Marble Hill House
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
Henrietta Howard became George's mistress when he was still Prince of Wales. But she was much more than the king's mistress, she was a noted wit and society hostess, and befriended many of the most scholarly and erudite men in the country. The new house at Marble Hill was intended not simply as a romantic retreat from the hurly-burly of court, but as an Arcadian idyll, a place to entertain intimate groups of friends.
And those friends took a hand in designing Howard's new villa. Pope, a neighbour in Twickenham, helped plan the layout of the house and garden, as did other of Howard's circle of friends. The house is set in 66 acres of parkland.
The interiors of Marble Hill have been carefully restored and provide a setting for a collection of Georgian fine art. Among the rooms open to visitors is the dining parlour, with luxurious hand-painted Chinese wall paper. This is not the original paper but has been meticulously created in the same style that Mrs Howard would have used. The centrepiece of the compact set of rooms is the Great Room on the first floor, where Mrs Howard held court to a coterie of sophisticated, witty, and learned friends.
In the early 18th century the stretch of the Thames from Richmond to Hampton Court was lined with similar villas and large houses. Marble Hill House is the last of these elegant riverside villas still standing, and a reminder of a bygone age of elegance.
The house can be visited only by guided tour. Tours are usually only offered at the weekends and last 90 minutes.
About Marble Hill House
Address: Richmond Road, Twickenham, London, Greater London, England, TW1 2NL
Attraction Type: Historic House
Website: Marble Hill House
Phone: 020 8892 5115
English Heritage - see also: English Heritage memberships (official website)
OS: TQ170 739
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
Nearest station: Richmond - 1.1 miles (straight line) - Zone: 4
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Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
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