Chiswick House is a neo-Palladian style manor house in Chiswick in West London that is noted for its extensive gardens.
The house was built in 1753 by Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington in an attempt to create a Roman villa and its design bears the influence of Andrea Palladio’s trademark Palladian architectural style.
Chiswick House has hosted many notable historical figures such as Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Giuseppe Garibaldi, Sir Walter Scott, William Gladstone, Russian tsars Nicholas I and Alexander I and Queen Victoria. The Beatles also visited the house where they filmed promotional films for Paperback Writer and Rain in 1966.
In addition to its role as a private home, Chiswick House has also been used as a mental asylum and as a fire station. The Grade I-listed building is now owned by Hounslow Council and maintained by English Heritage and it is now open to the public.
What to see at Chiswick House and Gardens
Chiswick House is an excellent example of the neo-Palladian style and is built to a symmetrical design with an octagonal-shaped Tribunal Saloon in the centre of the house with the Red Velvet and Green Velvet rooms to either side.
The house is set amongst 26.33ha (65.1 acres) of grounds with much of the gardens designed by William Kent, one of the originators of the English landscape garden style.
Chiswick House and Gardens is also used as a venue for several seasonal events including a camellia show, an artisanal food market and a magic lantern festival.
Visiting Chiswick House and Gardens
Chiswick House and Gardens are in Chiswick in West London. Although Chiswick is mostly a quiet residential area, there are several points of interest nearby including Hogarth’s House and tours of Fuller’s brewery and the Sipsmith gin distillery.
The gardens are only a five-minute walk northeast of Chiswick railway station, which has six trains per hour to London Waterloo and it is also around a 20-minute walk from Chiswick Park and Turnham Green tube stations.
The gardens are open year-round but the house is only open Thursday to Sunday between 25 May and 1 October with a short opening period during the October half-term break.
There is a lovely cafe in the gardens and there is an ice cream van parked near the rear of the house during summer. Chiswick House also has its own gift shop and there is a farmers’ market held here on the first, third and fifth Saturday of the month.
Allow 1–1½ hours to visit Chiswick House and Gardens.