The Entrance Hall
Arriving at Spencer House is a truly memorable experience for first-time and frequent visitors alike
Visitors enter Spencer House through the impressive Entrance Hall to be met with a larger-than-life marble sculpture of the Roman emperor Lucius Verus. With its paved flooring, stone chimneypiece and muted colour scheme, this room is designed to feel more like an extension of the house’s exterior than an interior space.
Our hospitality begins here, with a staffed cloakroom and members of our long-serving in-house team ready to greet and escort guests through to the suite of State Rooms and the start of the day or evening’s entertainment.
More about the Entrance Hall
The frieze around the top of the room is copied from the ancient Temple of Vespasian and Titus in Rome and features instruments of sacrifice and war. John Vardy, the architect, never left England, so he relied on publications such as Les Edifices Antiques de Rome (1682) by Antoine Desgodetz as a source for ancient Roman designs and motifs.
The oval plaster cast above the chimneypiece represents Antinous, the favourite of the Emperor Hadrian. It was commissioned by the First Lord and Lady Spencer after they saw the original ancient Roman marble sculpture during their Grand Tour of Italy in 1763-4.
The chimneypiece is one of only two originals left in the State Rooms. The doorcases are also original but the ceiling was probably remodelled in the Victorian era. The mahogany storm porch was another nineteenth century addition.
During the occupation of the house by the Ladies Army and Navy Club in the 1920s, the arched window looking out to the internal courtyard was converted into a doorway through to a newly constructed lobby. Later, in the 1950s conversion of the house into offices for the British Oxygen Company, a high-speed elevator was installed there.
Book a Tour
Explore the Rooms
The Ante Room
Sign Up to our Newsletter
Sign up to our newsletter if you would like to receive updates about the house and details of any upcoming special tours and public events.