Strawberry Hill House, Twickenham

4.5
#1 of 8 in Museums in Twickenham
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
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4.4
TripAdvisor
  • Strawberry Hill has the appearance of a fairytale palace. The interior is just as delightful. In the library we were impressed with the decorative wood carving framing the book shelves. It had been re...  more »
  • This is a fascinating house to visit with its unusual neo-gothic features which must be some of the earliest u its kindi in England (it prefigured the 19th century gothic revival). Unfortunately many ...  more »
Google
  • My favourite house to visit which has had some wonderful restoration. A mixture of styles and influences in the decor. Beautiful stained glass... stunning rooms. Also a cafe, gardens & gift shop. The guides in the house are very knowledgeable & friendly. I keep on returning to this stunning house full of history & a touch of the quirky about it.
  • What a spectacular place to visit!! the house is very beautiful and staff are very friendly and full of historical information about the house. The gardens are well looked after and clean, currently there is a exhibition of historical artifacts which have been brought back to the house. Suitable for all 😀
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