BLOG on Chiswick House and Marble Hill House

Coming early 2018

Following the success of my exhibition ‘Capability Now’  (detailing the life and gardens of the landscape designer Lancelot Brown) at Orleans House Gallery in early 2016, in 2018 I will return with a new exhibition on the Scottish baroque architect James Gibbs (1682-1754). Tentatively titled ‘Baroque Flair and Palladian Restraint: the Architecture of James Gibbs’, this exhibition will highlight Gibbs’ important contribution to 18th century British architecture and focus on the wide variety of building types he designed, including churches, church monuments, country houses, hospitals, university buildings and garden structures. Gibbs was Britain’s first classically trained architect (he was taught by Carlo Fontana in Rome)  and his’ most influential building was the church at St Martin-in-the-Fields in Piccadilly which become the template for the Georgian church abroad. His ‘A Book of Architecture’ (1728) was the most widely used architectural book of the 18th century.

Ricky’s Blog 02.03.15

Chiswick House is now open each weekend in February to coincide with the camellia festival which takes place in the Conservatory. If you want to visit now you will save yourself some money as the entrance prices go up from April 1st 2015.

Those of you who visit the grounds of Marble Hill House may have noticed several new interpretation panels around the site providing extra historical information. These are a most welcome addition and provide extra enjoyment of this lovely historic space.

Ricky’s Blog. 14.02.15

Dear all,

This is the latest section of my new website and I will regularly update this blog to report any notable news regarding both Chiswick House and Marble Hill House. I will also include information on events, talks or lectures of relevance or interest to those interested in architecture and art.

Changes at England Heritage.

As some readers may be aware, from 1st April 2015 English Heritage will no longer be a governmental institution but an independent charity. In reality this means that English Heritage will no longer be subsidised by the Government but will now be able to apply for funding from other sources and apply for Heritage Lottery funding. The listing departments within the present English Heritage organisation will stay with the government under the new title of ‘Historic England’. Simon Thurley, the present Chief Executive of English Heritage is leaving and will be replaced by Kate Mavor, the first Chief Executive of the new charity.  Sir Tim Laurence is the Chairman of the English Heritage charity.

New furniture at Chiswick House for 2015 season.

When Chiswick House reopens on the 1st April it will have two additional pieces of original furniture on display. Two William Kent designed mahogany hall chairs with circular backs on loan from Chatsworth House will be in situ in the Gallery. Originally William Kent designs 32 Mahogany Hall chairs, 16 with pediment backs and 16 with circular back. All 16 chairs with the pediment backs were placed in the Upper Tribunal to match the pediments of the architecture above the doors.

At the end of last year a giant preliminary drawing of the front of Chiswick House by Henry Flitcroft (Lord Burlington’s draughtsman) was hung in the Summer Parlour. This drawing was very badly discoloured and has undergone conservation work that has not been entirely successful. The giant drawing was purchased by English Heritage with Art Fund money at the Chatsworth attic sale in 2010.