Burlington House, London

At the rear of Burlington House in Picadilly, London are a number of statues of great scientists and philosophers including humanists Jeremy Bentham (over the door, by John Durham), Adam Smith (ground floor west side, by William Theed) and David Hume (above, western balustrade, by Matthew Noble).

Burlington House was originally a private mansion in the Palladian style, and was expanded in the mid 19th century after being purchased by the British government. It was at this time in the 1870s when these statues were added.

The main building is at the northern end of the courtyard and houses the Royal Academy, while five learned societies occupy the two wings on the east and west sides of the courtyard and the Piccadilly wing at the southern end.

These societies, collectively known as the Courtyard Societies are:

  • the Geological Society of London
  • Linnean Society of London
  • Royal Astronomical Society
  • Society of Antiquaries of London
  • Royal Society of Chemistry

Burlington House is most familiar to the general public as the venue for the Royal Academy’s high profile temporary art exhibitions.

The rear of the building is now home to a commercial art gallery Haunch of Venison.


The statues are on the south side of Burlington Gardens. The closes underground station is Picadilly Circus.

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