The Percy family, the Dukes of Northumberland, built their family seat - Northumberland House - at the beginning of the 17th century. Some considerable size, the entire estate was bought in 1874 by the Metropolitan Board of Works and Northumberland Avenue was created. In 1887, the Hotel Victoria was built at number 8 - a first-class hotel that operated right up until the 1940s, when it was requisitioned by the War Office and occupied by the Crown. The doors of 8 Northumberland Avenue remained closed to the public for 70 years. In 2009, a near-derelict building was inherited from the Ministry Of Defence. It took a year of major refurbishment to restore the building to its former grand Victorian style.