What Lies Beneath Our Premiere Locations
Date posted: 30.04.2019
We asked our Premiere Locations to share some of the weird and wonderful things that can be found in their basements and underground spaces.
From taxidermy to wine bars; there may be a side to these locations you have not seen before!
Check out what lies beneath some of London's most iconic buildings in image form here.
Underneath Alexandra Palace are a long-hidden network of cellars. When the Palace opened they contained the kitchens, linen and wine stores to support the thousands of visitors. As the use of Palace changed, the basements changed with them – including the addition of a confinement cell for prisoners of war and then the machinery and engineering that powered the BBC’s new television technology.
Find out more about Alexandra Palace here.
Natural History Museum
The Tank Room is a small part of the 27km of shelving which store the 22 million specimens held in this area of the Museum. Most notably, it is home to the Museum’s Giant Squid and specimen collected by Darwin himself.
Find out more about the Natural History Museum here.
Somerset House – The Deadhouse
Somerset House has an amazing underground space called the Deadhouse and the way that leads to it is called the Lightwells. Both areas are often used for filming. A few examples are: Downton Abbey, Sherlock Homes and the most recent Holmes & Watson. The Deadhouse is essentially a corridor running under the courtyard connecting the east and west Lightwells. As well as housing pipes it contains 5 gravestones set into the wall at the west end but NO bodies.
Find out more about Somerset House
Harrow School – The Harrow School Crypt
Designed by architect Sir George Gilbert Scott, Harrow School’s Chapel has dominated the High Street of Harrow on the Hill village since 1854 but not many know what lies beneath this imposing Gothic landmark.
The Chapel Crypt is a smaller chapel accessed through a quirky brick winding turret to a solid wooden Victorian door. Push the door open with all your might, to reveal the crypt’s beautiful brickwork, whitewashed vaulted ceiling and wood panelled walls.
Completely unused for over 60 years the crypt was repurposed in 1918 into an intimate and peaceful place for prayer and contemplation. The walls now celebrate the lives of the 644 Old Harrovians who lost their lives in the First World War, and a chamber organ was added in 2009 to embellish the worship in this unique secret underground space on the Hill.
Find out more about Harrow School here
116 Pall Mall
Magnificent in its Georgian architecture & elegance, 116 Pall Mall’s luxurious interiors include handsome period features and a wide range of versatile and flexible spaces across five floors. But did you know that hidden underground are some secret spaces packed with character – ideal for a film location.
Once the original washrooms for officers of the United Services Club are now home to our Wine Bar and Café Duke, both with exposed brickwork. Café Duke has served as a filming location for blockbuster Batman movie The Dark Knight and the award-winning TV drama Downton Abbey.
Find out more about 116 Pall Mall
Victoria & Albert Museum
Having undergone significant restoration in recent years, the museum seamlessly combines new and old, with grand Victorian rooms, mosaic floors, contemporary galleries, landscaped gardens and a wood-panelled library. However, hidden below the V&A’s ornate interiors, runs a network of corridors with a much more industrial feel. These corridors were the setting for the 2013 Danny Boyle thriller Trance.
Find out more about the Victoria & Albert Museum here.
Beneath the opulent salons, halls and ballroom are the cellars which once held prisoners’ cells, reflecting the former use of the Mansion House, as the Lord Mayor’s Court.
Find out more about Mansion House here.
The Bloomsbury Hotel
During the first half of the 20th Century a circle of friends scandalised Edwardian society with a carousel of lovers, affairs and illegitimate children. The group, consisting of artists, writers, intellectuals and nobility, lived and loved in the garden squares of Bloomsbury.
The Bloomsbury Club Bar, which can be found underground the Bloomsbury Hotel, takes inspiration from the lives of the hedonistic Bloomsbury Set.
The bar is split into two areas, the walls in the main bar area are adorned with artwork and books synonymous with the Bloomsbury Set. The secluded, heated outside bar resembles a bohemian space with booths lining the exposed brickwork and a canvas of fairy lights covering the ceiling.
Find out more about The Bloomsbury here.
The Marylebone Hotel
The basement of the Marylebone Hotel includes an 18 metre indoor lap pool. A rare find in the middle of central of London.
Find out more about The Marylebone Hotel here.