Tuesday 25th April – 16th meeting of 2017
Back on track today after the Easter holidays and almost a full house – eight of us today.
Meeting at Waterloo we got a main line train to Chiswick station on a bright but really cold morning. From the station we took a lovely walk to Chiswick House. This is a really nice part of London. Large houses well maintained with lovely front gardens which were a pleasure to look at.
Once in the grounds of the House we made our way to the cafe. A drink and snack were very welcome and enjoyable. As some of us wanted to go in the house and some wanted to explore the gardens we decided to part company. I had not been here before so opted to go in the House.
The house is a Palladian Villa designed by Lord Burlington and completed in 1729. It was built to impress and to be used for entertaining and pleasure. It is now maintained by English Heritage and over the course of the years has been used as a retreat and stronghold for the Whig party, a mental hospital known as Chiswick Asylum, and a fire station when bought by Middlesex County Council. It was bombed and damaged during World War 2 and in a bad state of repair. In 1956 the two wings were demolished.
Today the main part of the building is in good repair. The ceilings are magnificent. Each room has its own colour and style. All the rooms are located around a central drawing room. Paintings adorn all walls. There are also many sculptures inside the House and in the garden.
Once we had completed the house we had a walk around the wonderful garden. It is very English and has many figures and sculptures all around. We made our way to the glasshouse to see the camellia collection. Unfortunately we were a little too late to see them in their glory but a few still had blooms on them. The collection has some very rare examples. The wisteria around the glasshouse was wonderful. Very pretty and the fragrance beautiful.
After such a nice morning we made our back to the station and our trains home.