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"Somerset House" London Off The Beaten Path Tip by hayward68

London Off The Beaten Path: 1,705 reviews and 3,066 photos

  Somerset House
by hayward68

Built in 1776 by Sir William Chambers, this building stands on the site of a 16th century palace where Elizabeth I resided during the reign of her sister Mary. It was formerly the administrative centre of the Royal Navy but now houses the Gilbert Collection, Hermitage Rooms and the Courtauld. I visited the Gilbert Collection which is comprised of over 800 works of art collected by Sir Arthur Gilbert. The collection ranges from exquisite gold and enameled snuff boxes to Italian mosaics and European silver. There was one mosaic called Little Tykes that I was quite taken with.
To visit the Gilbert Collection use the Great Arch entrance off the Victoria Embankment, admission is £5 and they'll give you a magnifying glass so you can see all the detail on the artworks.
The picture above shows the entrance area off the Strand. There is a really interesting fountain area there which you can run through if you so desire ;) Vt'er AEQUITAS ran through while VT'er nieldy took a leisurely stroll, neither got wet. I think the security guard was wandering what the heck we were up to though.


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  • Updated Aug 27, 2004
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