top of page
  • Writer's pictureIna

Discover Hidden Treasures During London Open House Festival: Senate House and Library

London is a city that beckons explorers with its rich history, architectural marvels, and hidden gems. One such gem that often remains off the beaten path is the Senate House and Senate House Library, and there's no better time to unlock its secrets than during the Open House London Festival. Get ready for a journey into a world of less-known facts, iconic movie sets, and awe-inspiring numbers that will make your visit truly unforgettable!

The Magnificent Senate House: A Brief Introduction

Its imposing facade has not only inspired architects but also literary giants. In fact, it's said that the Senate House was the muse for George Orwell's "Ministry of Truth" in "1984." As you stand before its majestic exterior, you'll be transported into the dystopian world of Orwell's imagination.

Architectural Influence: Art Deco Masterpiece

The Senate House, a grand Art Deco masterpiece, stands tall amidst the historic streets of Bloomsbury. Art Deco architecture, which was a prominent design style in the 1930s. Its design, by architect Charles Holden, is characterized by clean lines, geometric shapes, and the use of contrasting materials, such as Portland stone and glass. It has influenced other buildings in the city and beyond. The central tower, rising 210 feet (64 meters) above ground level, is one of its most distinctive features.

Hidden WWII History: Step into the Past

Did you know that during World War II, the Senate House basement served as an air-raid shelter? Imagine the dedication of the library staff who continued their work underground during air raids, preserving knowledge even in the darkest of times. Feel the weight of history as you explore this unique aspect of the Senate House's past.

Movie Magic: From "1984" to "The Dark Knight Rises"

While Orwell found inspiration within these walls, filmmakers have also recognized the Senate House's cinematic potential. Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight Rises" brought the grandeur of the Senate House to the big screen. As you wander through its corridors, you might feel like you're in Gotham City.

Numbers that Impress: Volumes, Years, and Beyond

The Senate House Library boasts a staggering collection of over two million books, periodicals, and manuscripts. But here's a lesser-known fact: its history dates back to the 19th century when it was established as the University of London Library. Over a century of knowledge and culture resides here, waiting for you to explore.

Your Invitation to the Open House Festival

During the Open House Festival, the Senate House and Senate House Library throw open their doors to the public. It's a rare chance to experience the splendor of Art Deco architecture and immerse yourself in the world of literature.

So, mark your calendar, gather your fellow adventurers, and get ready for an unforgettable journey into the heart of knowledge, history, and cinematic wonder. The Senate House is waiting to reveal its secrets to you—don't miss this extraordinary opportunity!

*All photos were taken by Ina/WithinLondon, unless stated otherwise.

31 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page