Strawberry Hill House
This sinister Gothic castle is an exotic concoction of mysterious turrets, gilded ceilings and dazzling stained glass windows. Starting life as an unassuming cottage in Twickenham, Strawberry Hill House was bought by Horace Walpole - the son of England's first Prime Minister - in 1749 and was transformed from an orderly Georgian idyll into a magnificent Gothic mansion. Between 1747 and 1792 Walpole, a compulsive collector, doubled its size and in doing so sparked a Gothic revival, establishing a taste for fireplaces and gilded ceilings like mediaeval tombs and vaults, painted glass with rustic and biblical scenes and heraldry. Further additions were made by the Countess Waldegrave in the 19th century. Described by Walpole as "a little plaything house," Strawberry Hill House has been restored with generous support from the Heritage Lottery Fund and World Monuments Fund amongst others and re-opened for the first time in 2010. Open from March to November each year, the house also has a shop and café, plus boasts year-round programme of events including twilight tours, lecture suppers, exhibitions and family activities.
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Strawberry Hill House
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