Chiswick House
Chiswick House is a Palladian villa
A villa was originally an ancient Roman upper-class country house. Since its origins in the Roman villa, the idea and function of a villa have evolved considerably. After the fall of the Roman Republic, villas became small farming compounds, which were increasingly fortified in Late Antiquity,...

 in Burlington Lane, Chiswick
Chiswick is a large suburb of west London, England and part of the London Borough of Hounslow. It is located on a meander of the River Thames, west of Charing Cross and is one of 35 major centres identified in the London Plan. It was historically an ancient parish in the county of Middlesex, with...

, in the London Borough of Hounslow
London Borough of Hounslow
-Political composition:Since the borough was formed it has been controlled by the Labour Party on all but two occasions. In 1968 the Conservatives formed a majority for the first and last time to date until they lost control to Labour in 1971. Labour subsequently lost control of the council in the...

 in England. Set in 65 acre (0.2630459 km²), the house was completed in 1729 during the reign of George II
George II of Great Britain
George II was King of Great Britain and Ireland, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg and Archtreasurer and Prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire from 11 June 1727 until his death.George was the last British monarch born outside Great Britain. He was born and brought up in Northern Germany...

 and designed by Lord Burlington
Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington
Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington and 4th Earl of Cork PC , born in Yorkshire, England, was the son of Charles Boyle, 2nd Earl of Burlington and 3rd Earl of Cork...

. William Kent
William Kent
William Kent , born in Bridlington, Yorkshire, was an eminent English architect, landscape architect and furniture designer of the early 18th century.He was baptised as William Cant.-Education:...

 (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
William Cavendish, 4th Duke of Devonshire
William Cavendish, 4th Duke of Devonshire, KG, PC , styled Lord Cavendish before 1729 and Marquess of Hartington between 1729 and 1755, was a British Whig statesman who was briefly nominal Prime Minister of Great Britain...

, 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
Charles James Fox
Charles James Fox PC , styled The Honourable from 1762, was a prominent British Whig statesman whose parliamentary career spanned thirty-eight years of the late 18th and early 19th centuries and who was particularly noted for being the arch-rival of William Pitt the Younger...

 in 1806. Tory Prime Minister George Canning
George Canning
George Canning PC, FRS was a British statesman and politician who served as Foreign Secretary and briefly Prime Minister.-Early life: 1770–1793:...

 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 V2 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.


Chiswick House was inherited by Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington
Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington
Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington and 4th Earl of Cork PC , born in Yorkshire, England, was the son of Charles Boyle, 2nd Earl of Burlington and 3rd Earl of Cork...

, 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
Jacobean architecture
The Jacobean style is the second phase of Renaissance architecture in England, following the Elizabethan style. It is named after King James I of England, with whose reign it is associated.-Characteristics:...

 house used as a summer retreat from the heat of London, where the family resided at Burlington House
Burlington House
Burlington House is a building on Piccadilly in London. It was originally a private Palladian mansion, and was expanded in the mid 19th century after being purchased by the British government...

, today the Royal Academy
Royal Academy
The Royal Academy of Arts is an art institution based in Burlington House on Piccadilly, London. The Royal Academy of Arts has a unique position in being an independent, privately funded institution led by eminent artists and architects whose purpose is to promote the creation, enjoyment and...

). After a fire in the old Jacobean house in 1725, Burlington decided to build a new "Villa" to the west of Chiswick House. During his trip to Italy in 1719 the Earl had acquired a passion for Palladian architecture. Burlington had never closely inspected Roman ruins
Roman architecture
Ancient Roman architecture adopted certain aspects of Ancient Greek architecture, creating a new architectural style. The Romans were indebted to their Etruscan neighbors and forefathers who supplied them with a wealth of knowledge essential for future architectural solutions, such as hydraulics...

 or made detailed drawings on the sites in Italy; he relied on Palladio and Scamozzi
Vincenzo Scamozzi
thumb|250px|Portrait of Vincenzo Scamozzi by [[Paolo Veronese]]Vincenzo Scamozzi was a Venetian architect and a writer on architecture, active mainly in Vicenza and Republic of Venice area in the second half of the 16th century...

 as his interpreters of the classic tradition. Another source of his inspiration were drawings he collected, including those of Palladio himself, which had belonged to Inigo Jones
Inigo Jones
Inigo Jones is the first significant British architect of the modern period, and the first to bring Italianate Renaissance architecture to England...

 and his pupil John Webb. According to Howard Colvin
Howard Colvin
Sir Howard Montagu Colvin, CVO, CBE , was a British architectural historian who produced two of the most outstanding works of scholarship in his field.-Life and works:...

, "Burlington's mission was to reinstate in Augustan England the canons of Roman architecture as described by Vitruvius, exemplified by its surviving remains, and practised by Palladio, Scamozzi and Jones."
Burlington, himself a talented amateur architect and (in the words of Horace Walpole) "Apollo of the Arts", designed the villa with the aid of William Kent
William Kent
William Kent , born in Bridlington, Yorkshire, was an eminent English architect, landscape architect and furniture designer of the early 18th century.He was baptised as William Cant.-Education:...

 (1685–1748), who took a leading role in designing the gardens. It became one of the earliest examples of the English landscape garden, a movement with which Kent became closely associated. Burlington built the villa with enough room to house his prized art collection, regarded as containing "some of the best pictures in Europe", and his extensive array of furniture, much of which was purchased on his first Grand Tour
Grand Tour
The Grand Tour was the traditional trip of Europe undertaken by mainly upper-class European young men of means. The custom flourished from about 1660 until the advent of large-scale rail transit in the 1840s, and was associated with a standard itinerary. It served as an educational rite of passage...

 of Europe in 1714. Construction of the villa took place between 1726 and 1729.

Chiswick House has also been linked with Freemasonry
Freemasonry is a fraternal organisation that arose from obscure origins in the late 16th to early 17th century. Freemasonry now exists in various forms all over the world, with a membership estimated at around six million, including approximately 150,000 under the jurisdictions of the Grand Lodge...

, and is believed by some scholars to have functioned as a Masonic Lodge
Masonic Lodge
This article is about the Masonic term for a membership group. For buildings named Masonic Lodge, see Masonic Lodge A Masonic Lodge, often termed a Private Lodge or Constituent Lodge, is the basic organisation of Freemasonry...

 or Temple, given that some of the ceiling paintings by William Kent in the Gallery and the Red, Blue and Summer Parlour Rooms contain iconography of a strong Masonic, Hermetic, and possible Jacobite character. 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. Pat Rogers has argued that Chiswick House was a symbolic temple, based on so-called Royal Arch Freemasonry, involving a Hermetic intervention designed to heal the sufferings of the exiled Jews.

After completion of the villa in 1729, Burlington later provided inspiration to other architects for numerous other buildings, such as Thomas Coke, 1st Earl of Leicester
Thomas Coke, 1st Earl of Leicester (fifth creation)
Thomas Coke, 1st Earl of Leicester, KB was a wealthy English land-owner and patron of the arts. He is particularly noted for commissioning the design and construction of Holkham Hall in north Norfolk. Between 1722 and 1728, he was Member of Parliament for Norfolk.He was the son of Edward Coke ...

 at Holkham Hall
Holkham Hall
Holkham Hall is an eighteenth-century country house located adjacent to the village of Holkham, on the north coast of the English county of Norfolk...

, Norfolk Charles Lennox, 2nd Duke of Richmond
Charles Lennox, 2nd Duke of Richmond
The 2nd Duke of Richmond has been described as early cricket's greatest patron. Although he had played cricket as a boy, his real involvement began after he succeeded to the dukedom...

, at Goodwood House
Goodwood House
Goodwood House is a country house in West Sussex in southern England. It is the seat of the Dukes of Richmond. Several architects have contributed to the design of the house, including James Wyatt. It was the intention to build the house to a unique octagonal layout, but only three of the eight...

, and the Mansion House
Mansion House
Mansion House may refer to:* the official residences of the Mayor or Lord Mayor of various towns and cities in Great Britain and Ireland:** Mansion House, Dublin** Mansion House, London***See also Mansion House tube station on the London Underground...

, nicknamed the "Egyptian Hall" for its columns. Both Coke and Lennox were prominent Freemasons and adopted Masonic characteristics and themes on their properties.
The musician and musical historian Jane Clark, in her 1995 paper Lord Burlington is Here, claimed that Lord Burlington led a secret double life as a Whig aristocrat and loyal supporter of the newly installed Hanover
Hanover or Hannover, on the river Leine, is the capital of the federal state of Lower Saxony , Germany and was once by personal union the family seat of the Hanoverian Kings of Great Britain, under their title as the dukes of Brunswick-Lüneburg...

ian regime, and as a Jacobite
Jacobitism was the political movement in Britain dedicated to the restoration of the Stuart kings to the thrones of England, Scotland, later the Kingdom of Great Britain, and the Kingdom of Ireland...

 supporter who was secretly facilitating the return of the exiled Stuart monarchy. After the completion of the Villa Burlington fell into debt, and was forced into selling his Irish estates. Clark argues that the earl's impecunity was caused by his lending money to the exiled Stuart Court. This view has been supported by the historian Edward Corp, who has concluded, "there is now enough evidence available to suggest that Lord Burlington can no longer be regarded as the embodiment of a Whig ideal. Too many circumstances point to his having had Jacobite connections, directly when travelling on the Continent, through his freemasonry, through his cousin Charles Boyle, 4th Earl of Orrery
Charles Boyle, 4th Earl of Orrery
Charles Boyle, 4th Earl of Orrery KT PC FRS was an English nobleman, statesman and patron of the sciences....

, through Bishop Atterbury
Francis Atterbury
Francis Atterbury was an English man of letters, politician and bishop.-Early life:He was born at Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire, where his father was rector. He was educated at Westminster School and Christ Church, Oxford, where he became a tutor...

, through Dr Drake (the Jacobite historian of York
York is a walled city, situated at the confluence of the Rivers Ouse and Foss in North Yorkshire, England. The city has a rich heritage and has provided the backdrop to major political events throughout much of its two millennia of existence...

), and via servants such as his chaplain Aaron Thompson or his agent Andrew Crotty". For Clark then, the true purpose of Chiswick Villa was as a symbolic Royal Palace which awaited the return of the 'Kings over the water' who were destined to rule by ‘Divine Right’, an interpretation supported by architectural historian Giles Worsley
Giles Worsley
Dr Giles Arthington Worsley MA, PhD, FSA was an English architectural historian, author, editor, journalist and critic, specialising in British country houses...

 and others.


Burlington died on 15 December 1753. His wife, Lady Dorothy Savile, and daughter, Charlotte, inherited the house. Charlotte had married William Cavendish, 4th Duke of Devonshire
William Cavendish, 4th Duke of Devonshire
William Cavendish, 4th Duke of Devonshire, KG, PC , styled Lord Cavendish before 1729 and Marquess of Hartington between 1729 and 1755, was a British Whig statesman who was briefly nominal Prime Minister of Great Britain...

 in 1748. Charlotte died in December 1754 and Lady Burlington died in September 1758, so the villa and gardens passed to the Cavendish family, as did numerous other Boyle residences including Bolton Abbey
Bolton Abbey
Bolton Abbey is the estate within which is located the ruined 12th-century Augustinian Bolton Priory in North Yorkshire, England. It gives its name to the parish of Bolton Abbey.-Bolton Priory:...

, Londesborough Hall
Londesborough Hall
Londesborough Hall was a country house in the village of Londesborough in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England, close to the towns of Market Weighton and Pocklington....

 in the East Riding of Yorkshire
East Riding of Yorkshire
The East Riding of Yorkshire, or simply East Yorkshire, is a local government district with unitary authority status, and a ceremonial county of England. For ceremonial purposes the county also includes the city of Kingston upon Hull, which is a separate unitary authority...

, and Lismore Castle
Lismore Castle
Lismore Castle is located in the town of Lismore, in County Waterford in Ireland. It was largely re-built in the Gothic style during the mid-nineteenth century by William Cavendish, 6th Duke of Devonshire.-Early history:...

 in Ireland. William Cavendish died in 1764, leaving the property to his son William, the 5th Duke of Devonshire
Duke of Devonshire
Duke of Devonshire is a title in the peerage of England held by members of the Cavendish family. This branch of the Cavendish family has been one of the richest and most influential aristocratic families in England since the 16th century, and have been rivalled in political influence perhaps only...


The Georgiana period

On 5 June 1774, William married Lady Georgiana Spencer (1757–1806), a colourful character who became something of a national female icon of the late 18th century for her prominent role in fashion, politics and society in a predominately male dominated environment. She was involved in promoting Charles James Fox
Charles James Fox
Charles James Fox PC , styled The Honourable from 1762, was a prominent British Whig statesman whose parliamentary career spanned thirty-eight years of the late 18th and early 19th centuries and who was particularly noted for being the arch-rival of William Pitt the Younger...

 (who died in the Bed Chamber of the Villa in 1806) and his Whig party. Raised from birth at Althorp House in Northampton and Spencer House
Spencer House
Spencer House is a mansion in St. James's, London.The house was commissioned by John, 1st Earl Spencer in 1756, the Earl requiring a large London house to cement his position and status. The architect he chose was John Vardy who had studied under William Kent...

 in Green Park, she enjoyed spending time at Chiswick Villa which she referred to as her "earthly paradise". Chiswick Villa became her refuge from a life of excess and self-indulgence. She regularly invited many members of the Whig party to the house for tea parties in the garden. In 1788 the Cavendish family demolished the Jacobean house and hired architect John White to add two wings to the Villa to increase the amount of accommodation. Georgiana was personally responsible for the building of the Classical Bridge in 1774, designed by the architect James Wyatt
James Wyatt
James Wyatt RA , was an English architect, a rival of Robert Adam in the neoclassical style, who far outdid Adam in his work in the neo-Gothic style.-Early classical career:...

, and the planting of roses on the walls of the new wings and the sides of the buildings.

19th century and decline

Georgina Cavendish died in 1806, but the house remained popular with the Whigs. In 1813, a 300 foot (91 m) conservatory was built by Samuel Ware, with the purpose of housing exotic fruits and camellias. Gardener Lewis Kennedy built an Italian inspired geometric garden around the conservatory.

In 1827, after a rapid decline in health, Tory Prime Minister George Canning
George Canning
George Canning PC, FRS was a British statesman and politician who served as Foreign Secretary and briefly Prime Minister.-Early life: 1770–1793:...

 died in the same room where Charles James Fox had died in 1806.

Between 1862 and 1892 the villa was rented 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 Marquess of Bute, patron of the painter William Burgess, from 1881 to 1892. From 1892, the 9th Duke of Devonshire rented the villa to Doctors T S and C M Tuke, and it was used by them as a mental hospital for wealthy male and female patients until 1928. In 1897, the two sphinxes on the main gate were removed to Green Park
Green Park
-External links:*...

 during the celebrations of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. They were never returned.

The 9th Duke of Devonshire subsequently sold Chiswick House to Middlesex County Council, the purchase price being met in part by contributions from public subscribers, including King George V . The Villa became a fire station during World War II, and suffered damage; vibration from the bombing of Chiswick brought down the plasterwork in the Upper Tribunal and on 8 September 1944 a V2 rocket damaged one of the two wings. They were later removed in 1956.

Modern times and heritage

In 1948 extensive lobbying from the newly created Georgian Group, which recognised the Villa's unique architectural heritage and its invaluable contribution to European architectural history, prevented it from being destroyed. The house then came under the aegis of the Ministry of Works, the forerunner of English Heritage
English Heritage
English Heritage . is an executive non-departmental public body of the British Government sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport...

. Today the house is owned by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and maintained by English Heritage.

Hounslow Council and English Heritage formed the Chiswick House and Gardens Trust in 2005 to unify the management of the Villa and Gardens. The Trust took over the administration for the Villa and Gardens on July 1, 2010 following the completion of the restoration works.
A Heritage Lottery Fund Grant was complemented by approximately GBP 4 million from other sources, for restoration of the gardens in 2007. The garden is open to the public from dawn until dusk without charge.

Notable guests

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
Age of Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment was an elite cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe that sought to mobilize the power of reason in order to reform society and advance knowledge. It promoted intellectual interchange and opposed intolerance and abuses in church and state...

' including the philosophers François-Marie Arouet (Voltaire, 1694–1778) and Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer of 18th-century Romanticism. His political philosophy influenced the French Revolution as well as the overall development of modern political, sociological and educational thought.His novel Émile: or, On Education is a treatise...

 (1712–1778); the future US Presidents John Adams
John Adams
John Adams was an American lawyer, statesman, diplomat and political theorist. A leading champion of independence in 1776, he was the second President of the United States...

 (1735–1826) and Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom , the third President of the United States and founder of the University of Virginia...

 (1743–1826); Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin
Dr. Benjamin Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. A noted polymath, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat...

 (1706–1790); the German landscape artist Prince Hermann von Pückler-Muskau; the Italian statesman Giuseppe Garibaldi
Giuseppe Garibaldi
Giuseppe Garibaldi was an Italian military and political figure. In his twenties, he joined the Carbonari Italian patriot revolutionaries, and fled Italy after a failed insurrection. Garibaldi took part in the War of the Farrapos and the Uruguayan Civil War leading the Italian Legion, and...

 (1807–1882); Russian Tsars Nicholas I
Nicholas I of Russia
Nicholas I , was the Emperor of Russia from 1825 until 1855, known as one of the most reactionary of the Russian monarchs. On the eve of his death, the Russian Empire reached its historical zenith spanning over 20 million square kilometers...

 (1796–1855) and Alexander I
Alexander I of Russia
Alexander I of Russia , served as Emperor of Russia from 23 March 1801 to 1 December 1825 and the first Russian King of Poland from 1815 to 1825. He was also the first Russian Grand Duke of Finland and Lithuania....

 (1777–1825); the king of Persia; Queen Victoria (1819–1901) and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg (1819–61); Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832); Prince Leopold III, Duke of Anhalt-Dessau (1740–1817); Prime Ministers William Ewart Gladstone
William Ewart Gladstone
William Ewart Gladstone FRS FSS was a British Liberal statesman. In a career lasting over sixty years, he served as Prime Minister four separate times , more than any other person. Gladstone was also Britain's oldest Prime Minister, 84 years old when he resigned for the last time...

 (1809–1898) and Sir Robert Walpole
Robert Walpole
Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford, KG, KB, PC , known before 1742 as Sir Robert Walpole, was a British statesman who is generally regarded as having been the first Prime Minister of Great Britain....

 (1676–1745); Queen Caroline of Brandenburg-Ansbach (1683–1737); John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute
John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute
John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute KG, PC , styled Lord Mount Stuart before 1723, was a Scottish nobleman who served as Prime Minister of Great Britain under George III, and was arguably the last important favourite in British politics...

 (1713–92) his architect William Burges
William Burges (architect)
William Burges was an English architect and designer. Amongst the greatest of the Victorian art-architects, Burges sought in his work an escape from 19th century industrialisation and a return to the values, architectural and social, of an imagined mediaeval England...

 (1827–1881) and the present Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales is a title traditionally granted to the heir apparent to the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the 15 other independent Commonwealth realms...

 and Princess Margaret.

The Villa building

The architectural historian Richard Hewlings has established that Chiswick House was an attempt by Lord Burlington to create a Roman villa
Roman villa
A Roman villa is a villa that was built or lived in during the Roman republic and the Roman Empire. A villa was originally a Roman country house built for the upper class...

, rather than Renaissance pastiche, situated in a symbolic Roman garden
Roman gardens
Roman gardens and ornamental horticulture became highly developed during the history of Roman civilization. The Gardens of Lucullus on the Pincian Hill at the edge of Rome introduced the Persian garden to Europe, around 60 BC...

. Chiswick Villa is inspired in part by several buildings of the 16th-century Italian architects Andrea Palladio
Andrea Palladio
Andrea Palladio was an architect active in the Republic of Venice. Palladio, influenced by Roman and Greek architecture, primarily by Vitruvius, is widely considered the most influential individual in the history of Western architecture...

 (1508–1580) and his assistant Vincenzo Scamozzi
Vincenzo Scamozzi
thumb|250px|Portrait of Vincenzo Scamozzi by [[Paolo Veronese]]Vincenzo Scamozzi was a Venetian architect and a writer on architecture, active mainly in Vicenza and Republic of Venice area in the second half of the 16th century...

 (1552–1616). The house is often said to be directly inspired by Palladio's Villa Capra "La Rotonda" near Vicenza, due to the fact that architect Colen Campbell
Colen Campbell
Colen Campbell was a pioneering Scottish architect who spent most of his career in England, and is credited as a founder of the Georgian style...

 had offered Lord Burlington a design for a Villa very closely based on the Villa Capra for his use at Chiswick. However, although still clearly influential, Lord Burlington had rejected this design and it was subsequently used at Mereworth Castle
Mereworth Castle
Mereworth Castle is a grade I listed Palladian country house in Mereworth, Kent, England.Originally the site of a fortified manor licensed in 1332, the present building is not actually a castle, but was built in the 1720s as an almost exact copy of Palladio's Villa Rotunda. It was designed in 1723...

, Kent. Lord Burlington was not just restricted to the influence of Andrea Palladio as his library list at Chiswick indicates. He owned books by influential Italian Renaissance architects such as Sebastiano Serlio
Sebastiano Serlio
Sebastiano Serlio was an Italian Mannerist architect, who was part of the Italian team building the Palace of Fontainebleau...

 and Leon Battista Alberti and his library contained books by French architects,sculptors, illustrators and architectural theorists such as Jean Cotelle
Jean Cotelle
Jean Cotelle, 'the younger', was a painter and engraver, born in Paris in 1645. He received his early instruction from his father, Jean Cotelle, and eventually visited Italy. On his return he devoted himself to his profession, producing historical paintings, miniatures, and occasionally etchings...

, Philibert de l'Orme
Philibert de l'Orme
Philibert DeLorme was a French architect, one of the great masters of the French Renaissance.He was born at Lyon, the son of Jean Delorme, a master mason. At an early age Philibert was sent to Italy to study and was employed there by Pope Paul III...

, Abraham Bosse
Abraham Bosse
Abraham Bosse was a French artist, mainly as a printmaker in etching, but also in watercolour.-Life:...

, Jean Bullant
Jean Bullant
Jean Bullant was a French architect and sculptor who built the tombs of Anne de Montmorency, Grand Connétable of France, Henri II, and Catherine de' Medici. He also worked on the Tuileries, the Louvre, and the Château d'Écouen...

, Salomon de Caus
Salomon de Caus
Salomon de Caus was a French engineer and once credited with the development of the steam engine.Salomon was the elder brother of Isaac de Caus. Being a Huguenot, he spent his life moving across Europe....

, Roland Fréart de Chambray, Hugues Sambin
Hugues Sambin
Hugues Sambin was a French sculptor, trained as a menuisier or wood-worker; as a designer of Mannerist ornament his published designs, such as La diversité des termes Lyon, 1572, inspired luxury furnishings, such as dressoires, armoires and cabinets. Its preface was signed "Hugues Sambin,...

, Antoine Desgodetz
Antoine Desgodetz
Antoine Babuty Desgodetzs publication Les edifices antiques de Rome dessinés et mesurés très exactement provided detailed engravings of the monuments and antiquities of Rome to serve French artists and architects...

, and John James's translation of Claude Perrault
Claude Perrault
Claude Perrault is best known as the architect of the eastern range of the Louvre Palace in Paris , but he also achieved success as a physician and anatomist, and as an author, who wrote treatises on physics and natural history.Perrault was born and died in Paris...

's Treatise of the Five Orders. Whether Palladio's work inspired Chiswick or not, the Renaissance architect exerted an important influence on Lord Burlington through his plans and reconstructions of lost Roman buildings; many of these unpublished and little known, were purchased by Burlington on his second Grand Tour and housed in the Blue Velvet Room, which served as his study. These reconstructions were the source for many of the varied geometric shapes within Burlington's Villa, including the use of the octagon, circle and rectangle (with apse
In architecture, the apse is a semicircular recess covered with a hemispherical vault or semi-dome...

s). Possibly the most influential building reconstructed by Palladio and used at Chiswick was the monumental Roman Baths of Diocletian
Baths of Diocletian
The Baths of Diocletian in Rome were the grandest of the public baths, or thermae built by successive emperors. Diocletian's Baths, dedicated in 306, were the largest and most sumptuous of the imperial baths. The baths were built between the years 298 AD and 306 AD...

: references to this building can be found in the Domed Hall, Gallery, Library and Link rooms.
Burlington's use of Roman sources can be viewed in the steep-pitched dome of the villa which is derived from the Pantheon
Pantheon, Rome
The Pantheon ,Rarely Pantheum. This appears in Pliny's Natural History in describing this edifice: Agrippae Pantheum decoravit Diogenes Atheniensis; in columnis templi eius Caryatides probantur inter pauca operum, sicut in fastigio posita signa, sed propter altitudinem loci minus celebrata.from ,...

 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 Pisana
Rocca Pisana
Rocca Pisana is a sixteenth-century villa which was designed by the architect Vincenzo Scamozzi for the Pisani family.In Italy there are several villas called Villa Pisani, which take their name from this powerful Venetian family. This villa is also known as La Rocca or La Rocca Pisana...

 near Vicenza
Vicenza , a city in north-eastern Italy, is the capital of the eponymous province in the Veneto region, at the northern base of the Monte Berico, straddling the Bacchiglione...

. Burlington may also have been influenced in his choice of octagon from the drawings of the Renaissance architect Sebastiano Serlio
Sebastiano Serlio
Sebastiano Serlio was an Italian Mannerist architect, who was part of the Italian team building the Palace of Fontainebleau...

 (1475–1554), or from Roman buildings of antiquity (for example, Lord Burlington owned Andrea Palladio's drawings of the octagonal mausoleum at Diocletian's Palace
Diocletian's Palace
Diocletian's Palace is a building in Split, Croatia, that was built by the Roman emperor Diocletian at the turn of the fourth century AD.Diocletian built the massive palace in preparation for his retirement on 1 May 305 AD. It lies in a bay on the south side of a short peninsula running out from...

 at Split in modern Croatia). Archaeological remains have shown the Roman willingness to experiment with different geometric forms in their buildings, such as the underground octagonal hall in Nero's Domus Aurea
Domus Aurea
The Domus Aurea was a large landscaped portico villa, designed to take advantage of artificially created landscapes built in the heart of Ancient Rome by the Emperor Nero after the Great Fire of Rome had cleared away the aristocratic dwellings on the slopes of the Palatine...

The brick-built Villa's facade is faced in Portland stone
Portland stone
Portland stone is a limestone from the Tithonian stage of the Jurassic period quarried on the Isle of Portland, Dorset. The quarries consist of beds of white-grey limestone separated by chert beds. It has been used extensively as a building stone throughout the British Isles, notably in major...

, with a small amount of stucco
Stucco or render is a material made of an aggregate, a binder, and water. Stucco is applied wet and hardens to a very dense solid. It is used as decorative coating for walls and ceilings and as a sculptural and artistic material in architecture...

. The finely carved Corinthian capitals on the projecting six-column portico at Chiswick, carved by John Boson
John Boson
John Boson was a cabinet maker and carver whose work is associated with that of William Kent. It is said that if he had not died at such a relatively young age then his place would have been assured in the history of furniture making in the United Kingdom...

, are derived from Rome's Temple of Castor and Pollux. The inset door, projecting plinth and 'v'-necked rusticated vermiculation (resembling tufa
Tufa is a variety of limestone, formed by the precipitation of carbonate minerals from ambient temperature water bodies. Geothermally heated hot-springs sometimes produce similar carbonate deposits known as travertine...

) were all derived from the base of Trajan's Column
Trajan's Column
Trajan's Column is a Roman triumphal column in Rome, Italy, which commemorates Roman emperor Trajan's victory in the Dacian Wars. It was probably constructed under the supervision of the architect Apollodorus of Damascus at the order of the Roman Senate. It is located in Trajan's Forum, built near...

. 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
Church of San Giorgio Maggiore
thumb|450 px|San Giorgio Maggiore seen across the water in full sun on an evening in JuneSan Giorgio Maggiore is a 16th century Benedictine church on the island of the same name in Venice, northern Italy, designed by Andrea Palladio and built between 1566 and 1610...

 in Venice and by Inigo Jones
Inigo Jones
Inigo Jones is the first significant British architect of the modern period, and the first to bring Italianate Renaissance architecture to England...

 (1573–1652) (Palladio also produced woodcuts of the Villa Foscari with crenellated sections of walls in his I Quattro Libri dell'Architettura
I Quattro Libri dell'Architettura
I quattro libri dell'architettura is an Italian treatise on architecture by the architect Andrea Palladio . It was first published in four volumes in 1570 in Venice, illustrated with woodcuts after the author's own drawings. It has been reprinted and translated many times...

 in 1570, yet in reality they were never built). To reinforce this link two full-length statues of Palladio and Jones by the celebrated Flemish-born sculptor John Michael Rysbrack
John Michael Rysbrack
Johannes Michel or John Michael Rysbrack, original name Jan Michiel Rijsbrack , was an 18th-century Flemish sculptor. His birth-year is sometimes given as 1693 or 1684....

 (1694–1770) 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 (21.3 m) by 70 feet (21.3 m) by 35 feet. Inside are rooms of 10 feet (3 m) square, 15 feet (4.6 m) square and 15 feet (4.6 m) by 20 feet (6.1 m) by 25 feet. The distance from the apex of the dome to the base of the cellar is 70 feet (21.3 m), making the whole pile fit within a perfect, invisible cube. However, the decorative cornice at Chiswick was derived from a contemporary source, that of James Gibbs's cornice at the Church of St Martin-in-the-Fields
St Martin-in-the-Fields
St Martin-in-the-Fields is an Anglican church at the north-east corner of Trafalgar Square in the City of Westminster, London. Its patron is Saint Martin of Tours.-Roman era:Excavations at the site in 2006 led to the discovery of a grave dated about 410...

, 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 18th-century English aristocracy as the greatest of all the Roman Emperors (the early Georgian era was known as the Augustan Age
Augustan literature
Augustan literature is a style of English literature produced during the reigns of Queen Anne, King George I, and George II on the 1740s with the deaths of Pope and Swift...

). 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.

Grand Tourists visiting Rome would have regarded such objects as Roman. Augustus was viewed through 18th-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
Marcus Vitruvius Pollio was a Roman writer, architect and engineer, active in the 1st century BC. He is best known as the author of the multi-volume work De Architectura ....

’) was also writing in the age of Augustus, a fact not lost on Lord Burlington.

The origins of Rome were made manifest at Chiswick through Burlington's strategic deployment of statues, including those of a Borghese
Borghese is the surname of a family of Italian noble and papal background, originating as the Borghese or Borghesi in Siena, where they came to prominence in the 13th century holding offices under the commune. The head of the family, Marcantonio, moved to Rome in the 16th century and there,...

 gladiator, a Venus de' Medici
Venus de' Medici
The Venus de' Medici or Medici Venus is a lifesize Hellenistic marble sculpture depicting the Greek goddess of love Aphrodite. It is a 1st century BC marble copy, perhaps made in Athens, of a bronze original Greek sculpture, following the type of the Aphrodite of Cnidos, which would have been made...

, a wolf (used to inspire nostalgic memories of the legendary founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus
Romulus and Remus
Romulus and Remus are Rome's twin founders in its traditional foundation myth, although the former is sometimes said to be the sole founder...

, a goat (symbolising the zodiac of Capricorn, the birth sign of the Emperor Augustus) 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
Aeneas , in Greco-Roman mythology, was a Trojan hero, the son of the prince Anchises and the goddess Aphrodite. His father was the second cousin of King Priam of Troy, making Aeneas Priam's second cousin, once removed. The journey of Aeneas from Troy , which led to the founding a hamlet south of...

 who fled Troy
Troy was a city, both factual and legendary, located in northwest Anatolia in what is now Turkey, southeast of the Dardanelles and beside Mount Ida...

 and co-founded Rome. On the forecourt to the Villa are several 'term
Term (architecture)
In Classical architecture a term or terminal figure is a human head and bust that continues as a square tapering pillarlike form. If the bust is of Hermes as protector of boundaries in ancient Greek culture, with male genitals interrupting the plain base at the appropriate height, it may be...

' 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.
At the rear of the Villa were positioned 'herm
A Herma, commonly in English herm is a sculpture with a head, and perhaps a torso, above a plain, usually squared lower section, on which male genitals may also be carved at the appropriate height...

' statues that derive from the Greek god Hermes
Hermes is the great messenger of the gods in Greek mythology and a guide to the Underworld. Hermes was born on Mount Kyllini in Arcadia. An Olympian god, he is also the patron of boundaries and of the travelers who cross them, of shepherds and cowherds, of the cunning of thieves, of orators and...

, the patron of travellers 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 memoirist and gossip, John, Lord 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 Penicuik
John Clerk of Penicuik
Sir John Clerk of Pennycuik, 2nd Baronet was a Scottish politician, lawyer, judge, composer and architect.He was Vice-President of the Philosophical Society of Edinburgh, the pre-eminent learned society of the Scottish Enlightenment.-Early life:...

 described it as 'Rather curious than 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. 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 more than 167 paintings hanging in situ at Chiswick House in Lord Burlington's lifetime, many purchased on his two Grand Tours of Europe.

Relationship between Villa and Gardens

Lord Burlington's use of certain motifs and decorative schemes suggests that he regarded the Villa and its garden as a single entity. Features employed within the Villa are reflected in the garden. For example, the portico of the Villa displays a dado rail, with mock picture frames located above. The concept of a single entity of villa and garden is reinforced with the use of 'thermal
Diocletian window
Diocletian windows, also called thermal windows, are large semicircular windows characteristic of the enormous public baths of Ancient Rome...

' and 'serlian' windows within the Villa to capture natural light, and the positioning of the main staircase on the outside of the Villa. Within the interior 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 reproduced in the garden as terminating features to the two lakes. At the Bowling Green Lord Burlington positioned eight sweet chestnut
Sweet Chestnut
Castanea sativa is a species of the flowering plant family Fagaceae, the tree and its edible seeds are referred to by several common names such Sweet Chestnut or Marron. Originally native to southeastern Europe and Asia Minor, it is now widely dispersed throughout Europe and parts of Asia, such as...

 trees around its perimeter, echoing the eight Tuscan columns
Tuscan order
Among canon of classical orders of classical architecture, the Tuscan order's place is due to the influence of the Italian Sebastiano Serlio, who meticulously described the five orders including a "Tuscan order", "the solidest and least ornate", in his fourth book of Regole generalii di...

 located around the circumference of the Lower Tribune. To Burlington the primitive Tuscan order was associated with the use of trees as columns in ancient buildings. 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 vaguely similar to Andrea Palladio's approach to his Villas in Vicenza, many of which had a semi-agricultural purpose, with the ground floor used for domestic and commercial activities, and the piano noble used for entertainment.

Principal rooms

Chiswick Villa is built of brick and its façade 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 colourful. 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.

Two features of Chiswick Villa were revolutionary in English architectural practice- the centrally-planned layout, and the geometry of the rooms. Chiswick Villa was the first domestic building in England to be designed with a central room which provided access to other rooms around its perimeter. The source for this feature was Andrea Palladio's centrally planned Villas, such as the Villa Capra and Villa Foscari. In the design of the rooms Lord Burlington used different geometric shapes, 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
Corinthian order
The Corinthian order is one of the three principal classical orders of ancient Greek and Roman architecture. The other two are the Doric and Ionic. When classical architecture was revived during the Renaissance, two more orders were added to the canon, the Tuscan order and the Composite order...

 of architecture to illustrate their important status.

In contrast, the Villa's ground-floor level was always intended to be plain and unadorned; it has low ceilings and little carving or gilding. Its rooms were for business, and Lord Burlington followed Palladio's recommendation to restrict the lowest order of Roman architecture, the Tuscan, to 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 only by the house servants; a dumb waiter was installed in place of the fourth internal staircase.

Upper Tribune (or Domed Hall)

The Upper Tribune is an octagonal room surmounted with a central dome. The dome has octagonal coffering of a type derived from the Basilica of Maxentius
Basilica of Maxentius
The Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine is an ancient building in the Roman Forum, Rome, Italy...

. The half-moon lunette windows below the dome are called 'Thermal' or 'Diocletian' windows. Their use at Chiswick was the first in northern Europe. Running beneath the Diocletian windows in the frieze are several lion heads, 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 (and unexecuted) decorative scheme for this room, illustrated by William Kent around 1727, the spaces between the Diocletian windows were represented as half-moon panels with painted scenes, possibly frescos. 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 (complementing 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 designed by Lord Burlington..

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
George Frideric Handel
George Frideric Handel was a German-British Baroque composer, famous for his operas, oratorios, anthems and organ concertos. Handel was born in 1685, in a family indifferent to music...

 (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 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 Venus and Roma
The Temple of Venus and of Rome — in Latin, Templum Veneris et Romae — is thought to have been the largest temple in Ancient Rome. Located on the Velian Hill, between the eastern edge of the Forum Romanum and the Colosseum, it was dedicated to the goddesses Venus Felix and Roma Aeterna...

,- 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 of 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
Sebastiano Ricci
Sebastiano Ricci was an Italian painter of the late Baroque school of Venice. About the same age as Piazzetta, and an elder contemporary of Tiepolo, he represents a late version of the vigorous and luminous Cortonesque style of grand manner fresco painting.-Early years:He was born in Belluno, son...

 (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 18th century it was believed that the Crusader Military orders, such as The Poor Knights of the Temple of Solomon (Knights Templar
Knights Templar
The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon , commonly known as the Knights Templar, the Order of the Temple or simply as Templars, were among the most famous of the Western Christian military orders...

) and the Knights of St John (Hospitallers), were in some way inexplicably linked. 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 purple Egyptian porphyry
Porphyry (geology)
Porphyry is a variety of igneous rock consisting of large-grained crystals, such as feldspar or quartz, dispersed in a fine-grained feldspathic matrix or groundmass. The larger crystals are called phenocrysts...

 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
Neptune is the eighth and farthest planet from the Sun in the Solar System. Named for the Roman god of the sea, it is the fourth-largest planet by diameter and the third largest by mass. Neptune is 17 times the mass of Earth and is slightly more massive than its near-twin Uranus, which is 15 times...

, 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.

When the Villa was rented out to John Patrick Crichton-Stuart,3rd Marquess of Bute between 1865 and 1892, the central Gallery space, headed by apses at both ends, became his chapel.

Pillared Drawing Room

Today known as the Upper Link, this room was built in about 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 16th-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
Appian Way
The Appian Way was one of the earliest and strategically most important Roman roads of the ancient republic. It connected Rome to Brindisi, Apulia, in southeast Italy...

 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 BC.

Green Velvet Room

The Green Velvet Room is 15 feet (4.6 m) by 20 feet (6.1 m) by 25 feet (7.6 m) in size and has a plaster ceiling with nine deeply recessed, gilded compartments 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
Green Man
A Green Man is a sculpture, drawing, or other representation of a face surrounded by or made from leaves. Branches or vines may sprout from the nose, mouth, nostrils or other parts of the face and these shoots may bear flowers or fruit...

, pagan god of the oak and symbol of rebirth and resurrection, can be viewed carved into the marble fireplaces. The stone overmantels 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 next door. Today this rooms contains six paintings of the gardens by the Flemish artist Pieter Andreas Rysbrack. These paintings are particularly valuable as they trace the development 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, regarded by art historians as the first painting to depict the English Landscape Garden.

Lady Burlington's Bedchamber and Closet

Lady Burlington died in this bedchamber in 1758, as did the Whig leader Charles James Fox
Charles James Fox
Charles James Fox PC , styled The Honourable from 1762, was a prominent British Whig statesman whose parliamentary career spanned thirty-eight years of the late 18th and early 19th centuries and who was particularly noted for being the arch-rival of William Pitt the Younger...

 in 1806. The designation of this room in Lord Burlington's lifetime is unknown, but it appears Lady Burlington occupied this room some time after the death of her last daughter in 1754. Records at Chatsworth House show that the room was used intermittently as a children's nursery, undoubtedly for Lady Burlington's grand children and subsequently for the children of Georgiana and Elizabeth Foster. Today, several portraits of the Savile family can be viewed here and in the Bedchamber closet. One painting of note is of the poet Alexander Pope, painted by his good friend and fellow drinker William Kent.

The bedchamber closet is a perfect cube and has a ceiling design derived from the Queen's House, Greenwich. Originally the room would have contained around twenty seven paintings and access would have been restricted to Lady Burlington's closest friends. Prince of Wales swags and feathers can be seen in both rooms, possibly denoting the Villa as a Royal Palace.

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
Giacomo Cavedone
Giacomo Cavedone , was an Italian Baroque painter of the Bolognese School.He belonged to the generation of Carracci-inspired or trained painters that included Giovanni Andrea Donducci ; Alessandro Tiarini, Lucio Massari, Leonello Spada and Lorenzo Garbieri...

 (1577–1660), Peter Paul Rubens (1573–1640), Rembrandt van Ryn (1606–69), Salvator Rosa
Salvator Rosa
Salvator Rosa was an Italian Baroque painter, poet and printmaker, active in Naples, Rome and Florence. As a painter, he is best known as an "unorthodox and extravagant" and a "perpetual rebel" proto-Romantic.-Early life:...

 (1615–1673), Pier Francesco Mola
Pier Francesco Mola
Pier Francesco Mola was an Italian painter of the High Baroque, mainly active around Rome.-Biography:Mola was born at Coldrerio . At the age of four, he moved to Rome with his father Giovanni Battista, a painter...

 (1612–1666), Jacopo Ligozzi
Jacopo Ligozzi
Jacopo Ligozzi was an Italian painter, illustrator, designer, and miniaturist of the late Renaissance and early Mannerist styles.-Biography:...

 (c.1547–1632), Jean Lemaire
Jean Lemaire (painter)
Jean Lemaire was a French painter. He is also known as Lemaire-Poussin, due to his frequent close collaborations with Nicolas Poussin...

 (1598–1659), Francisque Millet
Francisque Millet
Francisque Millet , also known as Jean-François Milée or Millet I, was a Flemish - French painter of the Baroque period.-Biography:...

 (1642–79) and Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer whose genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance...

 (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.

The ceiling, similar in design to that in the Green Velvet Room, but containing painted panels has at its centre a painting by William Kent representing 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
Temple of Portunus
The Temple of Portunus is an ancient building in Rome, Italy, the main temple dedicated to the god Portunus in the city. It is in the Ionic order and is still more familiar by its erroneous designation, the Temple of Fortuna Virilis given it by antiquaries...

 as depicted by Palladio.

An additional interpretation of this ceiling and its iconography relates to Freemasonry and its legendary history, 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 zodiac
In astronomy, the zodiac is a circle of twelve 30° divisions of celestial longitude which are centred upon the ecliptic: the apparent path of the Sun across the celestial sphere over the course of the year...

al wheel containing the zodiacs for the planet Mercury and the constellations Gemini
Gemini (constellation)
Gemini is one of the constellations of the zodiac. It was one of the 48 constellations described by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy and it remains one of the 88 modern constellations today. Its name is Latin for "twins", and it is associated with the twins Castor and Pollux in Greek mythology...

 and Virgo
Virgo (constellation)
Virgo is one of the constellations of the zodiac. Its name is Latin for virgin, and its symbol is . Lying between Leo to the west and Libra to the east, it is the second largest constellation in the sky...

. 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
Order of the Garter
The Most Noble Order of the Garter, founded in 1348, is the highest order of chivalry, or knighthood, existing in England. The order is dedicated to the image and arms of St...

 which Lord Burlington received from King George II
George II of Great Britain
George II was King of Great Britain and Ireland, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg and Archtreasurer and Prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire from 11 June 1727 until his death.George was the last British monarch born outside Great Britain. He was born and brought up in Northern Germany...

 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.
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.

Blue Velvet Room and Closet

The Blue Velvet Room is a perfect cube measuring 15 feet (4.6 m) 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
Vincenzo Scamozzi
thumb|250px|Portrait of Vincenzo Scamozzi by [[Paolo Veronese]]Vincenzo Scamozzi was a Venetian architect and a writer on architecture, active mainly in Vicenza and Republic of Venice area in the second half of the 16th century...

, which were ready for inspection. The ceiling is supported by eight large cyma reversa brackets, all in the Italian manner.

The coved ceiling, painted by William Kent, depicts a personification of ‘Architecture’ accompanied by three putti who grasp architectural implements in the form of T-Square
A T-square is a technical drawing instrument used by draftsmen primarily as a guide for drawing horizontal lines on a drafting table. It may also guide a triangle to draw vertical or diagonal lines. Its name comes from the general shape of the instrument where the horizontal member of the T slides...

, Set-Square and plumb line. ‘Architecture’ herself holds dividers and an unknown Temple plan (possible derived from the Jesuit architect Juan Bautista Villalpando
Juan Bautista Villalpando
Juan Bautista Villalpando was a Spanish Jesuit scholar, mathematician, and architect.- Life :...

 who produced a classical reconstruction of the sanctum sanctorum at the heart of Solomon's Temple). 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 be 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
In late Greek mythology as developed in Ptolemaic Alexandria, Harpocrates is the god of silence. Harpocrates was adapted by the Greeks from the Egyptian child god Horus. To the ancient Egyptians, Horus represented the new-born Sun, rising each day at dawn...

. The idea that this room could have been used for initiation into Masonic mysteries is further supported by the proportions of this room as a perfect cube measuring 15x15x15 feet – the equivalent of 10 cubits by 10 cubits by 10 cubits, the stated dimensions of the Holy of Holies within Moses' Tabernacle according to the Bible.

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.
In this room today are twelve oil paintings of Chiswick House and gardens from the 1930s by Joseph William Topham Vinall. These paintings are of great interest as they show views that no longer exist with several showing the now lost interiors of the two Devonshire wing buildings.


Echoing the Gallery Rooms located above, the Library is a tripartite arrangement of rooms in octangular, rectangular and circular spatial forms. In the 1740s these rooms were lined with books in English, French, Italian and Latin. There were sections on architecture, antiques, sculpture, history, poetry, geography, fortification, science, divinity, philosophy and exploration. Three copies of the original 1570 publication of Andrea Palladio's I Quattro Libri dell’ Architettura were also placed here. Many of these books were housed in specially commissioned cabinets designed by William Kent.
Today the Library is devoid of books, the collections having been removed to Chatsworth House
Chatsworth House
Chatsworth House is a stately home in North Derbyshire, England, northeast of Bakewell and west of Chesterfield . It is the seat of the Duke of Devonshire, and has been home to his family, the Cavendish family, since Bess of Hardwick settled at Chatsworth in 1549.Standing on the east bank of the...

, Derbyshire, or in the Royal Institute of British Architects
Royal Institute of British Architects
The Royal Institute of British Architects is a professional body for architects primarily in the United Kingdom, but also internationally.-History:...

 library, which itself is now located in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Twelve steps leading from the octagonal section of the Library descend to an octagonal brick cellar vaulted in Early English style. From this cellar wine and beer were raised by dumb waiter to guests on the piano nobile.

Lower Link

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 designed by the celebrated sculptor John Cheere
John Cheere
John Cheere was an English sculptor, born in London. Brother of the sculptor Sir Henry Cheere, he was originally apprenticed as a haberdasher from 1725 to 1732.-Life:...

 is positioned on a plinth in this room, together with one of the famous Arundel Marbles
Arundel marbles
The Arundelian Marbles are a collection of Greek marbles collected by Thomas Howard, 21st Earl of Arundel in the early seventeenth century, the first such comprehensive collection of its kind in England...

 which originally was inset into the base of an obelisk within the gardens and dates from the 3rd century BC.

Summer Parlour

The Summer Parlour was the most important room on the ground floor of the Villa. Possibly the oldest part of the complex, it was designed around 1715 by either Lord Burlington or James Gibbs
James Gibbs
James Gibbs was one of Britain's most influential architects. Born in Scotland, he trained as an architect in Rome, and practised mainly in England...

, who also designed the ‘Pagan Temple’ in the gardens. James Gibbs was sacked by Lord Burlington on the advice of Colen Campbell. Campbell subsequently took over Gibbs' 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
Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino , better known simply as Raphael, was an Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance. His work is admired for its clarity of form and ease of composition and for its visual achievement of the Neoplatonic ideal of human grandeur...

. This style, rare in Britain until reintroduced by William Kent at Kensington Palace
Kensington Palace
Kensington Palace is a royal residence set in Kensington Gardens in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London, England. It has been a residence of the British Royal Family since the 17th century and is the official London residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Duke and...

, consisted of foliage forms interwoven with mythical creatures, such as cherubs or sphinxes.

In the ceiling of the Summer Parlour, Kent also added small owls, a motif that incorporated the owl of the Savile heraldic device. Kent designed two tables with matching mirror frames containing the owl device (the owl was also associated with the owl-faced Roman goddess Minerva, 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 of a Greek Key design 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.
The central ceiling panel shows a sunflower at the centre, surrounded by four scenes of ports, each framed by shells, a reference to the Roman water goddess Venus and the Egyptian protector of ports and sailors, Isis. The panel nearest the fireplace (in Burlington's time the doorway) depicts two putti, one of whom sketches a female bust. The other holds his finger to his lips illustrating the need for silence.

The historian Jane Clark has noted that the female bust bears a resemblance to the Jacobite Queen and Polish Princess Maria Clementina Sobieska, wife of James the Old Pretender. The two putti with reddish hair who accompany her may 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 pug dog. The pug dog was a symbol adopted by the 'Society of the Mopses', a European pseudo-Masonic organisation of both male and female Freemasons. As a symbol of revolt, the pug dog became particularly important after the publication of Pope Clement XII
Pope Clement XII
Pope Clement XII , born Lorenzo Corsini, was Pope from 12 July 1730 to 6 February 1740.Born in Florence, the son of Bartolomeo Corsini, Marquis of Casigliano and his wife Isabella Strozzi, sister of the Duke of Bagnuolo, Corsini had been an aristocratic lawyer and financial manager under preceding...

's Papal Bull In Eminenti in 1738 which condemned Catholic involvement in 'Craft' Freemasonry. As Clark explains, a symbolic initiation of female Freemasons involved the visiting of ports, a ritual which provides a possible link to the four scenes of ports on the ceiling panel. 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 and in the centre of the floor in the Upper Tribunal.


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. The gardens, like the Villa, were inspired by the architecture of ancient Rome combined with the influence of contemporary poetry and theatre design.

The gardens at Chiswick were originally of a standard Jacobean design, but from the 1720s they were in a constant state of transition. Burlington and Kent experimented with new designs, incorporating such diverse elements as mock fortifications, a Ha-ha, classical fabriques, statues, groves, faux Egyptian objects, bowling greens, winding walks, cascades and water features.

Authors of antiquity, such as Horace
Quintus Horatius Flaccus , known in the English-speaking world as Horace, was the leading Roman lyric poet during the time of Augustus.-Life:...

 and Pliny
Pliny the Younger
Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus, born Gaius Caecilius or Gaius Caecilius Cilo , better known as Pliny the Younger, was a lawyer, author, and magistrate of Ancient Rome. Pliny's uncle, Pliny the Elder, helped raise and educate him...

, were major influences on 18th century thinkers through their descriptions of their own 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
Charles Bridgeman
Charles Bridgeman was an English garden designer in the onset of the naturalistic landscape style. Although he was a key figure in the transition of English garden design from the Anglo-Dutch formality of patterned parterres and avenues to a freer style that incorporated formal, structural and...

 (1690–1738), who was believed to have worked on the gardens with Lord Burlington around 1720, 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 landscape paintings of the French artists Nicolas Poussin
Nicolas Poussin
Nicolas Poussin was a French painter in the classical style. His work predominantly features clarity, logic, and order, and favors line over color. His work serves as an alternative to the dominant Baroque style of the 17th century...

 (1594–1665) and Claude Lorrain
Claude Lorrain
Claude Lorrain, , traditionally just Claude in English Claude Lorrain, , traditionally just Claude in English (also Claude Gellée, his real name, or in French Claude Gellée, , dit le Lorrain) Claude Lorrain, , traditionally just Claude in English (also Claude Gellée, his real name, or in French...

 (1600–1682). The poet Alexander Pope (who had his own Villa with gardens in nearby Twickenham), was also involved, and was responsible for confirming Lord Burlington's belief that Roman and Greek gardens were largely 'informal' affairs, with nature ruled by God.
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, 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 Shaftesbury (1671–1713) who advocated 'variety' in a garden, but 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 garden buildings and ancient statues which were to symbolically evoke 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.

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 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 Portunus
Temple of Portunus
The Temple of Portunus is an ancient building in Rome, Italy, the main temple dedicated to the god Portunus in the city. It is in the Ionic order and is still more familiar by its erroneous designation, the Temple of Fortuna Virilis given it by antiquaries...

 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. 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 dimensions 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
A waterfall is a place where flowing water rapidly drops in elevation as it flows over a steep region or a cliff.-Formation:Waterfalls are commonly formed when a river is young. At these times the channel is often narrow and deep. When the river courses over resistant bedrock, erosion happens...

 to west of the 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
Daniel Defoe
Daniel Defoe , born Daniel Foe, was an English trader, writer, journalist, and pamphleteer, who gained fame for his novel Robinson Crusoe. Defoe is notable for being one of the earliest proponents of the novel, as he helped to popularise the form in Britain and along with others such as Richardson,...

 (1659–1731) as Caesar
Julius Caesar
Gaius Julius Caesar was a Roman general and statesman and a distinguished writer of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the gradual transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire....

 (100–44 BC) and Pompey
Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, also known as Pompey or Pompey the Great , was a military and political leader of the late Roman Republic...

 (106–48 BC) responsible for the decline of the Roman republic facing a statue of Cicero
Marcus Tullius Cicero , was a Roman philosopher, statesman, lawyer, political theorist, and Roman constitutionalist. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the equestrian order, and is widely considered one of Rome's greatest orators and prose stylists.He introduced the Romans to the chief...

 (106–43 BC), the defender of the Republic. In 1733 Lord Burlington resigned his positions within the government and went into active opposition against Robert Walpole
Robert Walpole
Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford, KG, KB, PC , known before 1742 as Sir Robert Walpole, was a British statesman who is generally regarded as having been the first Prime Minister of Great Britain....

, Britain's first Prime Minister who was regarded as corrupting British politics and Whig values. However, it was the figures of the poets Horace
Quintus Horatius Flaccus , known in the English-speaking world as Horace, was the leading Roman lyric poet during the time of Augustus.-Life:...

, Homer
In the Western classical tradition Homer , is the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, and is revered as the greatest ancient Greek epic poet. These epics lie at the beginning of the Western canon of literature, and have had an enormous influence on the history of literature.When he lived is...

 and Virgil
Publius Vergilius Maro, usually called Virgil or Vergil in English , was an ancient Roman poet of the Augustan period. He is known for three major works of Latin literature, the Eclogues , the Georgics, and the epic Aeneid...

, the philosopher Socrates
Socrates was a classical Greek Athenian philosopher. Credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy, he is an enigmatic figure known chiefly through the accounts of later classical writers, especially the writings of his students Plato and Xenophon, and the plays of his contemporary ...

, and the leaders Lucius Verus
Lucius Verus
Lucius Verus , was Roman co-emperor with Marcus Aurelius, from 161 until his death.-Early life and career:Lucius Verus was the first born son to Avidia Plautia and Lucius Aelius Verus Caesar, the first adopted son and heir of Roman Emperor Hadrian . He was born and raised in Rome...

 and Lycurgus
Lycurgus or Lykurgus may refer to:People:* Historical:** Lycurgus of Sparta, creator of constitution of Sparta** Lycurgus of Athens, one of the ten notable orators at Athens,...

 which once graced the exedra whose political message was one of democracy and anti-tyranny. (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
-Places:in Canada:*Stowe, Albertain Dominica:*Stowe, Dominicain the United Kingdom:*Stowe, Buckinghamshire**the location of Stowe House, Stowe Landscape Garden and Stowe School** former location of the Stowe Missal*Stowe, Herefordshire*Stowe, Lincolnshire...


William Kent also added a cascade (a symbolic Grotto), inspired by the upper cascade of the gardens of the Villa Aldobrandini. 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
A Bagnio was originally a bath or bath-house.The term was then used to name the prison for hostages in Istanbul, which was near the bath-house, and thereafter all the slave prisons in the Ottoman Empire and the Barbary regencies...

' (or Casino, designed by Lord Burlington and Colen Campbell
Colen Campbell
Colen Campbell was a pioneering Scottish architect who spent most of his career in England, and is credited as a founder of the Georgian style...

) in 1716, the 'Pagan Temple' (designed by the Catholic Baroque architect James Gibbs
James Gibbs
James Gibbs was one of Britain's most influential architects. Born in Scotland, he trained as an architect in Rome, and practised mainly in England...

) and the Rustic House (designed by Lord Burlington).
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. 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 18th century. Next to the remaining Deer Houses stands the Doric column on which was placed a statue of the Venus di' Medici.
In the 18th 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
Portland stone
Portland stone is a limestone from the Tithonian stage of the Jurassic period quarried on the Isle of Portland, Dorset. The quarries consist of beds of white-grey limestone separated by chert beds. It has been used extensively as a building stone throughout the British Isles, notably in major...

 and was commissioned by the Chiswick House Friends in 2009. Other statues that Lord Burlington had made for the gardens included a wolf, a boar, a goat, a lion and lioness, a statue of the Roman god Mercury, a gladiator, Hercules, and Cain and Abel.

The lawn at the rear of the house was created by 1745 and planted with young Cedar of Lebanon trees which alternate with stone funerary urns designed by William Kent. Placed between the urns and the Cedar of Lebanon are three more sphinxes orientated to face the rising sun.

A lake was created around 1727 by widening the Bollo Brook
Bollo Brook
Bollo Brook or Bollar Brook is a subterranean river in West London which flows into the River Thames.Bollo Brook rises in Acton and to the west of Turnham Green and enters the grounds of Chiswick House. There it is joined by a stream from a lake near Sydney House to the west...

. The excess soil was then heaped up behind William Kent's cascade to produce an elevated walkway for people to admire the gardens and a view of the nearby River Thames. 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 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. 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 were one of the most painted of English gardens in the 18th century. The painter Peter Andreas Rysbrack was commissioned to paint a series of eight paintings to record the transformation of the garden from formal Jacobean to informal picturesque at the end of the 1750s. Together with copies of a second set these paintings today hang in the Green Velvet Room. 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
John Rocque
John Rocque was a surveyor and cartographer.Rocque was born no later than 1709, since that was the year he moved to England with his parents, who were French Huguenot émigrés...

 (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

In 1778, the decision was taken by the fifth Duke of Devonshire, on the advice of his gardener Samuel Lapidge, to make alterations to the gardens. These included the demolition of several of the garden buildings, including the Bagnio and Pagan Temple, both of which terminated the avenues of the patte d'oie and the filling in of two rectangular water basins to the side and rear of the Villa.

The Classic Bridge located beyond the Orange Tree Garden was built for Georgiana Spencer. It was constructed in 1774 to the designs of James Wyatt
James Wyatt
James Wyatt RA , was an English architect, a rival of Robert Adam in the neoclassical style, who far outdid Adam in his work in the neo-Gothic style.-Early classical career:...


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 being demolished. In that same year the Italian Garden was laid out on the newly acquired grounds 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 have survived from 1828 to this day.
The garden designer Joseph Paxton
Joseph Paxton
Sir Joseph Paxton was an English gardener and architect, best known for designing The Crystal Palace.-Early life:...

 (1803–1865), creator of the Crystal Palace
The Crystal Palace
The Crystal Palace was a cast-iron and glass building originally erected in Hyde Park, London, England, to house the Great Exhibition of 1851. More than 14,000 exhibitors from around the world gathered in the Palace's of exhibition space to display examples of the latest technology developed in...

, started his career in the gardens at Chiswick for the Royal Horticultural Society
Royal Horticultural Society
The Royal Horticultural Society was founded in 1804 in London, England as the Horticultural Society of London, and gained its present name in a Royal Charter granted in 1861 by Prince Albert...

 before his talents were recognised by William Cavendish, the sixth Duke of Devonshire and he relocated as ‘Head Gardener’ to Chatsworth House
Chatsworth House
Chatsworth House is a stately home in North Derbyshire, England, northeast of Bakewell and west of Chesterfield . It is the seat of the Duke of Devonshire, and has been home to his family, the Cavendish family, since Bess of Hardwick settled at Chatsworth in 1549.Standing on the east bank of the...

, Derbyshire.

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)
  • Ayres, Plilip, Classical Culture and the Idea of Rome in Eighteenth-Century England, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997).
  • 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.
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • Watkin, David, Classical Country Houses: From the Archives of Country Life, (London: Aurum Press, 2010)
  • 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)
  • Chaney, Edward, Inigo Jones's 'Roman Sketchbook, 2 vols (London, The Roxburghe Club, 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

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 18th 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)
  • Soulier-Detis, Elizabeth, Guess at the Rest: Cracking the Hogarth Code, (Lutterworth Press, 2010)
  • Stevenson, David, The Origins of Freemasonry. Scotland's Century, 1590–1710, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988)

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

External links

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