London: 8 Northumberland Center

8 Northumberland Avenue
London, WC2N 5BY
United Kingdom

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8 Northumberland is the most central venue in London, an amazing newly refurbished historic venue 100 yards away from Trafalgar Square, on the doorstep of the best London has to offer. Within walking distance of Benjamin Franklin House, Trafalgar Square, and Nelson's Column, this stunning venue is also located near Big Ben and St. Martin-in-the-Fields. Public transportation located nearby include a 24 hour bus, Charing Cross Tube Station (1 minute walk) and the Embankment Tube Station (2 minute walk).

northumberland exterior

Northumberland House (also known as Suffolk House when owned by the Earls of Suffolk) was a large Jacobean mansion 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.

In the 16th century 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. In around 1605 Henry Howard, 1st Earl of Northampton cleared a site at Charing Cross 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 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.

By the mid 19th century all of the other mansions on the Strand had been demolished. The area was largely commercial and was not a fashionable place to live. However 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 1866. Northumberland House was demolished and Northumberland Avenue was constructed in its place.