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Norfolk House

113 Lambeth Road, London

Across the road from Norfolk House stands the deconsecrated church of St Mary in Lambeth, which once contained the Howard Chapel and the Howard family vaults.

About the location:

Thomas, Earl of Surrey and second Duke of Norfolk was the first owner of Norfolk House, which was the fine London residence of the Dukes of Norfolk during Anne Boleyn’s lifetime.  Thomas Howard, third Duke of Norfolk, used Norfolk House, Lambeth, as a suburban residence until his attainder in 1547. His life was saved by the death of Henry VIII, but his estates were seized and granted to William Parr, Marquess of Northampton.

The house is long gone and on the site where it once stood stands a modern hotel. But to give you a feel of what the house was once like in its hey-day, we can read this excerpt from ‘British History Online’:

The Novotel now stands on the site of the old medieval / Tudor Norfolk House in Lambeth

‘There was a great gate from “the King's highway leading from Lambeth Town to St. George's Fields” (i.e. Lambeth Road) leading into a paved yard. On the west was the Duke's chapel which, by 1590, had been partitioned to make a hall, buttery and parlour, and a number of small rooms; on the east were the kitchen offices with “a greate chamber” on the first floor, a gallery, oratory and several closets and the hall opening on to the garden on the south. The total width of the garden was 125 feet, and it is a reasonable assumption that the street frontage was approximately the same.’

The second Duke of Norfolk also built the Howard chapel in St. Mary's, Lambeth. A number of Howard family members were buried there, including Anne’s own mother in 1538. The church is now deconsecrated and used as a garden museum; sadly, there are no vaults or memorials left to view.

Which key events feature Windsor Castle in the book?

Volume I:

Summer, 1527.

  • On the journey to the Palace of Beaulieu in Essex, Anne, her mother and brother, rest overnight at Norfolk House. Here Anne runs into little Katherine Howard, only a young child at the time. There is a piognant encounter between the two cousins.

The real events in history:

  • We do not know if Anne ever met her young cousin; there is no reason to suppose she did, although we do not know either way for sure.
  • However, it was at Norfolk House that Katherine Howard, granddaughter of Thomas, second Duke of Norfolk, through his first wife, Elizabeth, spent part of her childhood, nominally in the charge of her step-grandmother, Agnes, Dowager Duchess of Norfolk.

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