Other Local Historic Attractions Open to the Public on General or Restricted Hours

1. Hogarth’s House

Hogarth's House in Chiswick, built around 1700, was the country home of the great painter, engraver and satirist William Hogarth (1697-1764) from 1749 until his death.

(Interesting fact: Hogarth is buried in the same graveyard as the painter Whistler. Hogarth’s  epitaph was written by David Garrick)

2. Osterley House and Park

Surrounded by gardens, park and farmland, Osterley is one of the last surviving country estates in London.

Once described by Horace Walpole as ‘the palace of palaces’, Osterley was created in the late eighteenth-century by architect Robert Adam for the Child family to entertain and impress their friends and clients.

Today the house is presented as it would have looked in the 1780s; enter the house as the family’s guests would have via the impressive stone steps leading up the portico.

3. Gunnersbury House & Gardens

Gunnersbury Park is a large leafy park set between Brentford and Acton. It has a range of attractions and things to do including formal gardens, green open spaces, lakes, historic buildings, a museum, play and sports facilities and a network of tree lined paths.

4. Boston Manor House

Boston Manor House, one of West London’s lesser-known gems, is a fine Jacobean manor house built in 1623. Set back from Boston Manor Road in Brentford, the three-storey building is situated in parkland containing a lake and ancient cedar trees.

5. Kew Gardens and Palace

There are over 100 world-class attractions to enjoy at Kew Gardens. From iconic buildings by Sir William Chambers (such as garden temples and the famous pagoda- unfortunately all the William Kent fabriques designed for Queen Caroline and his White House for her son, Frederick, Prince of Wales are long gone) and glasshouses, to inspirational gardens and landscapes. Discover 250 years of history at the world's most famous Gardens.

6. Syon House and Gardens

Syon is one of the last great houses of London, and has been in the family of the present owners for more than 400 years. Profoundly historic, the House holds a wealth of art within its grand classical interiors, while the Park and Gardens feel like deep countryside, although barely nine miles from Charing Cross. Syon House is the spectacular London home of the Duke of Northumberland. Syon has many layers of history and has seen some profound changes over the centuries.

7. The White Lodge in Richmond Park (open on Open House only)

The White Lodge is a Grade I listed Georgian house situated in Richmond Park, on the south-western outskirts of London. Built by Roger Morris (who also built near by Marble Hill House in Twickenham) and formerly a royal residence, it now houses the Royal Ballet Lower School, instructing students aged 11–16.

The White Lodge Museum and Ballet Resource Centre has also been opened there as part of a major redevelopment project led by the ballet school.

8. Turner’s House

Sandycombe Lodge in Twickenham is of unique significance, built by the great landscape painter J.M.W. Turner. Turner was his own architect, his designs evolving through many sketches in his notebooks (however, it is highly possible that the architect John Soane had some input into the building design with its curved walls and top lit staircase). The house was intended for his own use as a rural retreat from the pressures of the bustling art world of the early nineteenth century.

9. Orleans House and Gallery

Orleans House was a later named Palladian villa built by the architect John James in 1710 near the Thames at Twickenham, England, for the politician and diplomat James Johnston. The original villa of built of red brick and had little ornamentation or decoration, echoing the ideas of Inigo Jones almost a century before that the exterior of a house should be like the appearance and demeanour of a Gentlemen; businesslike, sober and serious.

From 1716 the Scottish architect James Gibbs was commissioned to add a spectacular Baroque Octagon Hall in which King George II and his wife Queen Caroline were entertained in 1729. The royal figures above the inside doors were carved by the Flemish sculptor Michael Rysbrack

Today the adjoining building is used as an art gallery with ever changing exhibitions, both with the house gallery and the stables building.

10. Ham House

Ham House is situated beside the River Thames in Ham, south of Richmond in London. It is claimed by the National Trust to be "unique in Europe as the most complete survival of 17th century fashion and power”.

(Interesting fact: Ham House was once the home of Elizabeth Dysart who secretly aided the restoration of Charles II, wrote letters in invisible ink and cipher and whom was a member of the secretive ‘Sealed Knot’).

11. Kilmorey Mausoleum, St Margarets

The Kilmorey Mausoleum, is a Grade II Listed mausoleum in the style of an ancient Egyptian monument and has been described as a "fine example of an Egyptian-style mausoleum, with a well preserved interior. Designed by Henry Kendall junior (1805-88) and built  in pink and grey granite at a cost £30,000, it was entered through a bronze door. The building was commissioned in the 1850s by the 2nd Earl of Kilmorey (1787-1880) and contains the bodies of the Earl and his mistress, Priscilla Ann Hoste (1823-1854).

Opening times: the site is closed to the public except during Open Days and Special Events, or when volunteers are maintaining the gardens.

12. Asgill House

Richmond Place (now known as Asgill House), is a Grade I listed mid eighteenth-century Neo-Palladian villa on Old Palace Lane in Richmond. The house was built by Sir Robert Taylor (1711-88) for Sir Charles Asgill (d. 1788) around 1760 on the former site of the river frontage and later the brew house of the old medieval and Tudor Palace.

The villa was illustrated in the fourth volume of the very influential Vitruvius Britannicus (1767-71) which was in essence a compendium of buildings and gardens incorporating classical elements.

The villa is privately owned and not open to the public. However its facade can be viewed from the towpath.

13. Pope’s Grotto

Alexander Pope moved from his dwellings in Chiswick in 1719. Around this time Pope employed the architect James Gibbs to convert one of three houses he rented at Cross Deep into livable accomadation. This included a new portico which was later replaced with a larger portico by William Kent and Lord Burlington. Almost immediately Pope decided to connect both gardens (which were seperated by the road) via a grotto (which he later perceived as a mine) which he had run beneath the road of Cross Deep. Pope then decorated the walls of the grotto with precious stones, fossils and flints. Over the years many more stones were added, some sourced from abroad but with a number presented to him by friends and admirers. Pope was still adding to his grotto up to his death in 1744, by which time his landscape gardens and grotto were known and praised throughout Europe. Today only the grotto remains with many of its precious stones and flints sadly stripped from its walls by curious visitors as souveniers or momentoes. However the grotto still remains as a testiment to Pope’s brilliance not only as a poet (it contained many poetic and mythological references), but as a truly inspirational and gifted garden designer.  

Pope’s grotto has very limited opening. Visit the website below for further details.

14. Strawberry Hill House

Created by Horace Walpole in the eighteenth-century, Strawberry Hill is internationally famous as Britain’s finest surviving example of Georgian Gothic revival architecture. It also inspired the first gothic novel The Castle of Otranto.

(Interesting fact; Horace Walpole was close friends with Henrietta Howard in her later years who lived at near by Marble Hill House).

15. Garrick’s Temple

Garrick's Temple to Shakespeare on the Riverside at Hampton was built by the great eighteenth-century actor/manager David Garrick in 1756 to celebrate the genius of William Shakespeare. The Temple is open to the public on Sunday afternoons (14.00-17.00) from the first Sunday in April to the last Sunday in October. Admission to the Garrick Exhibition and most events is free.

(Interesting fact: David Garrick’s and his wife, Violette, spent their honeymoon at Lord Burlington’s Chiswick House and the octagon shape of the Garrick’s temple derives from this building).

16. Hampton Court Palace

A massive red bricked Tudor Palace with many Georgian additions and one of the greatest Royal palaces in Europe. A ‘must see’ for anybody visiting England. So much history to mention on a single web page!