Although Somerset House has now been transformed into one of London’s cultural platforms for art, when civil registration began in 1837 it was used to issue birth certificates, marriage certificates and death certificates in England and Wales. All Somerset House records were based in London (Strand in Central London) and the current building dates back to the late 18th Century.
These records remained in Somerset House London for nearly 150 years until 1970 when all records were moved to St Catherine's House, mainly because of the location. Once the location moved so did the name and the civil registration index was changed to St Catherine's House index.
Somerset House has continued to be of use by the Inland Revenue as it merged with the Inland Revenue and HM Customs and Excise and it continues to occupy the building although most of the senior management has moved.
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