An Update from our Chairman

An update from our Chair of Trustees, Sir Derek Myers:

Chiswick House and Gardens is an unusual site; it is not run by the Council, English Heritage, the National Trust or any other large conservation charity, but instead by a small local charity.

Our Trustees are a mixture of local people and national experts, but we have one focus – the 65 wonderful acres of the estate – and two jobs:

  • To maintain and conserve the important Grade 1 listed House, Gardens and other Grade 1 listed buildings and features
  • To run the Gardens as a resource for everyone every day – for education, inspiration, recreation and wellbeing.

We have been knocked sideways by the pandemic – everyone has – but we have been able to keep the Gardens open thanks to the marvelous work of our staff and volunteers, and thanks to the many, many donations by local people.

As Hounslow Council own the Gardens, we receive a grant from them for basic upkeep. We also receive a grant from English Heritage, who own the House. But most of the money needed to care for the estate we have to raise ourselves, and we do this through our events and weddings, our café and Membership scheme, and also through the support of individual donors, grant-giving trusts, and the Friends of Chiswick House – an independent charity.

As Trustees, we are responsible for ensuring responsible use of the monies we receive, and for keeping our charitable purposes clearly in focus. The Trust employs a small group of professional staff who run the estate week by week, and we are lucky to have the support of almost 200 volunteers.

We are delighted the House has re-opened for the season, and in the first four weeks we welcomed nearly 2000 visitors. The House now contains contemporary art installations by Peter Adjaye and Jaimini Patel, and Turner Prize Winner, Mark Wallinger. Wallinger has created a wonderful sundial installation, free to enjoy on the lawn by the House.

As Trustees we meet five times a year and are involved individually between meetings. We have lots of ideas about our future direction. Do have a look at our draft strategy published last year. We are currently working on a longer term plan for the Gardens.

Our Ten Year Plan

As unpaid Trustees we are very mindful that we work for the visitors to the estate. Experience teaches us there are bound to be differences of view,

but we are committed to being accountable for how the estate is managed and taken forward.

There’s lots more material on our website, but do feel free to get in touch if you want to offer an opinion or get more involved. Or even better,  join our cause by becoming a Member .

Become a Member

I’ll offer further posts at intervals to try to give some insight into how we are getting on.


Derek Myers

Chair Trustee Board

Chiswick House and Gardens Trust