Address: Burlington Lane, Chiswick, London W4 2RP


Time Information:

Phone: 0370 333 1181

Entry Price: £6.30 for house

950m from Chiswick

1600m from Turnham Green

Chiswick House was built in 1729 by the Earl of Burlington and lies in Chiswick, west London, about 400m from the River Thames. Burlington was an amateur architect and designed a classical villa in a neo-Palladian style and was assisted by architect William Kent, who also designed the gardens and much of the interior. The gardens are considered to be the birthplace of the English Landscape Movement.

The house was never intended as a main residence, but simply to entertain and display art. In 1758 the property passed on to the Duke of Devonshire and when two new wings were added, it became more of a mansion. Animals were introduced to add to the novelty and these included an elephant, emus and kangaroos.

In the 18th and 19th centuries it had many political associations and in the 1870’s the Prince of Wales lived here. Many notable people visited and these included Queen Victoria, Robert Walpole, William Gladstone, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, George V and Tsar Nicholas I.

By the 1890’s its condition was deteriorating and it was used as a hospital and in 1929 the Devonshire family sold it to the local council who used it as a fire station. In the 1950’s it passed on to the Ministry of Works and the two wings that were built in the 18th century were demolished.

The villa is now run by English Heritage and is a Grade I listed building. It’s a popular attraction with the gardens having been given a recent, extensive restoration and paintings by Old Masters put on show. There’s a treasure trove of statues, ornaments and furniture to be seen as well as the incredible period architecture and interior design.

Being a landmark in Greater London, rather than central, it forms an ideal excursion from a London base.

Click on the pics below for an enlarged view and use the arrow towards the right edge of each pic to go on to the next.