Chiswick House

Chiswick House is a Palladian villa in Burlington Lane, Chiswick, in the London Borough of Hounslow in England. Set in 65 acres (0.26 km2), the house was completed in 1729 during the reign of George II and designed by Lord Burlington. William Kent (1685–1748), who took a leading role in designing the gardens, created one of the earliest examples of the English landscape garden on the property. The villa is arguably the finest remaining example of Neo-Palladian architecture in London.

After the death of its builder and original occupant in 1753, and the subsequent deaths of his last surviving daughter Charlotte Boyle in 1754 and his widow in 1758, the property was ceded to the Cavendish family and William Cavendish, 4th Duke of Devonshire, the husband of Charlotte. After William's death in 1764, the villa passed to his and Charlotte's orphaned young son, William, the 5th Duke of Devonshire. Although it was not used as his main residence, his wife Georgiana Spencer, a prominent but controversial figure in fashion and politics whom he married in 1774, used the house as a retreat and as a Whig stronghold for many years, being the place of death of Charles James Fox in 1806. Tory Prime Minister George Canning also died there, in 1827.

During the 19th century it fell into decline, but evaded being demolished, and was rented out by the Cavendish family, and used as a hospital from 1892. In 1929, the 9th Duke of Devonshire finally sold Chiswick House to Middlesex County Council and it became a firestation. The villa suffered damage during World War II, and in 1944 a V-2 rocket damaged one of the two wings. The wings were demolished in 1956. Today the house is a Grade 1 listed building, and is maintained by English Heritage.

Read more about Chiswick House:  The Villa Building, Principal Rooms, Gardens

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