British Academy Moves Into Number 11
The British Academy, that bastion of humanities and social science, has just finished its 18-month-long programme of expansion into 11 Carlton House Terrace.
Based at number 10 since 1999, the Academy now additionally occupies the building in which Prime Minister William Gladstone resided — and held the occasional cabinet meeting — for over 18 years.
Constructed during the 1820s and early 1830s to designs by John Nash, Carlton House Terrace was instantly one of the capital's most fashionable addresses and the interior of number 11 is still worth a look. The British Academy has used the high ceilings and graceful proportions of the building to create a series of classically elegant rooms that further benefit from the institution's extensive art collection.
The stylistic difference between numbers 10 and 11 is palpable, and, given the depth of history ingrained in both buildings (number 10, for example, was a hospital for wounded officers during WW1) wandering through the combined properties is an enjoyable and thought-provoking experience. Additionally, if you want to play Gladstone for a day, the BA contains many handsome meeting rooms that are available to hire, complete with sumptuous catering from Foodshow.
The British Academy has been in existence for over 100 years, during which time many noted scholars have passed through its doors and helped further the interests of the humanities and social science in Britain. It's hard to deny that this venerable institution is worthy of succeeding previous occupants such as Willam Crockford, the Duke of Norfolk and the Guinness family as tenant of number 11 — let's just hope the neighbours agree.
See the inside for yourself during one of the Academy's free talks — always worth keeping an eye on.
Last Updated 30 January 2011