STRAWBERRY HILL HOUSE - between Twickenham & Teddington
Home of Horace Walpole, son of England's first Prime Minister.
This gem of a house is only a 15 minute walk from our place and has been on our 'to do' list since we got here.
Yesterday we finally got to see it, thanks to the Richmond Council as I was lucky enough to win first prize in their 'Wish You Were Here' writing competition and entry to Strawberry Hill House followed by lunch in the cafe was my prize.
To say we were impressed with SHH is an understatement. It has been beautifully restored thanks to a £9M fund from English Heritage and other organisations. It was so ornate. Dear Horace was quite a character and certainly knew how to spend money.
In his day, the property went down to the Thames and his view from many aspects of the house would have been wonderful. The well-to-do and royalty would ride past Horace's house in their carriages on their way to Hampton Court Palace. Now, of course, there are houses lining the road in front of it and a main road running beside the water. He only used the place for about 12 weeks of the year when he came 'down' from London during the summer. So many wealthy Londonders did exactly the same thing and there are many wonderful houses and properties on our walk from Teddington to Richmond that belonged to these people.
So much of the stained glass came from Flanders and depict biblical, historic figures and pastoral scenes. As you can imagine, with the light filtering through these the colours and detail were stunning. I haven’t captured it very well.
Have a look inside SHH through my photos.
"Horace Walpole died in 1797 yet remarkably Strawberry Hill is still standing over 200 years later. During the latter part of the 18th century, Horace Walpole, son of England's first Prime Minister, transformed a modest house into his own 'little Gothic castle,' creating a tourist attraction, which was as popular in his day as it is in ours. Walpole was a compulsive collector and filled the house with a pioneering collection of antiques and curios. The house and gardens have recently undergone a multimillion-pound restoration project to return Walpole's Gothic vision to its original splendour."