In advance of a “huge assembly” at Spencer House in 1795 one guest confidently predicted that “all London will be there”.
Joseph Friedman, 2011
In Georgian times the convention held that the hall was seen as a transition between the hard architecture of the external elevation and the warmth and elaboration of the principal rooms.
The Entrance Hall at Spencer House follows this pattern but here this dignified vestibulum immediately introduces the visitor to the Roman splendour of Vardy’s architecture. The Doric frieze with swags, sacrificial instruments and bucrania is derived from the Temple of Jupiter the Thunderer and the oval classical relief, representing Antinous (favourite of the Emperor Hadrian), over the original chimneypiece is one of the purchases made by the first Earl Spencer.
The unique gilt metal Spencer ‘S’ pattern door furniture, used in all the State Rooms, is copied from the originals now at Althorp.
When to visit
Open every Sunday (except during August) from 10.30am – 4.30pm (last tour).
Access is by guided tour, which lasts approximately 1 hour.