Strawberry Hill House London – London’s Gothic castle

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Walpole spent most of his life transforming the building into his own ‘little Gothic castle’, with battlements, arched doorways and stained glass windows.

Strawberry Hill House is one of London’s finest examples of Gothic Revival architecture. Originally a modest house on the banks of the Thames at Twickenham, the property was purchased in 1749 by Horace Walpole. He was the youngest son of the first British Prime Minister and would go on to become one of the most celebrated writers of the 18th century.

Well-educated, well-travelled and well-to-do, Walpole spent the rest of his life transforming the building into his own ‘little Gothic castle’, complete with battlements, arched doorways and stained glass windows. This was a place where he could write, entertain and display his growing collection of books, art and antique curios. It was also here, in the dreamlike ‘gloomth’, that Walpole composed the first ever Gothic novel: ‘The Castle of Otranto’.

After his death in 1797, the house fell into the hands of a series of descendants, including John and George Waldegrave, who tragically sold almost all of the treasures their great-grand uncle had left behind. In fact, it wasn’t until 2004 that work began to restore Strawberry Hill House to its original condition.

Of the 20 or so rooms open to the public today, the most memorable include: the Library (with its chimneypiece inspired by the medieval tombs of Westminster Abbey and Canterbury Cathedral), the staircase (notable for its carved balustrades and Gothic trompe-l’oeil wallpaper) and the Gallery (with its fan-vaulted ceiling and extraordinary array of paintings). Allow at least an hour for your visit and relax in the café and garden afterwards.

About this spot

268 Waldegrave Road

Sat - Wed 11:00 - 16:00

Adult entry:

£

14.50

2087441241

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