And just when you thought that you knew everything about the majestic capital of the United Kingdom, you realise just how much you haven’t seen yet. Besides the jaw-dropping churches of Sir Christopher Wren, the great Piccadilly Square, the National Gallery, etc., there are also countless dwellings there that have once pertained to renowned historical figures. Besides their architectural magnificence, they offer unprecedented insight into the lives of those who we know from the history books. So, without further ado, let us see what these houses have to offer and, while we’re at it, have loads of fun (wink)!
1. Benjamin Franklin House
The historically-significant deeds of Benjamin Franklin (one of the most famous Founding Fathers of the United States) are known to most of us and it is in London that the last surviving residence of the man is located. Conveniently named the Benjamin Franklin House, it is currently used as a museum open to the public during most of the week. Sitting on 36 Craven Street, its close proximity to Trafalgar Square makes it beyond accessible to most people exploring the inner bounds of the city. Reaching as far back into the past as the year 1730 and having housed Franklin for a total of sixteen years, it was only fitting that it should be listed as a Grade I building within the Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. Oh, the atmosphere just got a little bit more “electric” – that is how great the house is (wink).
2. Queen’s House:
Happen to be strolling about Greenwich? Also in the mood for some jaw-dropping sights? Good, because we have just the thing for you! Erected between the years 1616 and 1635 by the world-famous architect Inigo Jones, Queen’s House is one of the most outstanding estates that you can bask in within the bounds of the capital of the United Kingdom. Designated a Grade I building in the Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest, it was commissioned for Anne of Denmark, the queen of King James I (note that it was a crucial commission for Mr Jones in those times). Maintained and managed by the Royal Museums Greenwich, it now forms a significant part of the National Maritime Museum. But wait, there’s more! Architecture-buffs should know that this is the building that is considered to have introduced the Palladian style (Palladianism) to the country. So yes, photographing it is advised!
3. Clarence House:
Sitting like a proud bastion of cultural importance on The Mall, in the City of Westminster, Clarence House is mainly a royal residence but it can also serve as a striking sight for all onlookers to admire. Linked to the world famous St. James’s Palace and sharing the same garden and grounds, it is listed as a Grade I building in the Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. What’s most significant to know about it is that it has been the official residence of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother from 1952 to 2002. Since 2002, however, it has been occupied by other dignitaries such as Charles, the Prince of Wales, and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall. Want to see how the British high-life looks like? Then hesitate not and explore this fine mansion.
4. Keats House:
There should be no trip to London without visiting the dwelling of one of the greatest poets in the world: John Keats. He was a Romantic-era icon and his former residence flawlessly reflects this viewpoint. Listed as a Grade I building within the Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest like the previous contestant, it exhibits the refined standards of the Regency architectural style with grace. Erected between 1814 and 1816, the house harboured the artist during his most productive period. What’s most exciting to know about it is that, according to historical facts, he wrote one of his most famous poems, “Ode to a Nightingale”, under a plum tree in the adjacent garden. A brilliant mansion for a brilliant man (wink)!
Did you enjoy our list? Which of the above-mentioned estates have you visited and which one was your favourite? What lasting impressions have they left you with and what secrets have you learnt about them? Be sure to hit the comment section below and tell us all about it! Oh, and whenever you’re in the mood for another adventure, be sure to check back for some exciting updates!