Spencer House

Attractions, Historic buildings and sites St James'
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Spencer House
© Mark Fiennes/Spencer HouseLtd

London's finest surviving eighteenth-century town house, built in 1756-66 for the first Earl Spencer.

Built in 1756-66 for the first Earl Spencer, this is London's finest surviving eighteenth-century town house. Eight meticulously restored state rooms are open to the public, with paintings by Sir Joshua Reynolds, objets d'art and furniture on display. The house is open to the public on Sundays throughout the year, except in January and August. Guided tours leave at regular intervals between 10.30am and 4.45pm and last around an hour. 

Posted:

Venue name: Spencer House
Contact:
Address: 27 St James's Place
London
SW1A 1NR
Opening hours: Sun only 10am-5.30pm (last tour 4.30pm). Tours last around an hour. Closed Jan and Aug
Transport: Tube: Green Park
Price: £12, £10 concs
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PeakoPeako
tastemaker

If you're looking for a slice of aristocratic opulence, but can't face the crowds, the queues and the overpriced sarnies at Buckingham Palace, Spencer House is a lovely alternative. A typical tour includes 8 different state rooms and will set you back £13, but I promise it's worth your pennies. 


The venue is one of the most ambitious aristocratic town houses ever built in London, and has undergone a ten-year restoration to bring back its former glory. The architecture, furniture and artwork on display is really beautiful, and tour groups are capped at 20 people to make sure you can all comfortably marvel at how the other half used to live without feeling like a sardine. 


Special 'Blue Badge' guides show you around the pad (which basically means they belong to a fancy club called 'The Guild' and are pretty good at their job). These guys are full of interesting facts and funny anecdotes about the history of the building and its former residents. 


Tip - If you like the idea but don't want to pay full whack, free tours of the venue are offered as part of the annual 'Open House London' weekend in September.