Victorian London - Houses and Housing - Hotels - Hotel Cecil

HOTEL CECIL. - This enormous hotel occupies one of the prominent sites in London, facing the Thames Embankment, and running back to the main entrance from the Strand, but its enormous mass cannot exactly be called beautiful. It was one of the outcomes of the notorious Liberator Society, whose shameful transactions led to the ruin of thousands of poor investors, and for which the promotors have been justly punished. In the building of this, two streets, Cecil and Salisbury Streets were demolished, which occupied the site of Salisbury House, situated, with its gardens down to the river, between Durham House and Worcester House, when the south side of the Strand, between Charing Cross and Temple Bar, was occupied by the mansions or town houses of the principal nobility. It was called Salisbury House from Sir Robert Cecil, Earl of Salisbury, Lord High Treasurer to James the 1st. Sir William Cecil, the great Lord Burleigh, lived on the opposite side of the Strand, on the site of what is now Burleigh Street. Salisbury House was pulled down and the site laid out into the former mentioned streets between 1678 and 1692. Sir Walter Raleigh was Lord Salisbury's next door neighbour, as he occupied Durham House, now covered by the Adelphi.

George Birch, The Descriptive Album of London, c.1896