Strawberry Hill House—often called simply Strawberry Hill—is the Gothic Revival villa that was built in Twickenham, London by Horace Walpole (1717–1797) from 1749 onward. It is the type example of the "Strawberry Hill Gothic" style of architecture, and it prefigured the nineteenth-century Gothic revival.
Walpole rebuilt the existing house in stages starting in 1749, 1760, 1772 and 1776. These added gothic features such as towers and battlements outside and elaborate decoration inside to create "gloomth" to suit Walpole's collection of antiquarian objects, contrasting with the more cheerful or "riant" garden. The interior included a Robert Adam fireplace; parts of the exterior were designed by James Essex. The garden contained a large seat shaped like a Rococo sea shell; it has been recreated in the 2012 restoration.
Purchase and planningIn May 1747, Horace Walpole took a lease on a small 17th-century house that was "little more than a cottage", with 5acre of land from a Mrs. Chenevix. Horace was under familial and political pressure to establish a country seat, especially a family castle, which was a fashionable practice during the period. The following year he purchased the house which the original owner, a coachman, had named "Chopped Straw Hall". This was intolerable to Walpole, "his residence ought, he thought, to possess some distinctive appellation; of a very different character..." Finding an old lease that described his land as "Strawberry Hill Shot", Walpole adopted this new name for his soon to be "elegant villa".
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Strawberry Hill House Reviews
Arriving in good time soon after opening we had to queue for 2 hours in a long line around the periphery of the grounds and house. When we finally got into the grounds, the full extent of the queue... more »
We booked to visit the house and gardens both of which are expertly and lovingly maintained. The walls and ceilings exemplify the skills of our forebears as well as those who preserve the house... more »
Enjoyed a couple hours meandering through this fascinating house. The docents were excellent, always ready with their many stories while always asking if we'd prefer to just look. While not as many of Walpole's original items it is still a fascinating display with much architectural interest. The cafe was very nice too. Staff in all areas very friendly.
Love the house. Staff were fascinating and helpful. Sunday manager was brilliant. Only improvements would be signage from the front of the house to the actual entrance. Weird unisex toilet with tiny sink that just splashed over the side and hygiene bin that was too close to the loo.
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