Marble Hill in 1749 © English Heritage
On the riverside around Twickenham in the early 18th century aristocrats mingled with the literary world in proximity with royalty at Richmond. When Horace Walpole bought his house at Strawberry Hill in 1747, the poet Alexander Pope, famous for his garden and grotto at nearby Cross Deep, had been dead for three years. But Walpole began a long friendship with Henrietta Howard, Countess of Suffolk and mistress to George II, further along the river at Marble Hill. It was Pope who, with the royal gardener Charles Bridgeman, had advised her about the making of her garden there, which included at least one grotto.
At Strawberry Hill the garden has recently been restored as closely as possible to its original appearance, using contemporary evidence. Similarly at Marble Hill, current research and archaeological investigations are informing the restoration of the gardens to their 18th-century state. And at Pope’s Grotto the Preservation Trust have completed a pilot project for the conservation of the south chamber, which will lead to further conservation work.
|From 10am||Meet at the Strawberry Hill café (at the back of the house) for coffee|
|10.30am||Visit Strawberry Hill gardens with Chris Sumner|
|11.30||Visit Pope’s Grotto with the Pope’s Grotto Preservation Trust|
|1pm||Lunch at the Crown pub|
|2.30–4pm||Visit Marble Hill gardens and grotto with John Watkins and Emily Parker from English Heritage|
£35 including morning coffee/tea, entry to Pope’s Grotto and sandwich lunch.
For tickets please apply to the London Parks and Gardens Trust, c/o The Store Yard, St James’s Park, London SW1A 2BJ (telephone 020 7839 3969), including a stamped addressed envelope and stating any special dietary requirements; or on line.
Please note there is a limit of 25 participants.
South Western Railway from Waterloo (4 trains per hour) to Strawberry Hill, 5-10-minute walk to Strawberry Hill House, 268 Waldegrave Road, Twickenham TW1 4ST; buses 33, R68.
Please note: we shall take a local bus from Pope’s grotto to the Crown Pub in Richmond Road.