Lancaster House is a mansion in the St James’s district in the West End of London. It is close to St James’s Palace, and much of the site was once part of the palace complex. This Grade I listed building is now managed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Lancaster House is managed and run by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office. Situated close to Buckingham Palace, this historic house offers a magnificent setting, a prestigious central location, and first-class facilities for all types of events and hospitality. Steeped in political history and magnificently preserved, Lancaster House has a wide range of rooms and a large garden – the ideal place in central London for meetings, conferences and entertaining. It is the perfect backdrop for any occasion, from an intimate dinner to an international summit.
Lancaster House also has a glamorous side and has been used for receptions and shows during London Fashion Week. The house has been used extensively for filming as well, including Disney’s National Treasure: Book of Secrets, BBC/HBO’s production of Churchill at War, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, The King’s Speech, and Netflix’s The Crown. Commissioned in 1825 by the ‘grand old’ Duke of York, York House – as it was then known – was a hub of social and political life throughout the 19th century.
When the Duke died, the lease was purchased by the then Marquess of Stafford (later the first Duke of Sutherland) whose family occupied the house from 1829 until 1913. The Sutherlands’ liberal politics and love of the arts attracted many distinguished guests, including factory reformer Lord Shaftesbury, anti-slavery author Harriet Beecher Stowe and Italian nationalist leader Garibaldi. Almost as influential as the visitors was the décor, which was to set the fashion for London reception rooms for nearly a century. The mainly Louis XIV interiors created a stunning backdrop for the Sutherlands’ impressive collection of paintings and objets d’art, many of which can still be seen in the house today. In 1913, Lord Leverhulme, a Lancastrian, bought the lease for the nation and Stafford House became Lancaster House. As one-time home to the London Museum, the house has been an important centre for government hospitality ever since.
London Multi-Entry Multi-Directional VVIP Visitors Guide © Simon Newbound