Apsley House

sights / Architecture

Apsley House information

London , England
149 Piccadilly, Hyde Park Cnr
Getting there
Tube: Hyde Park Corner
More information
adult/child £6.90/4.10, with Wellington Arch £8.90/5.30
Opening hours
11am-5pm Wed-Sun Apr-Oct, to 4pm Wed-Sun Nov-Mar
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This stunning house, containing exhibits about the Duke of Wellington, was once the first building to appear when entering London from the west and was therefore known as 'No 1 London'. Still one of London's finest, Apsley House was designed by Robert Adam for Baron Apsley in the late 18th century, but later sold to the first Duke of Wellington, who lived here until he died in 1852. In 1947 the house was given to the nation, which must have come as a surprise to the duke's descendants, who still live in a flat here; 10 of its rooms are open to the public. Wellington memorabilia, including his death mask, fills the basement gallery, while there's an astonishing collection of china and silver, including a stunning Egyptian service, a divorce present from Napoleon to Josephine (she declined it). The stairwell is dominated by Antonio Canova's staggering 3.4m-high statue of a fig-leafed Napoleon with ti-tanic shoulders, adjudged by the subject as 'too athletic'. The 1st-floor Wellington Gallery contains paintings by Velasquez, Rubens, Van Dyck, Brueghel and Murillo and Goya. Don't miss the elaborate Portuguese silver service, presented to Wellington in honour of his triumph over 'Le Petit Caporal'.