Somerset House

Has been described as a Certain Palace (Bishop)

There are no visible remains

NameSomerset House
Alternative NamesSomerset Place; Denmark House
Historic CountryLondon and Middlesex
Modern AuthorityLondon Borough of Westminster
1974 AuthorityGreater London
Civil ParishCity Of Westminster

House acquired by the crown in 1551 as an unfinished property of the executed Duke of Somerset. Became the residence of Edward VI in 1553, the first Renaissance palace built in England. Known as Denmark House in 1603. Some of C17 remodelling was carried out by Inigo Jones. Demolished in 1775, it was replaced by the first large government office block. It is built around a central courtyard with a free-standing North wing. Photographic surveys of the basement and chimney pieces were undertaken in by RCHME in 1997 and 1998. Laid out on the land previously occupied by the Inns of the bishops of Lichfield Worcester and Llandaff

Not scheduled

This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceTQ307808
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  • Goodall, John, 2011, The English Castle 1066-1650 (Yale University Press) p. 458 (mention)
  • Cooper, Nicholas, 1999, Houses of the Gentry, 1480-1680 (Yale University Press) p. 20, 23, 70, 86, 93, 265
  • Weinreb, Ben and Hibbert, Christopher (eds), 1983 (rev edn 1993), The London Encyclopeadia (Macmillian) p. 818-9
  • Colvin, H.M., Ransome, D.R. and Summerson, John, 1982, The history of the King's Works, Vol. 4: 1485-1660 (part 2) (London) p. 252-71
  • Chancellor, E. Beresford, 1912, The annals of the Strand (Chapman & Hall) p. 179
  • Timbs, J. and Gunn, A., 1872, Abbeys, Castles and Ancient Halls of England and Wales Vol. 1 (London) p. 85-7 online copy



  • Godfrey, W.H. , 1922, 'The Strand in the 17th Century' Transactions of the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society Vol. 4 p. 211-227 esp 216-9 download copy


  • Museum of London Archaeological Service. 1997. Somerset House, The Strand, WC2: An Archaeological Watching Brief
  • Museum of London Archaeological Service. 1996. (2nd Draft Report) An Archaeological Watching Brief on works at Somerset House, Westminster
  • Museum of London Archaeology Service. 1996. An Archaeological Watching Brief in the new wing at Somerset House, The Strand, Westminster: An Interim Report of Results (Draft)