Society of Antiquaries

I see that progressive rent increases mean that the Society of Antiquaries is at real risk of having to leave its home since 1870 in the courtyard of Burlington House. Burlington House was bought from the Duke of Devonshire by the Office of Works in order to house the so-called Learned Societies – the Royal Academy, the Royal Society and the Society of Antiquaries – all of which had previously been housed in Somerset House. The new buildings were designed by R.R. Banks and C. Barry and, in the case of the Society of Antiquaries, include a fine, purpose-built, first-floor library. It has been government policy for the last decade to raise the rent to what is regarded as the market level. But what is the market for the historic premises of a Learned Society ? Another hotel ? I cannot imagine that the Society could really survive elsewhere, so the government is effectively destroying it.

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