Adelaide Street was named for Queen Adelaide, Consort to King William IV.
Adelphi Terrace, WC2N Adelphi Terrace is named after John and Robert Adam, who built the Adelphi development in the 1760s.
Agar Street, WC2N Agar Street is named after George Agar, who built the street in the 1830s with John Ponsonby, Earl of Bessborough
Bear Street, WC2H Bear Street is a streetname with two possible derivations.
Bedforbury, WC2N Bedforbury is one of the streets of London in the WC2N postal area.
Bedford Street, WC2E Bedford Street is one of the streets of London in the WC2E postal area.
Bedford Street, WC2R Bedford Street is one of the streets of London in the WC2R postal area.
Bedfordbury, WC2N Bedfordbury is one of the streets of London in the WC2N postal area.
Brydges Place, WC2N Brydges Place is one of the streets of London in the WC2N postal area.
Buckingham Street, WC2N Buckingham Street is named after George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, 17th century courtier, who acquired York House which formerly stood on this site; his son sold the area to developers on condition that his father and titles were commemorated on the new streets.
C1 Mint Business Park, E16 A street within the E16 postcode
Cannon Street, WC2N Cannon Street is one of the streets of London in the WC2N postal area.
Carlton Gardens, SW1Y Carlton Gardens was developed before 1832.
Carlton House Terrace, SW1Y Carlton House Terrace consists of a pair of terraces - white stucco-faced houses on the south side of the street overlooking St. James’s Park.
Carting Lane, WC2R Carting Lane is thought to be named after the carts that brought goods to and from the wharf formerly located here.
Cecil Court, WC2H Cecil Court is a pedestrian street with Victorian shop-frontages.
Chandos Place, WC2N Chandos Place is one of the streets of London in the WC2N postal area.
Charing Cross Mansions, WC2H Charing Cross Mansions is one of the streets of London in the WC2H postal area.
Charing Cross, SW1A Charing Cross, long regarded as London’s central point, as an address is an enigma.
Charles Ii Street, SW1Y Charles Ii Street is one of the streets of London in the SW1Y postal area.
Cockspur Street, SW1Y Cockspur Street is possibly after the cock fighting that formerly occurred here, cocks often having spurs attached to their feet during fights.
Community House, E13 A street within the postcode
Coventry Street, W1D Coventry Street is a short street connecting Piccadilly Circus to Leicester Square. On the London Monopoly board, it was named after the politician Henry Coventry, secretary of state to Charles II.
Craven Passage, WC2N Craven Passage is named after William Craven, 3rd Baron Craven, who owned the land when the street was built in the 1730s.
Craven Street, WC2N Craven Street is named after William Craven, 3rd Baron Craven, who owned the land when the street was built in the 1730s.
Dn, SE1 A street within the postcode
Duke Street, SW1Y Duke Street is one of the streets of London in the SW1Y postal area.
Duncannon Street, WC2N Duncannon Street is one of the streets of London in the WC2N postal area.
Durham House Street, WC2N Durham House Street was the former site of a palace belonging to the bishops of Durham in medieval times.
Elmhurstreet Villas, SE15 A street within the SE15 postcode
Embankment Place, WC2N Embankment Place is one of the streets of London in the WC2N postal area.
Exeter Street, WC2R Exeter Street is a road in the WC2R postcode area
Fullwood’s Mews, N1 A street within the 77381 postcode
George Court, WC2N George Court is named after George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham.
Golden Jubilee Bridge, WC2N Golden Jubilee Bridge is a road in the WC2N postcode area
Goodwins Court, WC2N Goodwins Court is one of the streets of London in the WC2N postal area.
Great Scotland Yard, SW1A Great Scotland Yard is one of the streets of London in the SW1A postal area.
Haymarket, SE10 A street within the SW1Y postcode
Haymarket, SW1Y Haymarket – site of a former market selling hay until the 1830s.
Heathcock Court, WC2R Heathcock Court is one of the streets of London in the WC2R postal area.
Henrietta Street, WC2E Henrietta Street is one of the streets of London in the WC2E postal area.
Hobhouse Court, WC2H Hobhouse Court is named after Sir John Cam Hobhouse, Victorian MP and arts patron.
Hop Gardens, WC2N Hop Gardens is one of the streets of London in the WC2N postal area.
Horse Guards Avenue, SW1A Horse Guards Avenue is one of the streets of London in the SW1A postal area.
Horse Guards Parade, SW1A Horse Guards Parade dates to the time of Henry VIII.
Horse Guards Road, SW1A Horse Guards Road is one of the streets of London in the SW1A postal area.
Hungerford House, WC2N Residential block
Irving Street, WC2H Irving Street is named after Henry Irving, the popular Victorian actor.
Ivybridge Lane, WC2R Ivybridge Lane is named after a former ivy-covered bridge that crossed an old watercourse on this spot; the bridge was demolished sometime before 1600.
John Adam Street, WC2N John Adam Street is named after John Adam, who built the Adelphi development with his brother Robert in the 1760s.
Kinnaird House, SW1Y Residential block
Lancaster Place, WC2E Lancaster Place is one of the streets of London in the WC2E postal area.
Leicester Place, WC2H Leicester Place is one of the streets of London in the WC2H postal area.
Leicester Square, WC2H Leicester Square is a central tourist attraction of London.
Leicester Street, WC2H Leicester Street is one of the streets of London in the WC2H postal area.
London Borough Of Hackney, N1 A street within the N1 postcode
London Borough Of Southwark, SE15 A street within the SE15 postcode
Lower Regent Street, SW1Y Lower Regent Street is one of the streets of London in the SW1Y postal area.
Lyndhurstreet Grove, SE15 A street within the SE15 postcode
Maiden Lane, WC2E Maiden Lane is one of the streets of London in the WC2E postal area.
Maple Leaf Walk, SW11 Maple Leaf Walk is a road in the SW11 postcode area
May’s Court, WC2N May’s Court is a road in the WC2N postcode area
New Row, WC2N New Row is one of the streets of London in the WC2N postal area.
New Zealand House, SW1Y Residential block
Norris Street, SW1Y Norris Street is one of the streets of London in the SW1Y postal area.
Northumberland Avenue, SW1A Northumberland Avenue runs from Trafalgar Square in the west to the Thames Embankment in the east.
Northumberland Avenue, WC2N The part of Northumberland Avenue nearest to Trafalgar Square lies in the SW1 rather than WC2 postcode.
Northumberland Street, WC2N Northumberland Street commemorates the former Northumberland House, built originally in the early 17th century for the earls of Northampton and later acquired by the earls of Northumberland.
Orange Street, SW1Y Orange Street is a road in the SW1Y postcode area
Orange Street, WC2H Orange Street gets its name from William III, Prince of Orange - the reigning king when the street was built.
Oxendon Street, W1D Oxendon Street, after Sir Henry Oxendon, husband of Mary Baker, daughter of Robert Baker who built the former Piccadilly House nearby.
Pall Mall East, SW1Y Pall Mall East is an eastern extension of Pall Mall towards Trafalgar Square.
Pall Mall, SW1Y Pall Mall is one of the streets of London in the SW1Y postal area.
Panton Street, W1D Panton Street was named after Colonel Thomas Panton, local property dealer of the 17th century.
Pelican Estate, SE15 A street within the SE15 postcode
Robert Street, WC2N Robert Street is named after Robert Adam, who built the Adelphi development with his brother John in the 1760s.
Royal Opera Arcade, SW1Y Royal Opera Arcade is one of the streets of London in the SW1Y postal area.
Rupert Court, W1D Rupert Court was named for Prince Rupert of the Rhine, the First Lord of the Admiralty when the court was built in 1676.
Rupert Street, W1D Rupert Street – after Prince Rupert of the Rhine, noted 17th century general and son of Elizabeth Stuart, daughter of King James I.
Saint Martin’s Lane, WC2N Saint Martin’s Lane is a road in the WC2N postcode area
Saint Martin’s Court, WC2H Saint Martin’s Court is a road in the WC2H postcode area
Saint Martin’s Place, WC2N Saint Martin’s Place is a road in the WC2N postcode area
Savoy Court, WC2R Savoy Court is one of the streets of London in the WC2R postal area.
Savoy Hill, WC2R Savoy Hill is located at a site originally called Savoy Manor.
Savoy Place, WC2N Savoy Place is one of the streets of London in the WC2N postal area.
Savoy Place, WC2R Savoy Place is one of the streets of London in the WC2R postal area.
Savoy Street, WC2E Savoy Street is one of the streets of London in the WC2E postal area.
Savoy Street, WC2R Savoy Street is one of the streets of London in the WC2R postal area.
Savoy Way, WC2R Savoy Way is located on the former site of the Savoy Palace, built for Peter II, Count of Savoy in 1245.
Southampton Street, WC2E Southampton Street - named for Thomas Wriothesley, 4th Earl of Southampton and landowner.
Southampton Street, WC2R Southampton Street is one of the streets of London in the WC2R postal area.
Spring Gardens, SW1A Spring Gardens derives its name from the Spring Garden, formed in the 16th century as an addition to the pleasure grounds of Whitehall Palace.
St Albans Street, SW1Y St Albans Street is one of the streets of London in the SW1Y postal area.
St Jamess Chambers, SW1Y St Jamess Chambers is one of the streets of London in the SW1Y postal area.
St Jamess Market, SW1Y St Jamess Market is one of the streets of London in the SW1Y postal area.
St Martins Court, WC2N St Martins Court is one of the streets of London in the WC2N postal area.
St Martins Lane, WC2H St Martins Lane is one of the streets of London in the WC2H postal area.
St Martins Lane, WC2N St Martins Lane is one of the streets of London in the WC2N postal area.
St Martins Place, WC2H St Martins Place is one of the streets of London in the WC2H postal area.
St Martins Place, WC2N St Martins Place is one of the streets of London in the WC2N postal area.
St Martins Street, WC2H St Martins Street is one of the streets of London in the WC2H postal area.
St. James’s Drive, SW12 A street within the 78257 postcode
St. Kilda’s Road, N16 A street within the N16 postcode
Strand Underpass, WC2R Strand Underpass is a road in the WC2R postcode area
Strand, WC2A Strand is one of the streets of London in the WC2A postal area.
Strand, WC2N Strand is one of the streets of London in the WC2N postal area.
Strand, WC2R Strand (or the Strand) runs just over 3⁄4 mile from Trafalgar Square eastwards to Temple Bar, where the road becomes Fleet Street inside the City of London.
Studio 5, E1 A street within the E1 postcode
Suffolk Place, SE2 Suffolk Place is a road in the SE2 postcode area
Suffolk Place, SW1Y The Earl of Suffolk (Thomas Howard) was the reason for the naming of Suffolk Place.
Suffolk Street, SW1Y Suffolk Street was named after Thomas Howard, Earl of Suffolk, who owned a stable yard attached to Northumberland House which lay on this site.
The Arches, WC2N The Arches is one of the streets of London in the WC2N postal area.
The Gallery, E20 The Gallery is a road in the E20 postcode area
The London Pavillion, SW1Y The London Pavilion is a building on Piccadilly Circus.
The National Gallery, WC2N The National Gallery is one of the streets of London in the WC2N postal area.
The Queen’s Walk, WC2R The Queen’s Walk is a road in the WC2R postcode area
The Strand, WC2N The Strand is one of the streets of London in the WC2N postal area.
The Terrace, SW1A The Terrace is a road in the SW1A postcode area
Thunderer Walk, SE18 A street within the postcode
Trafalgar Square, SW1Y Trafalgar Square commemorates Horatio Nelson’s 1805 victory at the Battle of Trafalgar.
Victoria Embankment Gardens, WC2N Victoria Embankment Gardens is one of the streets of London in the WC2N postal area.
Victoria Embankment, SW1A Victoria Embankment is one of the streets of London in the SW1A postal area.
Victoria Embankment, WC2N Victoria Embankment is one of the streets of London in the WC2N postal area.
Villiers Street, WC2N Villiers Street was named after George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham
Warwick House Street, SW1Y Warwick House Street is one of the streets of London in the SW1Y postal area.
Watergate Walk, WC2N Watergate Walk is named after a former watergate built in 1626 for George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham as an entrance for the former York House.
Waterloo Place, SW1Y Waterloo Place, a broad extension of Regent Street, is awash with statues and monuments that honour heroes and statesmen of the British Empire. It is framed by palatial buildings designed by John Nash, the famed Regency-era architect and Decimus Burton, his protégé.
Westreet Drive, SW16 A street within the SW16 postcode
Whitcomb Street, WC2H Whitcomb Street - named after William Whitcomb, 17th century brewer and property developer.
Whitehall Court, SW1A Whitehall Court is one of the streets of London in the SW1A postal area.
Whitehall Gardens, SW1A Whitehall Gardens is a road in the SW1A postcode area
Whitehall Place, SW1A Whitehall Place is one of the streets of London in the SW1A postal area.
Whitehall, SW1A Whitehall is recognised as the centre of the government of the United Kingdom.
William IV Street, WC2N William IV Street runs from Charing Cross Road to the Strand.
York Buildings, WC2N York Buildings marks a house was built on this site in the 14th century for the bishops of Norwich.
York Place, WC2N York Place marks the location of a house on this site.


Charing Cross

Charing Cross denotes the junction of the Strand, Whitehall and Cockspur Street, just south of Trafalgar Square

Charing Cross gives its name to several local landmarks, including Charing Cross railway station and is named after the now demolished Eleanor cross that stood there, in what was once the hamlet of Charing. It was where King Edward I placed a memorial to his wife, Eleanor of Castile.

It was one of twelve places where Eleanor’s coffin rested overnight during the funeral procession from Lincolnshire to her final resting-place at Westminster. At each of these, Edward erected an Eleanor cross, of which only three now remain.

The original site of the cross has been occupied since 1675 by an equestrian statue of King Charles I. A Victorian replacement, in different style from the original, was later erected a short distance to the east outside the railway station.

Formerly, until 1931, Charing Cross also referred to the part of what is now Whitehall lying between Great Scotland Yard and Trafalgar Square. At least one property retains a Charing Cross postal address: Drummonds Bank, on the corner of Whitehall and The Mall, which is designated 49 Charing Cross (not to be confused with the separate Charing Cross Road).

Since the second half of the 18th century, Charing Cross has been seen by some as the exact centre of London, being the main point used for measuring distances from London.

The railway station opened in 1864, fronted on the Strand with the Charing Cross Hotel. The original station building was built on the site of the Hungerford Market by the South Eastern Railway, designed by Sir John Hawkshaw, with a single span wrought iron roof arching over the six platforms on its relatively cramped site.

Charing Cross tube station has entrances located in Trafalgar Square and The Strand. The station is served by the Northern and Bakerloo lines, originally separate tube stations called Strand and Trafalgar Square, and provides an interchange with the National Rail network. The station was served by the Jubilee Line between 1979 and 1999, acting as the southern terminus of the line during that period.



LOCAL PHOTOS
Waterloo Place (1913)
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101 Strand, WC2R
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On This Day in London: 1 November
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Hungerford Stairs circa 1828
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Leicester Square (1880)
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