Chiswick House: Wikis


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Chiswick House is Grade 1 listed, neo-Palladian, neoclassical Villa built during the reign of King George II. It is situated in Burlington Lane, Chiswick, in the London Borough of Hounslow, England.

Chiswick House
Chiswick House view from forecourt.jpg
Chiswick House today
Type Historic House
Proprietor London Borough of Hounslow
Managed by English Heritage
Size 65 acres (0.26 km2)
Main feature Neo-Palladian Villa
Other features Park and garden
Public access Villa open everyday in April 2010, then Sunday to Wednesday May to October
Museum Yes Tel 020 8995 0508
Exhibition Yes
Country England
Region Greater London
Address Burlington Lane
Postcode London W4 2RP
Refreshments New Cafe now open 2010. Tel 07825827352
Parking Yes
Shop Yes 020 8995 0508
Website EH Chiswick House
51°29′1″N 0°15′31″W / 51.48361°N 0.25861°W / 51.48361; -0.25861Coordinates: 51°29′1″N 0°15′31″W / 51.48361°N 0.25861°W / 51.48361; -0.25861
Lord Burlington and his sister Julia as children outside Burlington House, London

Chiswick House was inherited by Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington, 4th Earl of Cork and Baron Clifford (1694–1753) on the death of his father, Charles Boyle, in 1704. The mansion was a medium sized Jacobean house and used as a summer retreat to get away from the heat of London in the same way as Marble Hill House, Strawberry Hill and Syon Park were used (the town house that the family frequented the rest of the year was Burlington House in Piccadilly, today the Royal Academy). After a fire in the old Jacobean house in 1725 it is likely that the idea of building a Villa (house in the country) at Chiswick presented itself, yet this notion may already have been present in the mind of Lord Burlington since the time of his sojourn of Italy in 1719. Lord Burlington decided to build a new building, his 'Villa' to the west of Chiswick House which would be suitable to display his large collection of art[1] and furniture, much of which was purchased on his first 'Grand Tour' of Europe in 1714.[2] As accommodation was already provided in the old Jacobean house and stable block, there was little need for bedrooms in the new annex. Known as the "Apollo of the Arts" by Horace Walpole (1717–1797) because of his great patronage, the "architect earl" designed Chiswick Villa with the aid of William Kent (1685–1748) between 1726 and 1729. William Kent (who changed his name from ‘Cant’) also took a leading role in designing the gardens,[3] which are regarded as the earliest example of the 'English Landscape Garden': a mode of garden in which many aspects were deformalised whilst fostering a vision that harked back to the gardens of antiquity and adding 'variety' within the landscape.

Richard Boyle married Lady Dorothy Savile (1699–1758) on 21 March 1720 and their happy union produced three daughters. However, all three were to die before the age of twenty four. The last surviving daughter, Charlotte Boyle, married William Cavendish, 4th Duke of Devonshire,(1720–1764) and the house, Villa and gardens passed to the Cavendish family after Lady Burlington's death in her Bedchamber at Chiswick on 21 September 1758. The Villa was then occasionally used by the family, who had numerous other residences (they inherited Bolton Abbey, Londesborough in Yorkshire, and Lismore Castle in Ireland from the Boyles), and added two wings to the Villa to increase the amount of accommodation.

The Home Secretary Herbert Morrison and other officials inspecting damage caused by the first V2 bomb to hit London in Staveley Road. 3 people were killed, 22 people were injured, 11 houses had to be demolished and more than 550 were damaged

Built in 1788 by the architect John White, these wings were designed in a sympathetic style, but inimical to the concept of the property as a compact perfectly formed Villa, and were removed by the Ministry of Works in 1952. The Villa was saved from destruction by a public campaign and petitioning from the newly created Georgian Society who recognised the Villa’s unique architectural heritage and its invaluable contribution to European architectural history.

Later Years

Between the years of 1862 and 1892 the Villa was rented out by the Cavendish family to a number of successive tenants including the Duchess of Sutherland in 1867, the Prince of Wales in the 1870s, and the Marquees of Bute, patron of the painter William Burgess, from 1881 to 1892.[4] From this year the Villa was rented to Doctors T S and C M Tuke and functioned as a mental hospital for wealthy male and female patients. The Tukes' were Quakers by faith and regarded themselves as pioneers in the treatment of ill health. Where possible holistic methods and remedies were used to try and cure patients. The first V2 rocket to hit London landed in Staveley Road, near Chiswick Villa in 1944, killing three people. This supersonic rocket was fired near The Hague in the Netherlands and damaged one of the two wing buildings. Vibration damage from heavy bombing in Chiswick was responsible for much of the plaster coffering falling down in the Upper Tribunal.

English Heritage archaeologists uncover the substantial remains of the old Jacobean House

In the interwar years the Villa became a fire station and had 'Green Goddess' fire engines stationed on its forecourt. The 9th Duke of Devonshire sold Chiswick House to Middlesex County Council (with contributions from public subscription including King George V) in 1929. The gardens are currently in the care of the London Borough of Hounslow and the Villa is in the guardianship of English Heritage. The garden is open to the public from dawn until dusk without charge. Hounslow Council and English Heritage have formed part of the Chiswick House and Gardens Trust in 2005 to unify the management of the Villa and Gardens. The Trust will take over administration for the Villa and Gardens on April 1, 2010 following the completion of the restoration works Heritage Lottery Fund Grant complemented by approx GBP 4M from other sources, for restoration of the gardens.


The House (or Villa)

The Roman Forum as it appears today. These buildings were fundamental in shaping Burlington's desire to transform Britain architecturally into a new Rome.

Lord Burlington's finest architectural creation, Chiswick Villa, is inspired in part by several buildings of the sixteen century Italian architects Andrea Palladio (1508–1580) and his assistant Vincenzo Scamozzi (1552–1616), but is often incorrectly stated as being a more or less direct copy of Palladio's most famous Villa, the Villa Capra "La Rotonda" near Vicenza.[5] However, recent research has confirmed that the architecture of Chiswick Villa is more indebted to Roman sources that Lord Burlington came into contact with on his two Grand Tours than any singular building by Palladio.[6]

Palladio's most famous building, the Villa Capra

The architectural historian Richard Hewlings[7] has established that Chiswick House was an attempt by Lord Burlington to create a Roman Villa (not Renaissance) situated in a symbolic Roman garden.

View from the south west of the Villa showing a Venetian window and an unusual use of chimneys disguised as obelisks to give the Villa a sense of the ancient
Three concentric relieving arches at rear of Villa containing Venetian windows. This arrangements derives direct from drawings by Andrea Palladio in Lord Burlington's collection

Palladio exerted an important influence on Lord Burlington through his reconstructions of lost Roman buildings, many of which were never published but were purchased by Lord Burlington on his second Grand Tour and housed in the Blue Velvet Room within the Villa. These reconstructions of Roman buildings by Palladio were the source for many of the varied geometric shapes within Burlington's Villa, including the use of the octagon, circle and rectangle (with apses). Possibly the most influential building reconstructed by Palladio and used at Chiswick was the monumental Roman Baths of Diocletian, and references to this building can be found in the Domed Hall, Gallery, Library and Link Rooms.

The Pantheon in Rome. This is the source for the Chiswick dome

Burlington's use of Roman sources can be viewed in the steeped Dome of the Villa which is derived from the Pantheon in Rome. However, the source for the octagonal form of the Dome, the Upper Tribunal, Lower Tribunal and cellar at Chiswick all possibly derive from Vincenzo Scamozzi's Rocca Pisani near Vicenza. Burlington may also have been influenced in his choice of octagon from the drawings of the Renaissance architect Sebastiano Serlio[8] (1475–1554), or from Roman buildings of antiquity (for example, Lord Burlington owned Andrea Palladio's drawings of the octagonal mausoleum at the Diocletian Palace at Split in modern day Croatia). Archaeological remains have shown the Roman willingness to experiment with different geometric forms in their buildings, such as the underground octagonal Hall at Nero's Domus Aurea.

The Colosseum in Rome demonstrating the correct application of the architectural hierarchy- Doric, Ionic, Corinthian and Composite
Drawing by Piranesi of Trajan's Column, the source for the doorway at Chiswick Villa
Corinthian capitals at the Temple of Jupiter Stator, the source for the Chiswick capitals

The Villa is built of brick and its facade fronted with Portland stone with a small amount of stucco. The finely carved Corinthian capitals on the prostyle, systyle, hexastyle portico at Chiswick were carved by John Boson and are derived from the Temple of Jupiter Stator (also known as the Temple of Castor and Pollux) . The inset door, projecting plinth and 'v' necked rusticated vermiculation (resembling 'tufa') were all derived from the base of Trajan's Column. The short sections of crenellated wall with ball finials which extend out either side of the Villa were symbolic of medieval (or Roman) fortified town walls and were inspired by their use by Palladio at his church of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice and by Inigo Jones (1573–1652) (Palladio also produced woodcuts of the Villa Foscari with crenulated sections of walls in his I Quattro Libri dell' Architettura in 1570, yet in reality they were never built).To reinforce this link two full length statues of Palladio and Jones by the Flemish born celebrated sculptor John Michael Rysbrack (1694-170)[9] are positioned in front of these sections of wall. Palladio's influence can also be found in the general cubic form of the Villa with its central hall with other rooms leading off its axis. The Villa is a half cube of 70 feet by 70 feet by 35 feet. Inside are rooms of 10 feet square, 15 feet square and 15 feet by 20 feet by 25 feet. The distance from the apex of the Dome to the base of the Cellar is 70 feet, making the whole pile a perfect, if invisible, cube. However, the decorative cornice at Chiswick was derived from a contemporary source, that of the Catholic architect James Gibbs's cornice at the Church of St- Martin-in-the-Fields, London.

On the portico leading to the Domed Hall is positioned a bust of the Roman Emperor Augustus. Augustus was regarded by many of the early eighteenth century English aristocracy as the greatest of all the Roman Emperors (the early Georgian era was known as the 'Augustan' age). This link with the Emperor Augustus was reinforced in the garden at Chiswick through the presence of Egyptianizing objects such as sphinxes (who symbolically guard the 'Temple' front and rear), obelisks and stone lions. Lord Burlington and his contemporaries were conscious of the fact that it was Augustus who invaded Egypt and brought back Egyptian objects and erected them in Rome.[10]

As such Grand Tourists visiting Rome would have regarded such objects as Roman. Augustus was viewed through eighteenth century eyes as a peacemaker who had brought to an end the civil wars. In his own words he "found Rome clay and left it marble”. Augustus was also seen to have transformed Rome architecturally into a city fit to rule an expanding Empire, whilst carrying out large-scale public works (such as erecting drainage and aqueduct systems) for the benefit of the Roman people. The Roman architect Marcus Vitruvius Pollio (‘Vitruvius’) was also writing in the age of Augustus, a fact not lost on Lord Burlington. (It was also believed that Jesus Christ had chosen to be born at this specific time).

James Gibbs Church at St-Martin-in-the-Fields. This was the source for the cornice at Chiswick Villa

The origins of Rome were made manifest at Chiswick through Burlington's strategic deployment of statues, including those of a gladiator, a Venus de' Medici, a wolf (used to inspire nostalgic memories to the legendary founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus) and a boar located at the rear of the Villa (symbolic of the great Boar hunt). Inside the Villa many references to the Roman goddess Venus abound, as Venus was the mother of Aeneas who fled Troy and co-founded Rome. On the forecourt to the Villa are several 'Term' statues that derive their forms from the Roman god Terminus, the god of distance and space. Such items therefore are used as boundary markers, positioned in the hedge at set distances apart.

Bust of the Emperor Augustus on the Portico at Chiswick House

At the rear of the Villa were positioned 'Herm' statues that derive from the Greek god Hermes, the patron of travelers and Freemasons and thus are welcoming figures for all who wish to visit Lord Burlington's gardens (Lord Burlington's gardens at Chiswick were the most visited of all London Villas. A small entrance charge applied).

Lord Burlington's intentions for his Villa have never been established and received much speculation. The social commentator, Lord John Hervey, for example, described the newly built Villa as 'Too small to live in, and too big to hang to a watch'. John Clerk of Penecuik described it as 'Rather curious that convenient', whilst Horace Walpole referred to the Villa as 'the beautiful model'. Burlington only spoke of his Villa in passing as his 'toy'. For the most part Burlington's intention for his new building remains a mystery.[11] What is certain is that the Villa was never intended for occupation as it contained no kitchens and space for only three beds on the ground floor. It is possible that one purpose of the Villa was as an art gallery as inventories show over one hundred and sixty seven paintings hanging in situ at Chiswick House in Lord Burlington's lifetime, many purchased on his two Grand Tours of Europe.

The Relationship between Villa and Gardens

'Term' statues at the front of the Villa

It can be established by Lord Burlington's use of certain motifs and decorative schemes that the Villa and its gardens were regarded as a single entity. For Burlington viewed the garden as another room to the Villa, or the Villa a singular part in a much greater whole. This is expressed most predominately in Lord Burlington's reflection of certain features employed both within the Villa and its gardens. For example, on the portico of the Villa Burlington includes a dado rail with mock picture frames located above. Here Lord Burlington reflects internal features in an outside space. This concept is reinforced with the use of 'thermal' and 'serlian' windows within the Villa to capture natural light, together with positioning the main staircase on the outside of the Villa. Within the interiors of the Villa William Kent painted a plan of the Temple of Fortuna Virilis;- the portico of which is reconstructed by Burlington on the Ionic Temple in the Orange Tree Garden. The apses utilised in the Gallery Rooms are likewise introduced into the garden as terminating features to the two lakes. At the Bowling Green Lord Burlington positioned eight sweet Chestnut trees around its perimeter, echoing the eight Tuscan columns located around the circumference of the Lower Tribune (here associated the primitive Tuscan order with trees, the first columns). It is through such designs that Lord Burlington attempted to break down the barriers between man-made architecture and the architecture of nature. This philosophy was not dissimilar to Andrea Palladio's approach to his Villas in Vicenza, many of which had a semi-agricultural purpose, often with the ground floor given over to commercial purposes such as stables for livestock, whilst the piano noble used for entertainment

The Principal Rooms

Chiswick Villa is built of brick and its facade fronted with Portland stone with a small amount of stucco. The walls of the Villa, interrupted only by the porticos and Venetian windows, were deliberately austere, yet its interiors more refined and colourfull [12]. This followed both Palladio and Jones’s recommendations that the façade of a building, like that of a gentlemen, should be businesslike and serious, yet inside, away from prying eyes, could be more relaxed, playful and informal.

Chiswick Villa revolutionised English architecture in two specific ways. Firstly, Chiswick Villa was the first domestic building to have a centrally planned room which provided access to other rooms around its perimeter.

Full length statue of Andrea Palladio by Michael Rysbrack
Lord Burlington's arrangement of steps that enter from the side may have been influenced by buildings such as Palladio's Villa Foscari

The source for this feature was Andrea Palladio's centrally planned Villas, such as the Villa Capra and Villa Foscari. Secondly, Lord Burlington used different geometric shapes for his rooms, some with coved ceilings.

Such a variety of differing spatial forms, many derived from Palladio's reconstructions of ancient Roman buildings (such as the Baths of Diocletian) had never previously been seen in English architecture.

Many of the most important rooms within Chiswick Villa were situated on the piano nobile (Upper Floor) and comprise eight rooms and a link building. The rooms on this level were either of the Composite or Corinthian order of architecture to illustrate their important status.

This is in contrast with the ground floor level of the Villa which was always intended to be plain and unadorned, with low ceilings, little carving or gilding. These rooms were for business purposes and here Lord Burlington followed Palladio’s recommendations of restricting the lowest order of Roman architecture, the Tuscan, on the ground floor. The three internal spiral staircases, based on Palladian precedent, were not intended to be accessed by Lord Burlington's guests and were used by the house servants only (the space for a fourth internal staircase was instead used as a 'Dumb Waiter').

The Upper Tribune (or Domed Hall)

The coffered ceiling in the Domed Hall at Chiswick, derived from the Roman ruin of the Basilica of Maxentius
The Upper Tribunal looking towards the Gallery. Of note is the eight pointer Garter star/ Masonic Blazing star in the centre of the floor with a painting of King Charles I in the background

The Upper Tribune is an octagonal room surmounted with a central dome with octagonal coffering derived from the Basilica of Maxentius (Temple of Constantine). The half-moon lunette windows are called 'Thermal' or 'Diocletian' windows and their use at Chiswick was the first in northern Europe. Running beneath the Diocletian windows in the frieze are several heads of lions, a feature also associated with the Diocletian bath houses, with Old St Paul's Cathedral under Inigo Jones and with the Temple of Jerusalem.

In the original unexecuted decorative scheme for this room, illustrated by William Kent around 1727, in the spaces between the Diocletian windows were half-moon panels with painted (possibly fresco) scenes. The picture frames were smaller than those in place today and therefore did not have the problem of resting uncomfortably just above the stone pediments. Instead of busts on brackets, Kent includes small panels placed between the four doors. Kent also illustrated small cherubs who reclined on the triangular pediments, similar to those illustrated by Inigo Jones on the new west front of Old St. Paul's Cathedral.

This room also contained four heavy gilded tables carved with Kent's characteristic baroque shells and accompanied with central carved lion masks (complimenting the lion heads in the frieze). For each table two mahogany chairs were placed either side. These chairs had pediment backs which matched the four stone triangular pediments in this room. Eight large paintings were placed in gilded frames above the stone pediments and busts, including three of the Stuart and French Royal family, one executed by Sir Godfrey Kneller of Lord Burlington and his sisters, and popular mythological scenes such as 'Daphne and Apollo' and 'The Judgment of Paris'. Twelve antique busts of Roman and Greek figures, such as Emperors, poets, politicians and generals were also positioned on gilded brackets.

In the centre of the floor in this room is positioned an eight-pointed star, a potential reference to the star of the Order of the Garter which was introduced by King Charles I in 1629 and received by Lord Burlington from King George II in 1730. However, positioned immediately before the large portrait of King Charles I and his family it provides further circumstantial evidence that Lord Burlington may have received an earlier secret Garter from the Stuart Kings in exile (in this painting King Charles I can be seen wearing the blue sash of the Garter with a 'Lesser' George attached).

This central room, which provides access to the Gallery, Green and Red Velvet Rooms, would originally have been used for poetry readings, theatrical performances, gambling and small musical recitals (for example the composer George Frideric Handel (1685–1759) may have performed in this room. Handel lived with the family at Burlington House for two years when he arrived in England in 1712). The Upper Tribune was entered from the outside staircase in imitation of the staircases on many of Palladio's Villas in Vicenza.

The Gallery

Andrea Palladio's reconstruction of the Temple of Venus and Roma (also known as the Temple of the Sun and Moon)
View of the central Gallery showing the apse derived from the ancient Roman Temple of Venus and Roma

The tripartite series of rooms overlooking the garden at the rear of the Villa are collectively known as the ‘Gallery Rooms’. The distinctive apses here are derived from the Temple of Venus and Roma (Temple of the Sun and Moon),- the same source that Inigo Jones utilised when he refaced the west front of old St. Paul’s Cathedral before its destruction in 1666. In the four niches were placed classical mythological statues of a Muse, Mercury, Apollo and Venus. This Gallery was designed as a statue Gallery and if in Italy this series of rooms would have been a loggia (a room open to the elements on one or more sides). The distinctive nine-panelled compartmentalised ceiling is a conflation to two ceilings derived from The Queen’s House at Greenwich and The Banqueting House at Whitehall, both designed by Inigo Jones and both Royal apartments.

The central painting, by the Venetian artist Sebastiano Ricci (1659–1734), is a close copy of Paolo Veronese's (c.1528-88) ‘The Defense of Scutari’ located in the Doge’s Palace, Venice. The side paintings, believed to be by William Kent, depict double cornucopias which form crusader tents accompanied by Turkish prisoners with arms and armour positioned in various postures of captivity. The military theme in these paintings may possibly be a reference to Lord Burlington's status as a Knight of the Order of the Garter or his position as head of the 'Gentlemen Pensioners' (symbolic bodyguards to the King). Alternatively these paintings may be of a Masonic motivation as in the eighteenth century it was believed that the Crusader Military orders, such as The Poor Knights of the Temple of Solomon (Knights Templar) and the Knights of St John (Hospitallers), were in some way inexplicably linked.[13] These higher 'Chivalric and Historic' orders met in 'encampments' rather than lodges and were predominately Christian in their outlook and composition.

This room also contains two splendid purple Egyptian porphyry urns purchased by Burlington on his first Grand Tour in 1714. These are accompanied by two heavy tables designed by Kent with their distinctive shells and featuring a mask of Neptune, accompanied by two water cherubs wearing pearls. The two handsome marble tops were inlaid with twenty two different types of marble and formed into geometric shapes with Greek Key (meander) borders. These were also joined by two torchers (flame holders) in the form of ‘Terms’. Either end of the Gallery are rooms that are circular and octagonal in shape. Together with the central rectangular Gallery, this series of geometric forms derive from Andrea Palladio’s reconstructions of the Diocletian Bathhouses, which designs Lord Burlington owned. The female faces in the decorations of the two end rooms tell the story as told by Vitruvius of the origins of the Corinthian order. The double sunflowers mark Lord and Lady Burlington’s status as courtiers in the service of the King and Queen (but Hanoverian or Jacobite?).

The Pillared Drawing Room

Ceiling in the Upper Link, based on a ceiling in a building in the ancient Roman funerary city of Pozzuoli. The vault form and its size suggest that the original ceiling may have sealed a mausoleum

Today known as the Upper Link, this room was built c.1730 to attach the new Villa to the old Jacobean House. The room is divided into three sections by the inclusion of unfluted Corinthian pillars which support an elaborate Corinthian entablature and ceiling. Above the entablature are open screens. These features are associated with the Baths of Diocletian and Caracalla, with Andrea Palladio’s reconstructions again the source. The ceiling is a copy of a sixteenth century design depicting a decorative relief from a Roman sarcophagus from a room that may have sealed a mausoleum in the Roman funerary city of Pozzuoli. Outside this room is a central avenue flanked by funerary urns. This was Lord Burlington’s attempt to symbolise the Appian Way which led to ancient Rome. It was by this road that the Emperor Augustus chose to enter Rome after the assassination of Julius Caesar on 15 March 44 B.C.

The Green Velvet Room

One of four 'Green Men' in the fireplaces in the Green Velvet Room at Chiswick Villa

The Green Velvet Room is 15 feet by 20 feet by 25 feet in size and has no painted ceilings. The nine panelled compartmentalised ceiling is derived from Inigo Jones’s design for the Queen’s Chapel at Old Somerset House (formally Denmark House, now demolished). Four depictions of The Green Man, pagan god of the oak and symbol of rebirth and resurrection, can be viewed carved into the marble fireplaces. The stone picture frames above the fireplaces are a conflation of two designs by Inigo Jones and contain mythological paintings by Jean Baptiste Monnoyer (1636–99) and the Venetian painter Sebastiano Ricci who also carried out commissions at Burlington House in Piccadilly. This room later become an extension to Lady Burlington's Bedchamber and closet, situated nextdoor. Today this rooms contains six paintings of the gardens by the Flemist artist Pieter Andreas Rysbrack. These paintings are particularly valuable as they trace the developement of the gardens from its formal to naturalistic appearance under Burlington, Kent and Pope. This room also features a painting by George Lambert with figures attributed to William Hogarth. This is regarded by art historians as the first painting to depict the English Landscape Garden.

Lady Burlington’s Bedchamber and Closet

Ceiling in the Bedchamber Closet and Red Closet Room at Chiswick House. This ceiling is derived from a ceiling by Inigo Jones at The Queen's House, Greenwich

Lady Burlington died in this bedchamber in 1758, followed by the Whig leader Charles James Fox in 1806. The purpose of this room in Lord Burlington’s lifetime is unknown, but it appears Lady Burlington moved into this room some time after the death of her last daughter in 1754. Today several portraits of the Savile family can be viewed in this room and in the Bedchamber closet. One painting of note is of the poet Alexander Pope, painted by his good friend William Kent. The bedchamber closet is a perfect cube and has a ceiling design derived from the Queen’s House, Greenwich. Prince of Wales swags and feathers can be seen in both rooms, possibly denoting the Villa as a Royal Palace.

The Red Velvet Room

The Red Velvet Room once contained the largest and most expensive paintings in Lord Burlington’s collection, including paintings by Sir Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641), Giacomo Cavedone (1577–1660), Peter Paul Rubens (1573–1640), Rembrandt van Ryn (1606–69), Salvador Rosa (1615–1673), Pier Francesco Mola (1612–1666), Jacopo Ligozzi (c.1547-1632), Jean Lemaire (1598–1659), Francisque Millet (1642–79) and Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519). The Venetian window in this room is derived from the Queen’s Chapel at St James’s Palace and was much imitated. The fireplaces and surrounds again come from sources by Inigo Jones, in this case from the Queen’s House, Greenwich. These marble fireplaces have the inclusion of roses, Scottish thistles, grapes, sunflowers and fleur-de-lys which have been interpreted as Jacobite symbols.[14] The ceiling design is derived from the Queen’s Chapel, Old Somerset House (previously known as Denmark House after the wife of King James I).

Detail in the Red Velvet Room ceiling of a ground floor plan of the Temple of Fortuna Virilis after Andrea Palladio

The central ceiling painting by William Kent represents Lord Burlington’s patronage of the arts. The main character is the Roman god Mercury, the great patron of the arts and god of commerce, who is dispensing money into the arts depicted at the bottom of the panel. Burlington's wealth is represented by a putto who holds a cornucopia. The arts are represented by a self-portrait of William Kent (art), a supine bust of Inigo Jones (sculpture) and a putto with a temple plan of the Temple of Fortuna Virilis (architecture) after Palladio.

Detail from the Red Velvet Room ceiling of a self-portrait of William Kent. This illustrates Lord Burlington's patronage of artists.

An additional interpretation of this ceiling and its iconography relates to Freemasonry and its legendary history,[15] and that this space could have functioned as a Masonic Lodge. Positioned around the central painting are six roundels containing personifications of six of the then known planets of the Moon, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn with their associated zodiac signs. The seventh planet, Mercury, is personified in the central painting and is accompanied by a section of the northern zodiacal wheel containing the zodiacs for the planet Mercury and the constellations Gemini and Virgo. As such this ceiling painting is an important depiction of the universe as viewed through early Georgian eyes. (The Freemasons equated the seven known planets with the several liberal arts of which the fifth, Geometry, was considered the most important). At the centre of the painting is positioned the eight pointed star of the Order of the Garter which Lord Burlington received from King George II in 1730. This star also represents the Sun at the longest day of the year, the Summer Solstice, a day which the Freemasons associate with their Patron Saint, the 'messenger' (like Mercury) St John the Baptist.

Thistles, Scottish thistles and Fleur-de-lys- Jacobite symbols in the marble fireplaces?

A third, and potentially the most controversial explanation of the iconographical program of the central ceiling painting can be read in terms of Lord Burlington's suspected Jacobite loyalties. In this regard the meaning of the painting can be interpreted as the 'Crucifixion' and 'Resurrection' of King Charles I, the great Stuart martyr whose murder was promoted in Jacobite rhetoric as paralleled to the Passion of Jesus Christ (King Charles II returned from exile in 1660). If this reading is correct, the three ladies at the bottom of the central panel represent the three Maries who biblically were present at Christ's Crucifixion. Here the bare-breasted lady in blue with child is the Virgin Mary; the lady dressed in blue and red with reddish hair bound up in the style of a courtesan and on her knees as if at the base of the cross, Mary Magdalene. The third lady, holding a roundel containing the image of William Kent, is the remaining Mary. King Charles I is represented by Mercury, as the Stuarts associated themselves with this Roman god of eloquence (as depicted on the Banqueting House ceiling) and ruled as 'Mercurian' Monarchs. Lord Burlington would also have been aware of the Stuarts identification with Mercury through the theatre and masque set designs for the Stuart Court which were designed by Inigo Jones, the majority of which Lord Burlington owned.

The Blue Velvet Room and Closet

The ceiling of the Blue Velvet Room depicting 'Architecture' with dividers and aided by three putti clutching architectural implements
Snakes and rats, symbols sacred to Venus and Apollo, in the 'grotesque' style painting in the Blue Velvet Room Ceiling

The Blue Velvet Room is a perfect cube measuring 15 feet square to the egg-and-dart lip. This room was Lord Burlington’s studiola or ‘Drawing Room’ and originally contained a large table by William Kent which contained many designs by architects such as Andrea Palladio, Inigo Jones, John Webb and Vincenzo Scamozzi, which were ready for inspection. The ceiling is supported by eight large cyma reversa brackets, all in the Italian manner. The ceiling was painted by William Kent and shows a personification of ‘Architecture’ accompanied by three putti who grasp architectural implements in the form of T-Square, Set-Square and plumb line. ‘Architecture’ herself holds dividers and an unknown Temple plan (possible derived from the Jesuit architect Juan Bautista Villalpando who produced a classical reconstruction of the sanctum sanctorum at the heart of Solomon's Temple).[16] All four characters are seated on a fallen, hollow, metal column and are surrounded by a canopy of stars.

This ceiling represents Lord Burlington’s interest in architecture. Alternatively the ceiling and its surrounding decoration (including the presence of rats and snakes) can been interpreted as having a Masonic motivation, as dividers, Set-Squares, T-Squares and plumb lines were important Masonic tools of morality. The putto to the left of ‘Architecture’ holds his finger to his lips suggesting silence or secrecy- a gesture mimicking the Egyptian child god of silence, Harpocrates.

Rooms on the Ground Floor

Palladio's reconstruction of the Baptistry of Constantine. This was the building on which the Lower Tribune with its ring of eight Tuscan columns was based

The Lower Tribune

The Lower Tribune was essentially a waiting room (an ‘inner court’ or ‘vestibule’) for associates wishing to meet with Lord Burlington. The room is an octagon with eight Tuscan columns positioned around its perimeter. The architect Andrea Palladio made it clear that the Tuscan order of architecture, being the simplest of the five Roman orders, should only ever be used on the ground floor of a building as they were suitable for prisons, fortifications and amphitheatres. The eight pillars placed in a circular formation within on octagon are derived from the Baptistery of Constantine, (also known as the Baptistery of St John Lateran), a building reconstructed by Palladio in his I Quattro Libri dell’Architettura in 1570.

The Library

Echoing the Gallery Rooms located above; the Library is a tripartite arrangement of rooms composed of an octagon, rectangle and circular spatial forms. Today devoid of books (they are all at Chatsworth House, Derbyshire, or in the Royal Institute of British Architects, now located in the Victoria and Albert Museum), in the 1740s these rooms were lined with books on all aspects of the arts including sections on architecture, antiques, sculpture, history, poetry, geography, fortification, science, divinity, philosophy and exploration. Books were in English, French, Italian and Latin. Lord Burlington owned three copies of the original 1570 publication of Andrea Palladio’s I Quattro Libri dell’ Architettura which were also housed here. Many of these books were placed in specially commissioned cabinets which were designed by William Kent. Twelve steps leading from the octagonal section of the Library descend to an early English brick vaulted octagonal cellar, from which could be operated a ‘dumb waiter’ where wine and beer could be hoisted quickly to thirsty guests on the piano nobile.

The Lower Link

The Lower Link building with a lead sphinx originally positioned in the garden

The Lower Link Building (lower Pillared Drawing Room) was built around 1730 to link the Old Jacobean House to the new Villa. This room contained no fireplaces and its doors were open to the elements making this room very cold in the winter. In the four niches classical statues may have been positioned or flowers arranged in the summer. As according to Palladio's recommendations Burlington used two screens of Tuscan columns in this room with the arrangement replicating the tripartite arrangement of Roman Bath Houses. Today a lead Sphinx is positioned in this room, together with one of the famous Arundel Marbles which originally was inset into the base of an obelisk within the gardens.

The Summer Parlour

The Summer Parlour was the most important room on the ground floor of the Villa. Possible the oldest part of the complex, it was designed around 1715 by either Lord Burlington or James Gibbs (who also designed the ‘Pagan Temple’ in the gardens. James Gibbs was sacked by Lord Burlington on advice of Colen Campbell,[17] who subsequently took over his architectural projects at Chiswick and Burlington House).

This is the only room on this level to have elevated and painted ceilings. Originally designed as a Summer Room for Lady Burlington, in terms of expense the contents of this private room doubled that of any other interior. The ceilings were executed by William Kent in the ‘Grotesque’ style- a mode of painting found predominately in subterranean Rome and popularised by the artist Raphael. The 'Grotesque Style', rare in Britain until reintroduced by William Kent at Kensington Palace, was comprised of foliage forms interwoven with mythical creatures, such as cherubs or sphinxes.

Masonic medal dating from 1733 showing the god Harpocrates with his finger raised to his lips in a gesture of silence and secrecy. He is surrounded by some of the symbols of Freemasonry

In the ceiling of the Summer Parlour, Kent also added small owls, a motif that incorporated the owl of the Savile heraldic device. Kent also designed two tables with matching mirror frames which also contained the owl device (the owl was also associated with the owl-faced Roman goddess Minerva (Aphrodite), like Lady Burlington a great patroness of the arts). The original elbow chairs in this room were made by Stephen Langley and were unusual in their use if Greek Key interspersed with flowers. Today these large pieces of furniture are situated in the Green Velvet Room. At the rear of the Summer Parlour was a small china closet for Lady Burlington’s most valuable objects. It was in the Summer Parlour that Lady Burlington was taught to paint by William Kent.

Two putti painting a bust in the ceiling of the Summer Parlour. One putto raises his finger to his lips in a Masonic gesture of silence and secrecy whilst the bust has a close resemblance to the Polish Princess Maria Clementina Sobieska

The central ceiling panel shows a sunflower painted at the centre with four scenes of ports headed by shells of the water goddess Venus. The panel nearest the fireplace (in Burlington’s time the doorway) depicts two putti, one of whom paints a female bust and the second who holds his finger to his lips illustrating the need for silence.

The historian Jane Clark has suggested that the female bust painted by one of the putti bears an uncanny resemblance to the Stuart Queen and Polish Princess (wife of James III) Maria Clementina Sobieska. If this identification is accurate, the two putti with reddish hair who accompany her may possibly be representations of the two Stuart Princes living in exile, Charles (Bonnie Prince Charlie- the 'Young Pretender') and Henry Stuart who were children at the time the painting was executed . In the ceiling painting furthest away from the door the two putti reappear, this time hugging what appears to be a poorly painted pug dog. The pug dog was a symbol adopted by the 'Society of the Mopses', a European pseudo-Masonic organisation who were comprised of both male and female Freemasons.[18] As a symbol of revolt, the pug dog became particularly important after the publication of Pope Clement XII’s Papal Bull In Eminenti in 1738 which condemned Catholic involvement in 'Craft' (the first three degrees) Freemasonry. As Clark explains, a symbolic initiation of female Freemasons involved the visiting of ports, a ritual with provides a possible link to the four scenes of ports arranged around the inner perimeter of the central ceiling painting. The ports are framed with shells, a reference to the Roman water goddess Venus and the Egyptian protector of ports and sailors, Isis. As such the sunflower at the centre would double as a Masonic Blazing Star, echoing the Garter/Blazing stars at the centre of the Red Velvet Room ceiling painting and in the centre of the floor in the Upper Tribunal.

Alternative Interpretations for the use of the Villa

1. As a large garden building or pavilion.

2. As a Masonic Temple

One of three sphinxes positioned at the rear of Chiswick Villa symbolically protecting the 'Temple' from the uninitiated[19]
An idealised representation of a Masonic Lodge. Of note is the circular form of the Temple, the signs of the Zodiac and the two sphinxes. At the rear stands a figure with his finger raised to his lips requesting silence

Chiswick House is believed by some scholars to have functioned as a Masonic Lodge or Temple, and English Heritage, which administers the site, offers a tour exploring the building's Masonic symbolism[20] This theory has some merit as the ceiling paintings by William Kent in the Red, Blue, Gallery, and Summer Parlour Rooms in the Villa have all been shown to contain iconography of a strong Masonic, Hermetic, and possible Jacobite character. Masonic iconography has also been detected within the gardens.[21]

Freemasonry in England officially began with the joining of four lodges in London in 1717. However, it is known that Freemasons existed as far back as at least the mid seventeenth century and possibly earlier (in its original form the word 'Freemason' was used to described medieval craftsmen who worked predominately with 'Free Stone'). From the early 1720s Freemasonry was to expand at an increasing rate with many of the aristocracy becoming 'brothers' by 1750. For example, the poet Alexander Pope, the architect Nicholas Hawksmoor (1661–1736), the Whig leader Robert Walpole (1676–1745), the thespian David Garrick (1717–1779), the painters Sir James Thornhill (1675–1734) and William Hogarth (1697–1764), and the antiquarian William Stukeley (1687–1765) were all known Freemasons.

Clay pipe with Masonic decorations discovered in the gardens at Chiswick House by English Heritage archaeologists in 2008

Lord Burlington's status as an important Freemason is indicated by his inclusion in the Freemason's Pocket Companion of 1736 and in a poem in James Anderson's Constitutions of the Free Masons of 1723 where he is linked to an illustrious line of personalities in Freemasonry's legendary history.

Lord Burlington was also involved in building projects for aristocrats such as Thomas Coke, 1st Earl of Leicester (1697–1759) at Holkham Hall, Norfolk,[22] and Charles Lennox, 2nd Duke of Richmond, at Goodwood House,[23] West Sussex. Both men were Grand Masters of the Freemasons at the time of Lord Burlington's and William Kent's involvement. (Lord Burlington's banker, Henry Hoare, was also a Freemason and his gardens at Stourhead have been identified as possessing Masonic characteristics and themes (as has Francis Dashwood's estate as West Wycombe and Thomas Coke's gardens at Holkham)).

In 2008 English Heritage archaeologists found a clay pipe decorated with Masonic symbols in a trench near to the Villa. This pipe can be dated before the union of the 'Moderns' and the 'Ancient' in 1813 as it is decorated with the three turrets found on the insignia of 1717 Grand Lodge of England which took some of its insignia from the London Company of Masons.(The arms of the London Company of Masons can also be seen carved on the elaborate tomb of Lord Burlington's bricklayer, Richard Wright, who is buried in nearby St Nicholas churchyard)

3. As a Royal Palace in waiting for the return of the exiled Stuart Monarchy.

The Jacobite defeat at the battle of Culloden in 1746. This effectively ended the Jacobite attempt to retake the British throne
The beheading of King Charles I. Charles I was the great Jacobite martyr who was regarded by his followers as a saint.

In 1995 the historian Jane Clark[24] published a paper on the purpose of Chiswick Villa which caused a sensation in art history circles.[25] In her paper Lord Burlington is Here, Clark claimed that Lord Burlington led a secret double life and that instead of being a loyal, Whig aristocrat in support of the newly installed Hanoverian regime, that he was in fact a Jacobite supporter who secretly was facilitating the return of the exiled Stuart monarchy. It is known, for example, that when abroad Lord Burlington travelled under the alias of 'Mr Buck' and this name appears as a Jacobite cipher name in the Stuart papers today housed at Windsor Castle. It is also suspected that Lord Burlington may have received an early Garter from the Stuart family in addition to the Garter that he received from King George II by 1730. By the completion of the Villa in 1730 Lord Burlington was in serious debt and was forced to sell off estates in Ireland. It is possible that the reason behind this could be his loaning of money to the exiled Stuart Court. A particular lucrative way in which the Stuart monarchy was financed was through singers and dancers benefit concerts, an area of the arts in which Lord and Lady Burlington were closely involved.

For Clark the true purpose of Chiswick Villa was as a symbolic Royal Palace which awaited the return of the 'Kings over water' who were destined to rule by ‘Divine Right’. This theory was further strengthened by the recent research of the late Giles Worsley who illustrated that certain 'Palladian' features used by Inigo Jones were only utilised in Royal buildings or buildings linked to Royalty.[26] These features, employed by Lord Burlington at his Villa at Chiswick, were the Serliana (Venetian window) and the Portico.

Worsley also pointed out that the unexecuted designs of Whitehall Palace by Jones and Webb were also influenced by the Temple of Jerusalem,[27] the Whitehall designs of which Lord Burlington owned and housed at Chiswick Villa.

The Gardens

Lord Burlington's gardens were inspired by such gardens as those of the Emperor Hadrian's Villa Adriana at Tivoli, from which the three statues at the end of the exedra were alleged to have come

There can be no doubt that the gardens at Chiswick were an attempt to symbolically recreate a garden of ancient Rome which were believed to have followed the form of the gardens of Greece.[28] The gardens, like the Villa, were inspired by the architecture of ancient Rome combined with the influence of poetry and theatre design.

The gardens at Chiswick were originally of a standard Jacobean design but were from the 1720s were in a constant state of transition with Burlington and Kent experimenting in new forms of design and influences incorporating such diverse elements as mock fortification, artificial boundaries (e.g. the Ha Ha), classical fabriques, statues, groves, egyptianizing objects, bowling greens, winding walks, cascades and water features.

The Bagnio. Designed by Lord Burlington and Colen Campbell in 1717

Authors of antiquity, such as Horace and Pliny, were major influences on eighteenth century minds for their descriptions of their own gardens and were particularly important as they describe gardens with alleys shaded by trees, parterres, topiary, and fountains. The first architect of the gardens at Chiswick appears to have been the King's gardener, Charles Bridgeman (1690–1738), who was believed to have worked on the gardens with Lord Burlington around 1720,[29] and subsequently with William Kent, whom Lord Burlington had brought back with him on his return from his second Grand Tour in 1719. William Kent was also inspired by the picture-postcards scenes of the French artists Nicolas Poussin (1594–1665) and Claude Lorrain (1600–1682). The poet Alexander Pope (who had his own Villa with gardens in close by Twickenham), was also involved and responsible for confirming Lord Burlington's belief that Roman and Greek gardens were largely 'informal' affairs, with nature ruled by God.

A reconstructed ground plan of the younger Pliny's Tuscan Villa, from Robert Castell, The Villas of the Ancient, 1728. Castell dedicated this book to Lord Burlington

Evidence for this belief was provided through his translation into English of Homer's cornerstones of European literature The Iliad and The Odyssey which provided brief glimpses of Greek gardens which gave validation to Burlington's belief in the naturalistic appearance of Roman gardens. Theatrical aspects were added to the gardens by William Kent who studied the theatre and masque designs of Inigo Jones for the Stuart Court[30] which were owned by Lord Burlington and housed within his Villa. Burlington, Kent and Pope were also informed by the writings of Anthony Ashley Cooper, 3rd Earl of Shaftsbury (1671–1713) who advocated 'variety' in a garden, not complete deformalisation.

The gardens at Chiswick were filled with fabriques (garden buildings) which illustrated Lord Burlington's knowledge of Roman, Greek, Egyptian and Renaissance architecture, and statues and architecture which expressed his Whig (and very possibly Jacobite) ideals.

Lord Burlington's garden at Chiswick was one of the first to include gardens buildings and ancient statues which were to symbolically envoke the mood and appearance of ancient Rome. Soon after other English gardens such as Stourhead, Stowe, West Wycombe, Holkham, and Rousham were to follow suit creating a type of garden which eventually would become known internationally as the English Landscape Garden. Lord Burlington's gardens at Chiswick had a number of these fabriques including the Ionic Temple, Bagnio, Pagan Temple, Rustic House, and two Deer Houses, several of which will be discused below.

Beyond the exedra in the gardens lies an area known as the 'Orange Tree Garden' in which was situated a small garden building known as the Ionic Temple.

The Temple of Fortuna Virilis- the source for the portico of the Ionic Temple

The Ionic Temple is circular in form and is derived from either the Pantheon in Rome or possibly from the Temple of Romulus. The portico of this temple is derived from the Temple of Fortuna Virilis which William Kent illustrates in the ceiling of the Red Velvet Room within the Villa. Immediately in front of the Temple lies a circular pool of water with a small obelisk positioned in its centre.[31] Around the base of the pool of water are three concentric rings of raised grass conforming originally to a 3:4:5 ratio echoing the dimentions of the Red and Green Velvet Room within the Villa. A second obelisk was erected at the centre of another patte d'oie or 'Goose Foot' beyond the cascade to west of the Villa.

View of the portico of the Ionic Temple in the Orange Tree Garden at Chiswick Villa

A theater of hedges known as an exedra was designed by William Kent and originally displayed ancient statues of three unknown Roman gentlemen. However, these three statues were later speculatively 'identified' by the writer Daniel Defoe (1659–1731) as Caesar (100-44 BC) and Pompey (106-48 B.C) responsible for the decline of the Roman republic facing a statue of Cicero (106-43 B.C), the defender of the Republic. This was intended as a criticism of the policies of Burlington's opponent, Prime Minister Robert Walpole. However, it was the figures of Homer, Virgil, Socrates, Lucius Verus and Lycurgus which once graced the exedra whose political message was one of democracy and anti-tyranny.[32] (William Kent made a similar statement against Walpole for Lord Cobham at Stowe. The original design by William Kent for the end of the exedra was a stone 'Temple of Worthies' which was rejected by Lord Burlington and subsequently used by Lord Cobham at Stowe).

William Kent also added a cascade (a symbolic Grotto), inspired by the upper cascade of the gardens of the Villa Aldobrandini[33]. Kent's garden also featured a flower garden, an orchard, an aviary (which included an owl) and a symmetrical planned arrangement of trees known as the 'Grove'. To the side of the Grove was a patte d'oie, or 'Goosefoot', three avenues which terminated by buildings including the 'Bagnio' (or Casino, designed by Lord Burlington and Colen Campbell) in 1716, the 'Pagan Temple' (designed by the Catholic Baroque architect James Gibbs) and the Rustic House (designed by Lord Burlington).

William Kent's cascade was derived from Italian sources and apart from being a waterfall was a symbolic Grotto

Terminating one end of the 'Ha Ha' stands a Deer House designed by Lord Burlington. A second Deer House once stood at the opposite end of the 'Ha Ha' until replaced by Inigo Jones gateway in 1738 (see below). Both Deer Houses featured pyramidal roofs and characteristic 'Virtuvian' doors; a feature that comes directly from Palladio's woodcuts from his I Quattro Libri dell' Architettura of 1570.[34] Immediately behind the Ha Ha and positioned between the two Deer Houses was a building known as the Orangery, which, as its name suggests, originally housed Lords Burlington's orange trees over the cold winter period (some of these trees were once positioned around the perimeter of the Ionic Temple). Part of the floor of this building was laid out in imitation of a Roman mosaic which English Heritage archaeologists in 2009 dated to the mid eighteenth century. Next to the remaining Deer Houses stands the Doric column on which was placed a statue of the Venus di' Medici.

Statue of Venus on Doric column. Venus was the most common garden statue in the 18th Century English garden

In the eighteenth century statues of Venus were the most common statue in a garden as it was known that the goddess Venus was the protector of gardens and gardeners. The statue that can be seen on the Doric column today is a copy in Portland stone and was commissioned by the Chiswick House Friends in 2009. Other statues that Lord Burlington has made for gardens included a wolf, a boar, a statue of the Roman god Mercury, a gladiator, Hercules, Cain and Able, a goat and a lion and lioness.

The lawn at the rear of the house was created by 1745 and planted with young Cedar of Lebanon (important in Freemasonry) trees which alternate with stone funerary urns which were designed by William Kent. Placed between the urns and the Cedar of Lebanon are three more sphinxes who are orientated to face the easterly direction of the rising sun.[35]

A lake was created around 1727 by widening the Bollo Brook. The excess soil was then heaped up behind William Kent's cascade to produce an elevated walkway for people to admire the gardens and also offered a view of the nearby river Thames.

The Inigo Jones gateway, bought by Lord Burlington from the great collector Sir Hans Sloane. Hans Sloane's collection of antiquities formed the nucleus of the British Museum

A gateway designed by Inigo Jones in 1621 at Beaufort House in Chelsea (home of Sir Hans Sloane) was bought and removed by Lord Burlington and rebuilt in the gardens at Chiswick in 1738.

It has also been claimed that Lord Burlington was influenced by Chinese gardens[36] which were largely informal, but the flavor of the orient was not evoked in Burlington's gardens which were visually classically inspired. These gardens were universally Roman in its outlook.[37] (It is also worth noting that there were no nods to England's past glories or important historic figures at Chiswick other than England's Roman (and Trojan) past. Unlike Stowe, with its Temple of Worthies and busts such as the Black Prince, Queen Elizabeth I and Shakespeare, Burlington's gardens at Chiswick did not romance or mythologize England's illustrious past. This was possibly due to Burlington's intense dislike of the Gothic style which he regarded as barbaric and backward).

Lord Burlington's gardens at Chiswick received the great benefit of being one of the most painted English gardens on the eighteenth century. The painter Peter Andreas Rysbrack, for example, was commissioned to paint a series of paintings to record the transformation of the garden from its formal Jacobean appearance to its largely informal picturesque form at the end of the 1750s. Numbering eight in total (and a second set copied), these paintings today hang in the Green Velvet Room within the Villa. Other artists who were commissioned to record the appearance of the gardens were England's first landscape painter George Lambert (1700–1765), the French painter Jacques Rigaud (1681–1754) and the cartographer John Rocque (1709–1762) who produced an engraved survey of Chiswick in 1736 showing the Villa and many of its garden buildings.

Later Developments (and demolitions) in the Gardens

The Rustic House at the end of 'Napoleon's walk'. This fabrique was one of the few to survive the demolitions of the fifth Duke of Devonshire
The Neoclassical Bridge was designed for Georgiana by the architect James Wyatt

It is unfortunate that in 1778 the decision was taken by the fifty Duke of Devonshire, on advice of his gardener Samuel Lapidge, to demolish several of the garden buildings erected by Lord Burlington just a few years before, including the Bagnio and Pagan Temple, both of which terminated the avenues of the patte d'oie. It was also at this time that the decision was made to fill in the two rectangular water basins to the side and rear of the Villa.

The Classic Bridge located beyond the Orange Tree Garden was built for the famous Georgiana Spencer (1757–1806), glamorous wife of the William Cavendish, fifth Duke of Devonshire, and was constructed in 1774 to the designs of James Wyatt (1757–1806).

The Sixth Duke of Devonshire (the 'Bachelor' Duke) obtained permission in 1813 to relocate Burlington Road beyond the two piers at the front of the forecourt to its present position.

The gardens of Little Moreton Hall, an adjoining property to the east were added in 1812, the Hall itself was demolished. The Italian Garden was laid out on the newly acquired grounds in that year to a design by Lewis Kennedy. The Conservatory adjoining the Italian Garden was completed in 1813, and at 96m was the longest at that time. A collection of Camellias is housed in the Conservatory some of which survive from 1828 to this day. The garden designer Joseph Paxton (1803–1865), creator of the Crystal Palace, started his career in the gardens at Chiswick for the Royal Horticultural Society before his talents were recognised by William Cavendish, the sixth Duke of Devonshire and he relocated as ‘Head Gardener’ to Chatsworth House, Derbyshire.

Chiswick Villa: The Georgiana Years

Georgiana, the beautiful Duchess of Devonshire, by Thomas Gainsborough. Although loved by the public, in private Georgiana led a troubled life

Lord Burlington’s last surviving daughter, Charlotte Boyle (died 1754), married William Cavendish, the 4th Duke of Devonshire on 27 March 1748 at just age sixteen. Their eldest child, another William, become the 5th Duke of Devonshire on the death of his father in 1764.

On 7 June 1774 William married Lady Georgiana Spencer (1757–1806), one of the most colourful characters of the late 19th century. Georgiana Spencer became a national icon, involved in promoting Charles Fox (who died in the Villa) and his Whig party. Georgiana was creator of new fashions and a female role model in a predominately male dominated society. Georgiana, who was raised from birth at Althorp House in Northampton and Spencer House in Green Park, adored spending quality time at Chiswick Villa which she referred to as her “earthly paradise”.[38].

Epitaph to Lilly the dog in Chiswick Gardens. This epitaph dates from the time of Georgiana

Chiswick Villa become a refuge for Georgiana, allowing her space and recuperation away from her constant gambling habits and drug addictions, together with putting distance between herself and her somber and charmless husband. At Chiswick Georgiana could take the time to relax and pursue her interests, such as gardening and architecture. For example, Georgiana grew roses up the side of the wing buildings so their scent could be smelt when the windows were open. Georgiana was also responsible for the building of the Classical Bridge, designed by the architect James Wyatt. The Duchess was known for her hospitality, and loved to entertain at Chiswick, with breakfasts a particular specialty. Georgiana, like many other members of the English aristocracy, were supporters of the Emperor Napoleon in his early years of rule and Georgiana had a bust of the Emperor commissioned to be housed in the Rustic House. However, breakfasts were held at Burlington House and Chiswick House to celebrate the capture and first exile of Napoleon. Today the avenue which extends from the central 'Goose Foot' to the Rustic House is known as 'Napoleon's Walk'.

Important Visitors to Chiswick Villa and Gardens

Voltaire, one of the leading figures of the Enlightenment, visited Lord Burlington at Chiswick
Sir Walter Scott, poet and Freemason, attended a dinner at Chiswick Villa

Although little is known of the people who stayed or visited Chiswick Villa in Lord Burlington's lifetime, many important visitors to the property are recorded as visiting throughout its history. These included leading figures of the European 'Enlightenment' including the philosopher's François-Marie Arouet (Voltaire, 1694–1778) and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, (1712–1778), the future American Presidents John Adams (1735–1826) and Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826), Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790), the Italian statesmen Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807–1882), Russian Tsars Nicholas I (1796–1855) and Alexander I (1777–1825), the Shah of Persia, Queen Victoria (1819–1901) and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1819–61), Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832), Prince Leopold III, Duke of Anhalt-Dessau (1740–1817) who employed the architect Friedrich Wilhelm von Endmannsdorff to design Schloss Wörlitz, Prime Minister's William Ewart Gladstone (1809–1898) and Sir Robert Walpole (1676–1745), Queen Caroline of Brandenburg-Ansbach (1683–1737), John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute (1713–92) his architect William Burges (1827–1881) and the present Prince of Wales and Princess Margaret.

Garibaldi, the Italian statesman, planted a tree in the garden when he visited

Within the Villa the Whig leader Charles James Fox died in the Bedchamber in 1806 and the Prime Minister George Canning died in one of the wing buildings in 1827.

Filming and Photography at Chiswick House and Gardens

Cinema poster for The Servant film, featuring two scenes which were filmed at Chiswick Villa and gardens

Two scenes from the 1963 film The Servant starring Dirk Bogart, James Fox and Wendy Craig were filmed at Chiswick Villa and gardens. One scene is a panoramic view of the Orange Tree garden in heavy snow and the second shows a conversation scene located in the central Gallery. In 1966, The Beatles shot films for their two songs called "Paperback Writer" and "Rain" in the gardens - many of the shots being in the exedra and the conservatory among the camellias. The ashes of British actor, broadcaster and songwriter Michael Flanders are scattered in the grounds. In 2004 several scenes from a film production of Vanity Fair starring Reese Witherspoon and Gabriel Byrne were filmed in the Orange Tree Garden and the lake. The Villa was also briefly featured in the 2007 film adaptation of Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass staring Nicole Kidman. In 2009 the portico of the house was used as the setting for the Biffy Clyro rock music video for the single "That Golden Rule". Lord Snowdon has conducted photoshoots within the Villa and several scenes from Horrible Histories, based on the best selling series of children's history books, were also filmed at Chiswick.

External links


  1. ^ "When R. and J. Dodsley published their list of paintings at Chiswick in 1761 they described the rooms adorned with some of the best pictures in Europe" (Quoted in Julius Bryant. London's Country House Collections. Kenwood, Chiswick, Marble Hill, Ranger's House, (London: Scala Publications for English Heritage, 1993), 36.
  2. ^ The historian Jane Clark has suggested that both Lord Burlington's Grand Tours may not have been as innocent as they first appear and may have been a cloak screen for more clandestine activities. For example, the 878 caskets brought back by Lord Burlington from the tour of 1714 may also have included 'sugars', a Jacobite codename for guns. (As an aristorat Lord Burlington would not have been searched). The pretext of a Grand Tour was also a perfect excuse to lease with Jacobite contacts on the continent and to study fortifications. See Jane Clark, 'Lord Burlington is Here' in Tony Barnard & Jane Clark (eds.,) Lord Burlington. Architecture, Art and Life, (Hambledon Press, 1995)
  3. ^ John Dixon Hunt William Kent. Landscape Garden Designer (London, Zwemmer Ltd, 1987).
  4. ^ Richard Hewlings, Chiswick House and Gardens, (English Heritage Guide book, 2009), 52-53.
  5. ^ The architect Colen Campbell offered Lord Burlington a design for a Villa very closely based on the Villa Capra for his use at Chiswick. Lord Burlington rejected this design and it was subsequently used at Mereworth Castle, Kent.
  6. ^ Lord Burlington was not just restricted to the influence of Andrea Palladio as his Library list at Chiswick indicates. Lord Burlington also had in his possession books by important Italian Renaissance architects such as Sebastiano Serlio and Leon Battista Alberti, the first and possibly the finest architectural theorist of the Renaissance. What is also surprising is the amount of books by French architects that Lord Burlington owned including books by Cotelle, De l’Orme, Bosse, Bullant, De Caus, Fréart, Sambin, Desgodetz, Fanelli, Félibien and John James’s translation of Claude Perrault’s Treatise of the Five Orders.
  7. ^ Richard Hewlings, Chiswick House and Gardens: Appearance and Meaning in Toby Barnard and Jane Clark (eds) Lord Burlington. Architecture, Art and Life (London, Hambledon Press, 1995), pages 1-149.
  8. ^ For example, Serlio's designs for Odeo Cornaro, from Book VII, 1575/1619.
  9. ^ This attribution has been lately challenged by Richard Hewlings. See Richard Hewlings, The Statues of Inigo Jones and Palladio at Chiswick House in English Heritage Historical Review, Volume 2, 2007, 71-83.
  10. ^ James Stevens Curl, The Egyptian Revival. Ancient Egypt as the Inspiration for Design Motifs in the West (Abingdon, Routledge, 2005) 22-30.
  11. ^ Julius Bryant, Preserving the Mystery: a tencentennial restoration inside Chiswick House in Dana Arnold, Belov'd by Ev'ry Muse. Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington & 4th Earl of Cork (1694-1753), (The Georgian Group, London, 2004), 29-36.
  12. ^ 'The third Earl of Burlington is generally recognized as the power behind the flourishing of neo-palladian architecture in Britain during the first half of the eighteenth century, but his own architecture has been said to be marred by a peculiar stiffness and academicism...Such a treatment does not do justice to Burlington, who was in fact a highly original architect using the classical language of architecture in a way that can only be described as innovative. The striking and often jarring quality of his architecture is achieved by producing large surfaces of bare, smooth, astylar wall interrupted only by neatly cut out fenestration and by juxtaposing pure volumes, untrammelled by decoration, so as to achieve. A typical staccato quality... and, finally, by avoiding any chiaroscural and textual treatment of the facade' ( Cinzia Sicca, The Architecture of the Wall. Astylism in the architecture of Lord Burlington. Architectural History, 33:1990, 83)
  13. ^ One of the most famous orations in the history of Freemasonry was delvered by Chevalier Andrew Ramsey in 1738. Ramsey claimed that the military orders and the Freemasons were in essence one and the same, with Masonic gestures and codes words being used to stop infiltration by enemy agents. Ramsey was briefly a tutor to Charles Edward Stuart (the 'Young Pretender') and was a member of the Royal Society and the famous Horn Tavern Lodge. As such Ramsey would have known both Lord Burlington and Alexander Pope
  14. ^ Geoffrey B.Seddon, The Jacobites and their Drinking Glasses, (Suffolk: The Antique Collectors' Club,1995).
  15. ^ See Ricky Pound, The Master Mason Slain: The Hiramic Legend in the Red Velvet Room at Chiswick House in Richard Hewlings (eds.) English Heritage Historical Review (Bristol, 2009), 154-163 and Barry Martin, The 'G' Spot: an Explanation of its Function and Location within the context of Chiswick House and Grounds in Edward Corp (eds.), Lord Burlington. The Man and his Politics. Questions of Loyalty (Lampeter, Edwin Mellen Press, 1998),71-90.
  16. ^ Tessa Morrison, Juan Bautista Villalpando's "Ezechielem Explanationes. A Sixteenth-Century Architectural Text (Lampeter, 2009).
  17. ^ Howard E.Stutchbury, The Architecture of Colen Campbell, (Manchester:Manchester University Press, 1967), 23.
  18. ^ For the pug dog as a Masonic symbol and the Society of the Mopses, see James Stevens Curl, The Art and Architecture of Freemasonry, (London: Batsford Press, 1991), 76-77 and Robin Simon, Panels and Pugs. Reflections and Speculations, in Apollo, (June, 1991), 371-373
  19. ^ The Sphinx traditionally was associated with arcane knowledge and wisdom. According to a response to Pritchard's Masonry Dissected (1730) published in Anderson's Constitutions of 1738, the Sphinx was associated with the Roman goddess Minerva and was the guardian of her Temples of wisdom.
  20. ^ For details contact
  21. ^ Forthcoming paper by Ricky Pound. Other internationally important gardens that have been identified with Freemasonry include (in France) the Parc de Monceau, the Desert de Retz, (in Italy) The Torrigiani Garden, the Puccini Garen at Scornia, the Puccini Garden at Pistoia, (in Germany) Dessau-Wörlitz Garden Realm designed by the architect Friedrich Wilhelm Freiherr von Erdmannsdorff (18 May 1736 – 9 March 1800) for Duke Leopold III of Anhalt-Dessau (1740-1817), the gardens at Schloss Schwetzingen, the gardens at Seifersdorfer Tal, and in Poland the gardens at Arkadia. Many of these gardens were heavily influenced by the English Landscape Garden and Duke Leopold III visited Chiswick Villa and its gardens twice when visiting England in 1764 and 1766.
  22. ^ For the Masonic proportions that underpin the Marble Hall at Holkham, see Leo Schmidt, Christian Keller and Polly Feversham (eds.), Holkham, (Prestel Press, 2005) 100-103.
  23. ^ Rosemary Bird, Goodwood. Art and Architecture, Sport and Family, (London: Frances Lincoln Limited, 2007) 30.
  24. ^ Jane Clark, Lord Burlington is Here, in Richard Hewlings and Jane Clark (eds), Lord Burlington. Architecture, Art and Life (London, Hambledon Press, 1995), 251-310.
  25. ^ Timothy Mowl, William Kent. Architect, Designer, Opportunist (London, Jonathan Cape, 2006) 63.
  26. ^ Giles Worsley, Inigo Jones and the Europeon Classicist Tradition. (Yale, 2007),123-187
  27. ^ Roy Strong, Britannia Triumphans. Inigo Jones, Rubens and Whitehall Palace (Hampshire, Thames and Hudson, 1980), 55-64.
  28. ^ For the influence of Rome on early eighteenth century English gardens, see Philip Ayres, Classical Culture and the Idea of Rome in Eighteenth-Century England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997). This book also contains a valuable Appendix on books on archaeology owned by Burlington, 168.
  29. ^ Peter Willis, Charles Bridgeman and the English Landscape Garden, (Newcastle upon Tyne: Elysium Press, 2002).
  30. ^ John Peacock, The Stage Designs of Inigo Jones, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995).
  31. ^ From a Masonic perspective the Ionic Temple could be read as a representation of King Solomon's Temple as many medieval depictions of the structure show it to be circular in form. The obelisk ('shard of light') may also be interpreted as Masonic in meaning as a representation of the sun standing at the centre of the universe. In this regard the circular pool of water which surrounds the obelisk symbolises the planets which orbits its circumference. This is reinforced by the fifty two orange trees which were once arranged around its perimeter which represent the yearly course of the earth around the sun. The fruit of the orange tree, the orange, is itself a symbolic representation of the fiery orb.
  32. ^ See Christine Gerrard, The Patriot Opposition to Walpole. Politics, Poetry, and National Myth, 1725-1742 (Oxford:Oxford University, 1994).
  33. ^ Kenneth Woodbridge, William Kent as Landscape Gardener. A Re-Appraisel, Apollo Magazine, 1974, 126-37.
  34. ^ Andrea Palladio, I Quattro Libri dell' Architettura , Book 4, Venice, 1570, 94.
  35. ^ "The grand walk, which forms the first part of view, being planted with cypress-trees, intermixed with urns and funeral monuments in the antique tastes, has the appearance of the burying ground: it seems to form an avenue leading to the temple of melancholy" (Quote from Jean Pierre Grossley in 1772, in Jean Pierre Grosley, A Tour to London or New Observations of England and its Inhabitants, Vol 2, 1772, 117. It is no coincidence that the first English Landscape Gardens were created by Freemasons. The concept of duality, such as life and death, darkness and life and the emotions they conveyed were created through specific initiatic pathways in gardens, such as at Chiswick, which were deliberately laid out and marked via specific statues, columns, fabriques and symbolic plants and trees to form progressional routes which could be followed by initiates )
  36. ^ Basil Gray, Lord Burlington and Father Ripa's Chinese engravings, in British Museum Quartely, XXII, February 1960, 40-43. There was thirty-six views in the set, and Burlington owned thirty-four.
  37. ^ See David Jacques, On the Supposed Chineseness of the English Landscape Garden in Garden History, (Volume 18, Number 2, Autumn 1990) 180-191 and Osvald Siren, China and Gardens of Europe of the Eighteenth Century (Washington: Dumbarton Oaks, 1990).
  38. ^ Amanda Foreman, Georgiana's World. The Illustrated Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, (London: Harper Collins, 2001), 182.

Further Reading

  • Ackerman, James S., The Villa. Form and Ideology of Country Houses, (London: Thames and Hudson, 1995)
  • Arciszewska, Barbara, The Hanoverian Court and the Triumph of Palladio. The Palladian Revival in Hanover and England c.1700, (Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Dig, 2002)
  • Arnold, Dana, The Georgian Villa, (Stroud: Alan Sutton Publishing, 1996)
  • Arnold, Dana, The Georgian Country House. Architecture, Landscape and Society, (Alan Sutton Publishing, 2003)
  • Badeslade, J, Gandon, James, Rocque, J, & Woolfe, John, Vitruvius Britannicus (second series), (New York: Dover Publications, 2008). Originally published between 1739 and 1771
  • Campbell, Colin, Vitruvius Britannicus, (New York: Dover Publications, 2007). Originally published in 1715.
  • Colvin, Howard, A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840, (London: John Murray, 1978), 128-132
  • Curl, James Stevens, Oxford Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006)
  • Harris, John, The Palladian Revival: Lord Burlington, His Villa and Garden at Chiswick, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994)
  • Hewlings, Richard, Chiswick House and Gardens, (English Heritage guide book, 1989)
  • Kingsbury, Pamala D., Lord Burlington's Town Architecture, (RIBA Heinz Gallery, 1995)
  • Knight, Caroline, London's Country Houses, (West Sussex: Phillimore & Co Ltd, 2009), 109-115
  • Parissien, Steven, Palladian Style, (London: Phaidon Press, 1994)
  • Rykwert, Joseph, The First Moderns. The Architects of the Eighteenth Century, (MIT Press,1983)
  • Stutchbury, Howard E., The Architecture of Colen Campbell, (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1967)
  • White, Roger, Chiswick House and Gardens, (English Heritage guide book, 2001)
  • Wilson, Michael I, William Kent. Architect, Designer, Painter, Gardener, 1685–1748, (Hampshire: Routledge & Kegan Paul PLC, 1984)
  • Wittkower, Rudolf, Palladio and English Palladianism, (Hampshire: Thames and Hudson, 1974)

The English Landscape Garden

  • Batty, Mavis, Alexander Pope. The Poet and the Landscape, (London: Barn Elms Publishing, 1999, 26-41)
  • Chambers, Douglas, D.C, The Planters of the English Landscape Gardner, (New Heaven: Yale University Press, 1993)
  • Hunt, John Dixon, The Picturesque Garden in Europe, (London: Thames & Hudson, 2002)
  • Hunt, John Dixon, Garden and Grove. The Italian Renaissance Garden in the English Imagination: 1600-1750, (London: Dent & Sons, 1986)
  • Mowl, Tomothy, Gentlemen and Players. Gardeners of the English Landscape, (Alan Sutton, 2004)
  • Richardson, Tim, The Arcadian Friends. Inventing the English Landscape Garden, (London: Bantam Press, 2007, 187-190)
  • Strong, Roy, The Artist & the Garden, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000)
  • Williamson, Tom, Polite Landscapes. Gardens and Society in Eighteenth-Century England, (Alan Sutton Publishing, 1995)

William Kent

  • Harris, John, William Kent, 1685-1748. A Poet on Paper, (The Soane Gallery exhibition catalogue, 30 October-19 December 1998)
  • Jourdain, Margaret, The Work of William Kent, London, Country Life, 1948
  • Mowl, Timothy, William Kent. Architect, Designer, Opportunist, (London: Jonathan Cape, 2006)
  • Wilson, Michael I, William Kent. Architect, Designer, Painter, Gardener, 1685–1748, (Hampshire: Routledge & Kegan Paul PLC,1984)

Inigo Jones

  • Anderson, Christy, Inigo Jones and the Classical Tradition, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006)
  • Harris, John and Higgott, Gordon, Inigo Jones. Complete Architectural Drawings, (New York: Philip Wilson Publishers,1989)
  • Leapman, Michael, Inigo. The Troubled Life of Inigo Jones, Architect of the English Renaissance, (London: Review Books, 2003), 353-55

Early 18th century furniture and decoration

  • Bowett, Adam, Early Georgian Furniture. 1715-1740, (Suffolk: Antique Collectors' Club Ltd, 2009)
  • Cornforth, John, Early Georgian Interiors, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004)
  • Edwards, Dr Clive; Rosoman, Treve; Meyer, Jonathan; Barrington, Michael; Stevens, Christian Claxton, British Furniture. 1600-2000, (London: The Intelligent Layman, 2005)
  • Fowler, John and Cornforth, John, English Decoration in the 18th Century, (London: Barrie & Jenkins Ltd, 1974)

Georgiana Spencer

  • Chapman, Caroline, (with Dormer, Jane), Elizabeth & Georgiana. The Duke of Devonshire & his Two Duchesses, (London: John Murray, 2002)
  • Calder-Marchall, Arthur, The Two Duchesses, (Devon: Readers Union, 1978)
  • Foreman, Amanda, Georgiana. Duchess of Devonshire, (London: Harper Collins Publishers, 1998)
  • Masters, Brian, Georgiana, (London: Allison & Busby Ltd, 1997)

Freemasonry in the Eighteenth Century

  • Curl, James Stevens, The Art and Architecture of Freemasonry, (London: Batsford, 1991)
  • Harrison, David, The Genesis of Freemasonry, (Surrey: Lewis Masonic, 2009)
  • Jacob, Margaret C. The Radical Enlightenment. Pantheists, Freemasons and Republicans, (Louisiana: Cornerstone Books, 2006 reprint)
  • Jacob, Margaret C. Living the Enligtenment. Freemasonry and Politics in Eighteenth-Century Europe, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991)
  • Rosenau, Helen, Vision of the Temple. The Image of the Temple of Jerusalem in Judaism and Christianity, (London: Oresko Books Ltd, 1979)
  • Stevenson, David, The Origins of Freemasonry. Scotland's Century, 1590–1710, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988)

The Jacobite Cause

  • Corp, Edward, The Stuart Court in Rome. The Legacy of Exile, (Aldershot: Ashgate publications, 2003)
  • Corp, Edward & Cruickshanks, Eveline (eds.), The Stuart Court in Exile and the Jacobites, (London: Hambledon Press, 1995)
  • Corp, Edward, A Court in Exile. The Stuarts in France, 1689–1718, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004)
  • Corp, Edward, The Jacobites at Urbino: An Exiled Court in Transition, (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008)
  • Monod, Paul Kleber, Jacobitism and the English People, 1688–1788, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989)
  • Sharp, Richard, The Engraved Record of the Jacobite Movement, (Hampshire: Scolar Press, 1996)
  • Zimmermann, The Jacobite Movement in Scotland and in Exile, 1746–1759, (Studies in Modern History, Hampshire: Palgrove Macmillan, 2003)

Magazines, Articles and Periodicals

  • Bryant, Julius, Chiswick House- the inside story. Policies and problems of restoration, in Apollo Magazine, CXXXVI, 1992, 17-22
  • Cornforth, John, Chiswick House, London, in Country Life, February 16, 1995, 32-37
  • Wilton-Ely, John, Lord Burlington and the Virtuoso Portrait, in Architectural History, Volume 27, Design and Practice in British Architecture: studies in Architectural History Presented to Howard Colvin, 1984, 376-381
  • Fellows, David, This old house. Excavations at Chiswick House, in Current Archaeology, Number 223, October 2008, 20-29
  • Hewlings, Richard, Palladio in England. Chiswick House, London, in Country Life, January 28, 2009, 46-51
  • Hewlings, Richard, The Statues of Inigo Jones and Palladio at Chiswick House, in English Heritage Historical Review, Volume 2, 2007, 71-83
  • Hewlings, Richard, The Link Room at Chiswick House. Lord Burlington as antiquarian, in Apollo Magazine, CXLI, 1995, 28-29
  • Kingsbury, Pamela D., The Tradition of the Soffitto Veneziano in Lord Burlington's Suburban Villa in Chiswick, in Architectural History, Volume 44, 2001, 145-152
  • Pfister, Harold Francis, Burlingtonian Architectural Theory in England and America, in Winterthur Portfolio, Volume 11, 1976, 123-151
  • Pound, Ricky,Chiswick House- a Masonic Temple?, in Gillian Clegg (eds.), Brentford & Chiswick Local History Journal, Number 16, 2007,4-7
  • Rosoman, Treve, The Decoration and Use of the Principal Apartments of Chiswick House, 1727–70, in The Burlington Magazine, Volume 127, Number 991, October 1985, 663-677
  • Sicca, Cinzia, The Architecture of the Wall: Astyism in the Architecture of Lord Burlington, in Architectural History, Volume 33, 1990, 83-101
  • Spence, R.T, Chiswick House and its gardens, in The Burlington Magazine, Volume 135, Number 1085, August 1993, 525-531
  • Scanlan, Matthew, A Masonic Temple in West London?, in Freemasonry Today, Winter 2006/7, Issue 39, 32-34
  • Worsley, Giles, Antique Assumptions, in Country Life, August 6, 1992

Gardens at Chiswick

  • Bowe, Patrick, Gardens of the Roman World, (London: Frances Lincoln, 2004)
  • Carre, Jacques, Lord Burlington's Garden at Chiswick, in Garden History, Volume 1, Number 3, Summer 1973, 23-30
  • Clegg, Gillian, The Duke of Devonshire's Menagerie at Chiswick House, in Richard Hewlings (eds.) English Heritage Historical Review, Volume 3, 2008, 123-127
  • Harris, John, Is Chiswick a 'Palladian' Garden?, in Garden History, Volume 32, No.1, Spring 2004, 124-136
  • Jacques, David, What to Do about Earlier Inaccurate Restoration: A Case Study of Chiswick House, in APT Bulletin, Volume 24, Number 3/4, Conserving Historic Landscapes, 1992, 4-13
  • Sicca, Cinzia Maria, Lord Burlington at Chiswick: Architecture and Landscape, in Garden History, Volume 10, Number 1, Spring 1982, 36-69


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