Spencer House is closed
In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic Spencer House is closed and there will be no Sunday Tours until May 2021. Thank you for your understanding at this time and we look forward to reopening next Spring.
Spencer House is closed In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic Spencer House is closed and there will be no Sunday Tours until May 2021. Thank you for your understanding at this time and we look forward to reopening next Spring. For more information
In 1772 the celebrated writer, Arthur Young, said of Spencer House:

‘I know not a more beautiful piece of architecture… All in richness, elegance, and taste, superior to any house I have seen’.
In 1772 the celebrated writer, Arthur Young, said of Spencer House: ‘I know not a more beautiful piece of architecture… All in richness, elegance, and taste, superior to any house I have seen’.
In 1772 the celebrated writer, Arthur Young, said of Spencer House:

‘I know not a more beautiful piece of architecture… All in richness, elegance, and taste, superior to any house I have seen’.
In 1772 the celebrated writer, Arthur Young, said of Spencer House: ‘I know not a more beautiful piece of architecture… All in richness, elegance, and taste, superior to any house I have seen’.
In 1772 the celebrated writer, Arthur Young, said of Spencer House:

‘I know not a more beautiful piece of architecture… All in richness, elegance, and taste, superior to any house I have seen’.
In 1772 the celebrated writer, Arthur Young, said of Spencer House: ‘I know not a more beautiful piece of architecture… All in richness, elegance, and taste, superior to any house I have seen’.
In 1772 the celebrated writer, Arthur Young, said of Spencer House:

‘I know not a more beautiful piece of architecture… All in richness, elegance, and taste, superior to any house I have seen’.
In 1772 the celebrated writer, Arthur Young, said of Spencer House: ‘I know not a more beautiful piece of architecture… All in richness, elegance, and taste, superior to any house I have seen’.

Spencer House is London’s most magnificent
eighteenth-century aristocratic palace

Built between 1756-1766 for John, first Earl Spencer, an ancestor of Diana, Princess of Wales (1961-1997) it is London’s finest surviving eighteenth-century town house.

lovers-knot-detail
lovers-knot-portrait

A lover’s knot

One of the more unusual objects on display at Spencer House is this case of exquisite silk taffeta sword-knots dating from ca.1770. These decorative bows were tied to the hilt of a gentleman’s sword and were worn only on very formal occasions. Due to their ephemeral nature, few examples have survived. These sword-knots were given to Viscount Nuneham by Miss Louisa Poyntz, sister of Georgiana, the first Lady Spencer. Louisa had rejected Nuneham’s offer of marriage but perhaps regretted her decision, sending him these knots a few days before her death. The case also contains a lock of Louisa’s hair—another common token of affection—which was ‘cut off after she was dead’.

Detail showing sword-knots from James Grant of Grant, John Mytton, the Hon. Thomas Robinson, and Thomas Wynne by Nathaniel Dance (ca. 1760), Yale Centre for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection.