Somerset House

Somerset House is a magnificent building with several varied activities within.

There were very few houses on The Strand that were not bombed during the war. We think that this was the _only_ house not hit by a german bomb.
The easiest way to find it is to go to Waterloo and walk over the bridge.

They have their own website of course, here.

There are free guided tours on set days of the week, often Thursdays and Saturdays, be sure to check their website for the latest tour dates and times.
These tours are worth it, the interior is truly magnificent.
The building used to house the Royal Navy offices.

Before 1870, the arch you can see here (centre of picture) was on the riverfront. The Navy Commissioner's Barge sailed through this arch to dock.
Many sailors came here to collect their pay.

In 1870, the Embankment was built, and the building was separated from the river.
There are many activities.
The building forms a square, with a massive central courtyard.

In the winter months, this space is occupied by an ice rink.
The building is home to the Courtauld Gallery, one of finest small art collections in the world.

This gallery is online, see here, and download (paid for !) images here.

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