Strawberry Hill House
Historic House, £5.40-£12
268 Waldegrave Road,
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Strawberry Hill is Britain's finest example of Georgian Gothic Revival architecture and interior decoration. It began life in 1698 as a modest house, built by the coachmen of the Earl of Bradford. It was transformed into 'a little Gothic castle' by Horace Walpole, man of letters and the son of England's first Prime Minister. Between 1747 and 1792 Walpole doubled its size, creating Gothic rooms and adding towers and battlements in fulfilment of his dream. Further additions were made by the Countess Waldegrave in the 19th Century.
Strawberry Hill was already a famous tourist site in its own day. It has miraculously survived into ours, its rural surroundings gone, but its charm undiminished. The plaything of Walpole and his friends, it established a taste for the Gothic: fireplaces and gilded ceilings like medieval tombs and vaults, painted glass with rustic and biblical scenes and heraldry.
Walpole was a compulsive collector. His gothic home grew to house a vast, idiosyncratic collection and to reflect his social position and aspirations as an innovator in style. He surrounded himself with antiquities, works of art and curios, especially those with strong historical associations. His library and collection of historical prints were equally impressive. In 1842, at a sale lasting thirty-two days, the contents of the house were scattered to the winds, but many can still be identified.
Horace set up a private press at the house, publishing important historical texts and his own writings on history and art, He also wrote the first Gothic novel, set in the house, establishing a form and taste which is still with us.
Following an £8.9 million restoration with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, the house is now open to the public as an extraordinary fairytale experience.
Bookings may be made on the website given below or by telephoning 0208 744 1241.
Garden open 10am - 6pm between 5 January and 13 December 2015.
Please note: In 2015 the Rugby World Cup takes place. Several of the matches including the quarter finals, semi-finals and finals will be played in Twickenham. Due to the anticipated disruption the Strawberry Hill House will be closed to the public on the following match days: 19 & 26 September and 3, 10, 17, 18, 24, 25 & 31 October 2015.
Café open from 10am, last orders 5:30pm. Closed Thursday and Friday.
Adult £12.00 with Gift Aid / £10.80 Standard
Concessions: £6.00 with Gift Aid / £5.40 Standard
Concessionary prices for National Trust members, National ArtPass holders, students in full time education, long-term disabled and jobseekers.
Free for Under 16s, carers accompanying a disabled person and Friends of Strawberry Hill House members.
Prices above are for standard self-guided visits. Guided tour tickets and twilight tours are also available - see website.
TQ 158722 51.43696 -0.33539
By Road: At the London Road roundabout on the A316 take the exit signposted Twickenham A310.
At the mini roundabout turn left, you are still on London Road. Pass Twickenham Station on your left. At traffic lights you will have to bear right into King Street. Get over into left lane and turn left at the traffic lights into Cross Deep. You will pass Radnor Gardens leading down to the Thames on your left.
At mini roundabout turn right into Waldegrave Road. You will see Strawberry Hill House on your left. Just past the house is the turning into St. Mary's College where you can park
Bus: 33 travels from Hammersmith and through Richmond and the R68 travels from Kew Gardens Station, through Richmond Train and Bus Stations.
Train: Richmond Station
Tube: Richmond District Line
For further information visit www.tfl.gov.uk
- Facilities for groups
- Public toilets
- Children welcome
- Smoking not allowed