Chiswick House and Gardens is one of the most glorious examples of 18th-century British architecture and landscaped gardens, with over 300 years of discovery, inspiration and delight.

Two Georgian trendsetters, the architect and designer William Kent and his friend and patron Richard Boyle, the third Earl of Burlington, created the House and Gardens between 1725 and about 1738. Influenced by their travels on the Grand Tour, they rejected the showy, Baroque style fashionable in England, in favour of a simpler, symmetrical design based on the classical architecture of Italy. Together they broke down the rigid formality of the early 18th-century garden to create a revolutionary, natural-looking landscape. Chiswick, the birthplace of the English Landscape Movement, went on to influence gardens from Blenheim Palace to New York’s Central Park.

Image: ‘A View of Chiswick House from the South-West’, about 1729, by Pieter Andreas Rysbrack. © Historic England Photo Library

After the earl’s death in 1753, the estate passed to the Dukes of Devonshire by marriage – Burlington’s daughter Charlotte married the 4th Duke of Devonshire. In 1788, their son the 5th Duke decided to demolish the old Jacobean manor house, which once stood on the site, and make a proper mansion of the villa by adding substantial wings. Both the 5th and 6th Dukes remodelled Burlington’s gardens.

From the 1860s onwards, the Devonshires let the house and gradually moved the historic contents to their main residence at Chatsworth House, where many items remain today. Edward Prince of Wales rented the house and hosted his mother Queen Victoria, members of the royal family, and guests from across the world at his garden parties. The Tuke brothers turned Chiswick House into a mental health institution from 1892 to 1928 – they were early pioneers of talking therapies.

Image: Exterior view of the front elevation of Chiswick House, before demolition of the wings, 1947. Source: Historic England Archive

By the 20th century, the House and Gardens were in decline and in 1929 the reduced estate was sold to Middlesex County Council. In 1948, ownership of the house passed to the Ministry of Works, which embarked on a restoration campaign aimed at returning the villa to its original size and design and the gardens to their original layout.

Following a major restoration project, which finished in 2010 with £12m support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, London Borough of Hounslow and English Heritage Trust formed the independent Chiswick House and Gardens Trust to unify the care of the House and Gardens.

Today we welcome over one million visitors every year. Our vision is simple – we want to be here for everyone, every day.