Chiswick House, on the river Thames, was designed in the Roman-Palladian style of architecture in the 1720s by the 3rd Earl of Burlington (1694-1753). He was inspired by his grand tour of Italy. William Kent laid out the gardens in the English Landscape style and designed the interiors that include a red room and a green velvet room. Ceilings were painted and gilded. A collection of old master paintings hung on the walls.
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After Lord Burlington’s death the gardens at Chiswick continued to change and evolve with other garden designers adding their ideas. The house was home to successive members of Lord Burlington’s family, including Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire. Important guests visiting Chiswick included Handel, Charles James Fox, and Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
The gardens have been restored. The Italianate garden is replete with statues. There are garden buildings hidden in the trees. Pathways wander among 1600 trees, and one goes along the river to the Ionic temple and a bridge. In the conservatory built in the 1800s there is a collection of camellias, some dating back 200 years.
Burlington Lane, London W4
Tel. 020 8995 0508
Open: April, daily, 10am-5pm; May-end Oct, Sun-Wed and BH, 10am-5pm; Nov-end March, groups only
English Heritage property; café; parking by fee off A4 westbound; special events; by tube Turnham Green is ¾ mile; by train Chiswick is .5 mile
Photos by Barbara Ballard except conservatory (before restoration), cascade, and gardens courtesy Pam Brophy Geograph British Isles