Following my find of the photos of the interior of Northumberland House a few years ago, I've just come across an old sale description of the plans for the house which may be of interest to some of you.
A great deal can be learned from this short passage. When I was a child, Northumberland House was a landmark only. Most of us were ignorant of its purpose in the unenlightened 1940s and 1950s. Thanks for this, Hugh. Most interesting.
Well spotted, Hugh!
Just added a note on the origins of the house on the photos post.
A couple of additional snippets for the record.
1. In 1954 Northumberland House closed and the staff and patients moved at 237-239 Ballards Lane in Finchley.
The new premises, Glenwathen, a large house built in the 1890s, had previously been a nursing home - the Glen Wathen Nursing Home (the house's name inexplicably becoming two words). The building was renamed the Northumberland House Mental Nursing Home. The Home closed in 1977.
2. Now on to a possible Percy connection.
A comment on the other thread about the breaking of the tail on the lion statue that used to stand above the gateway led me to take a closer look. The lion is quite unusual in that it has a ramrod straight tail.
There are three famous houses in the UK with a Percy (Duke of Northumberland) connection. Each has a very similar lion. Apparently the tail's ramrod straightness is a Percy hallmark.
The former Northumberland House, Whitehall lion now stands at Syon Park:
Then there's the Alnwick Castle lion:
And, finally the Harringay / Manor House Lion:
Now it could just have been a gesture by an aspiring Regency dude in 1822, or it could be a sign that the house was indeed connected to the Percys. It was probably too small to have been a primary or ducal residence but it might have been a nice set-up for a ducal sprog.
I'll track it down eventually!
Fascinating, Hugh. Keep on the trail, won't you.