Strawberry Hill House
Located in Twickenham, Strawberry Hill, a gothic revival house built by Horace Walpole, is a short train journey from Waterloo Station (in zone 5). Walpole purchased the property, which had a small existing house, in the mid-1700s and drastically expanded it, modifying it to reflect his love of the medieval style and fascination with church architecture such as vaulted ceilings and arches. Strawberry Hill was the first house constructed in the gothic revival style that did not have any medieval basis and it single-handedly initiated the craze for new-gothic buidings that followed in the next century.
Walpole was a writer, art historian, and politician, and also the son of the Sir Robert Walpole, the first British Prime Minister. He utilised his property to display all manner of art and collectables, all of which, unfortunately, were sold off by a disgruntled descendant in the mid-1800s. Many paintings, furniture, and stained glass, however, have been steadily and painstakingly recovered and reincorporated into the home. Highlights include the vaulted ceiling based on the Lady Chapel in Westminster Abbey, the Robert Adam fireplace, the stained glass window panels and paintings by Godfrey Kneller (see pictures below). To find out more or plan your visit, follow this link https://www.strawberryhillhouse.org.uk/visit-us/
There are guides positioned in most of the major rooms who very enthusiastically provide historical background and tell the story as you progress through the house. They are outstanding and really make the place come to life! It's definitely a must-see for history buffs and those interested in art, architecture, and historic home restoration. It is Grade 1 listed.