Themed Tours of Chiswick House and Gardens & Marble Hill House

Please watch this space for upcoming special guided tours

A group is classed between 11 and 25 adults and are charged at £15.00 per head (this includes admission to the house plus tour. Tours of the gardens only at Chiswick are £7.50 per head). I will carry out all the administrative work with the Chiswick House staff. Special Masonic and Jacobite tours of the house are listed on the ‘Secret Symbolism’ pull down menu. To organise any of the below tours please email via the link at the bottom of this page indicating which tour you would like me to present and I will issue you with a booking form.

All educational groups that receive free entrance to both houses (including groups from the University of the Third Age) receive a rate of £75 per guided tour.

1. Architectural and Social Guided Tour of Chiswick House (General tour)

This tour explains the fascinating history of Chiswick House and the personalities that were associated with the building over its 290 year history.

2. Architectural Tour of Chiswick House

This tour will specifically examine and explain the diverse architectural influences that Lord Burlington employed when designing Chiswick House and focus on the importance of Roman and Renaissance architects such as Marcus Vitruvius Pallio, Andrea Palladio, Giulio Romano, Vincenzo Scamozzi, Sebastiano Serlio, Inigo Jones, and John Webb. This tour would be particularly suitable for students studying architecture or eighteenth century studies.

3. William Kent at Chiswick House and Gardens

William Kent returned with Lord Burlington to England after 10 years in Italy in 1719 and quickly become the most sought-after talent in early eighteenth-century England. This tour will specifically look at William Kent’s contributions at Chiswick House in regard to his ceiling paintings, interior designs and furniture. The tour will then relocate to the gardens and examine Kent’s profound influence in the surrounding landscape.

4. Mythological Tours of Chiswick House and Gardens

Lord Burlington’s ‘Roman Villa’ at Chiswick was accompanied by many references to the gods and goddesses of Ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt. This tour will specifically focus on the mythological characters in the paintings and furniture within the house and tell their fascinating stories. The tour will then venture into the gardens and will show how originally the garden was full of mythological allusions and meanings which would have been understood by Lord Burlington's contemporaries but have been largely forgotten by the modern visitor.

5. Guided Tours of the Gardens (£7.50 per person)

The gardens at Chiswick have been described by garden historians as the first ‘English Landscape Garden’ and England's only original contribution to the European ‘Enlightenment’. Chiswick gardens were also the most visited of any London Thameside villa. This tour will explore the designs of William Kent, Lord Burlington and Alexander Pope in creating a new ‘type’ of garden based on Italian and French exemplars, full of garden temples, wiggly walks, shady glens, serpentine lakes and accompanied by statues creating a garden designed to invoke allusions to ancient Rome and their pantheon of gods.

6. The Golden Age Revived: Chiswick House and Imperial Roman Architecture

Chiswick House and Gardens was Lord Burlington’s attempt to emulate the architecture of ancient Rome under the rule of the Emperor Augustus who, in the eighteenth-century, was considered by many as the most successful, powerful and democratic of all Roman Emperors. This tour will concentrate on the many references to Augustus within the villa’s architecture and gardens, from the statues of Vitruvius, Horace, Virgil, Ovid that once stood in the exedra, through to the Egyptianizing objects in the gardens symbolising the Emperor Augustus’s conquest and domination of Egypt and Rome’s growing Empire which could be equated with a new sense of Nationalism in eighteenth-century England and her own fledgling but growing empire.