Somerset House is a historically rich Neoclassical building on the south side of The Strand. Concerts and events are sometimes hosted a the House, along with other events and an ice skating rink in the winter.
The site first came into use in 1539, when the land was acquired by Edward Seymour. In 1547 Seymour became the Duke of Somerset. He built his residence upon the land, crafting a grand building. The Duke formed many enemies and was criticized for his proceedings in the Council. He fell from power and was charged with fellony for plotting against his successor, John Dudley. He was executed at Tower Hill in 1552. Somerset Place became property of the Crown and was used by Elizabeth I for some years before she took the throne. The building became one of the Royal Palaces and was lived in by various royals.
The house eventually became the London residence of Anne of Denmark, and was renamed 'Denmark House'. The building underwent many expansions and improvements through the years. Denmark House left royal possesion during the English Civil War, and was used for a while as Army headquarters. Military leader and politian Oliver Cromwell's body lay in state at the building after his death in 1658. After the 1660 Restoration the building underwent another period of reconstruction, and became a location of conspiracy regarding the death of Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey, an anti-Catholic English Magistrate. It was alleged he was murdered in Somerset House.
The house had several refurbishments through the decades, with Sir William Chambers spending 20 years of his life from 1775 working on the house. After his death work carried on, possibly up to as late as 1819. The building suffered damaged through the Second World War.
The building now has many different uses and the courtyard can be used to host concerts.