Chiswick House

sights / Architecture

Lonely Planet review

Designed by the third Earl of Burlington (1694–1753) – fired up with passion for all things Roman after his grand tour of Italy – this stunner of a neo-Palladian pavilion with an octagonal dome and colonnaded portico is a delight. The almost overpoweringly grand interior includes the coffered dome of the Upper Tribunal – left ungilded, the walls below decorated with eight enormous paintings.

Admire the stunningly painted ceiling (by William Kent) of the Blue Velvet Room and look out for carvings of the pagan vegetative deity, the Green Man, in the marble fireplaces of the Green Velvet Room.

Lord Burlington also planned the house’s original gardens, now Chiswick Park, surrounding the house, but they have been much altered since his time. Children will love them – look out for the stone sphinxes near the Cedar of Lebanon trees (another sphinx made of lead can be found in the Lower Tribuna). Chiswick House also has an excellent cafe.

The house is about a mile southwest of the Turnham Green tube station and 750m northeast of Chiswick train station.