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St James Place, SW1
Nearest Tube: Green Park
This beautiful 18th Century mansion, situated close to St James's Palace, was built in 1765 for the 1st Earl of Spencer, an ancestor of Princess Diana. It was the city residence of the Spencer family until 1927 when it was leased to the Ladies' Army and Navy Club. (The Spencer family's country residence is Althrop House where Diana is buried).
Since then it has been rented out to various companies and organisations. Since 1985 it has been leased from the Spencer family by Lord Rothschild's company who have initiated extensive renovations that have cost nearly £20 million.
The interior has been open to the public since 1990 and includes an excellent guided tour. Highlights include the extravagant Palm Room, the beautiful mosaic ceiling of the Great Room and the frescos of the Painted Room.
Spencer House is open on Sundays throughout the year, except for the months of January and August. Opening hours are 11.45am-4.45pm, entry costs around £6.
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