OPEN CITY is a thriving organization which runs many tours and programs. See their website here, and learn all about their many activities throughout the year. We attended as many events as we could during their annual opening of London Buildings in September 2014.  In 2016, Open City days are Saturday and Sunday, September 17 and 18. Free open weekends are held in many cities, including in the U.S.  Some great viewing available!!

Victoria here. Though no one can see Carlton House, the Prince Regent's demolished palace, pulled down in 1824-5-6, we did the next best thing. The location of the former palace is now occupied by Waterloo Place and Carlton House Terrace, two rows of tall white stuccoed mansions built in 1827-32. Most of them are occupied by institutions rather than the grand aristocratic families who once resided there.

Here is the door of #6, now the Royal Society. Before WWII, this was the German Embassy, domain of Ambassador von Ribbentrop.  

The Royal Society is an independent scientific academy in Britain and the Commonwealth, founded in 1660 as an "invisible college of natural philosophers." Today there are 1,600 fellows.

James Watt F.R.S. (Fellow of the Royal Society)

The rooms are beautifully appointed, certainly redone since its beginning, but preserving the character of the early 19th Century.

Stairway details

Charles Darwin 1809-1882
naturalist and writer on evolution

looking out


Benjamin Franklin, who spent many years in London, was a member.

The Royal Society's website is here.

Though we certainly appreciated the many scientific achievements of the fellows and the contributions of the Royal Society to the advancement of science, I have to admit we were even more captivated by examining the architecture and decor, imagining what it must have been long ago.  Luckily we had another spot to visit in the Carlton House Terrace, next time.