the-mansion-houseMansion House, perhaps best known as a tautological-sounding Tube station, is actually the name of the official residence of the Lord Mayor of London (a suitable subject, we felt, given the upcoming Lord Mayor’s Show in November).

mh2Designed by George Dance the Elder and built between 1739 to 1753 (many years after the idea of an official residence for the Lord Mayor was proposed in the aftermath of the Great Fire of London), the Palladian-style property – located a stone’s throw from the Royal Exchange and the Bank of England on a short stretch of street named after the property – has been the home of the Lord Mayor since the latter date.

It was built on the site of what was known as the Stocks Market (it had previously been the location of some stocks – used to punish people for various misdemeanours), the name isn’t actually as repetitive as it looks but actually means “official residence” and was previously used to designate homes which went with particular ecclesiastical jobs.

As well as accommodation for the Lord Mayor, the interior of the Grade I-listed property features two halls known as the Egyptian Hall and what was initially known as the Dancing Gallery but is now the Ballroom (we’ll be taking a more in-depth look at the property at a later date).

The Tube station opened in 1871 as the eastern terminus of the Metropolitan District Railway. Interestingly, Bank station is actually closer to the property with Mansion House station located to the south-west down Queen Victoria Street.

Where is it? #36…

July 7, 2012

The latest in the series in which we ask you to identify where in London this picture was taken and what it’s of. If you think you can identify this picture, leave a comment below. We’ll reveal the answer early next week. Good luck!

Of course, as Parktown, Carol Stanley and Alma Lewis all pointed out, this is one of the lanterns outside of Mansion House, home of the Lord Mayor of London (the giveaway was the coat-of-arms of the City of London on the lamp stand).

The Mansion House, designed in the Palladian style by George Dance the Elder, was specifically built for the Lord Mayor of London in the mid 1700s and features accommodation for the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress as well as grand state rooms for entertaining including the Old Ballroom and the Great Egyptian Hall.

We’ll be looking in more detail at the history of the Mansion House in a future post.

For more on touring the house, see www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/Corporation/LGNL_Services/Leisure_and_culture/Local_history_and_heritage/Buildings_within_the_City/Mansion_house/Tours_of_Mansion_House.htm.