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24 September 2014
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Restoration 2004 - Strawberry Hill
Strawberry Hill
Strawberry Hill
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Strawberry Hill is a world-famous house that changed the course of architectural history and which is listed by the World Heritage Fund as one of the 100 most endangered sites.

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Watch: BBC London's Gillian Joseph takes a look around Strawberry Hill House Video


Severndroog Castle

Audio: Listen to Griff Rhys Jones chatting to BBC London's Danny Baker
GET INVOLVED
So You Want To Save An Historic Building?

Restoration campaign packs are available by calling 08700 100 150 or by logging on to the website.

The pack contains information about how to launch a campaign to save a historic building, where to get grants and who to contact for advice.

The pack also contains information and contact details for the 21 Restoration buildings.

So, who was Horace Walpole?

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Do you have fond memories or stories connected with Strawberry Hill?

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Watch a 360 image of one its grand rooms here

LINKS
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National Trust

English Heritage - Restoration

Friends of Strawberry Hill

(The BBC cannot be held responsible for the content of external websites.)

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Listing: Grade I
Date of building: 1748 - 1766


This gothic masterpiece in Twickenham is considered one of the finest examples of Georgian Gothic architecture and interior decoration.

The building, which gets its name from the local area, started out as a modest house but was transformed by Horace Walpole.

He doubled its size, adding towers and battlements, and filled it with treasures that reflected his social position in high society.

Walpole was obsessed by fashion, style and architecture.

After purchasing Strawberry Hill, he was able to play out these fascinations by taking the property from a 5-acre plot to 46 acres, and setting up his "The Committee of Taste" to transform the house.

The Committee was made up of Walpole and two of his friends, who he considered to be of the right (tasteful) metal to work alongside him on his ambitious plans for the house.

Gillian Joseph
BBC London's Gillian Joseph inside Strawberry Hill House

They were John Chute, who was responsible for much of the main elevations of the house and the interiors, and Richard Bentley, who was an artist and draughtsman.

Nearly all of Walpole's treasures have been removed from the house - all that is except for his vast collections of painted and stained glass, which were key to his design vision.

This glass is now however gravely at risk, which was a factor that helped add it to the World Monuments Fund watch list of 100 most endangered sites.

After Walpole died in 1797, the house went through a number of hands, Lady Frances Waldegrave, who was a leading figure in Victorian society.

In 1923, it was purchased by the Catholic Education Council and became St Mary's Roman Catholic Teachers Training College. It is now part of Surrey University.

Location:
Strawberry Hill,
Waldegrave Road,
Twickenham,
TW1 4SX

Read about Horace Walpole here>>

Your comments:

I have very fond memories of Strawberry Hill House as I grew up with a view of the Gothic tower framed by my bedroom window. Every morning when the curtains were drawn, there it was whatever the weather or the time of year. I would dream that the tower was the home of Rapunzel, and that one day, I would see her letting down her golden hair from a window. Unfortunately, this never happened!

Christine Martin

Our happy memories are of our wedding in St.Mary's College Chapel, followed by a reception in the Long Gallery and Ballroom of the house. We were married on August 13th 1983 - a beautiful hot and sunny day, during a long hot summer. A fantastic start to our married life!
Paul and Tricia Stack

Plan
An original plan of the house

My name is Michael O'Donnell and under the name of Don Craine I play with 1960s R&B band the Downliners Sect. My family moved to Twickenham in 1950 and during the mid 1950's my best friend at school was a fellow named Bob Dilley who's mother was the housekeeper for the priests who taught at St Mary's College in Strawberry Hill House. As both of my parents worked, I spent most of my summer holidays with Bob, wandering the grounds of the house, exploring the underground shelters and, occasionally, sneaking into the magnificent building for a dared look around. Our St James' school sports days were held in the grounds and my first public appearance, with Bob and another chap, at the age of eleven was at the Strawberry Fair talent contest, where we appeared as The Cool Three, playing Lonnie Donegan's Lost John. As it turned out, we were beaten by a young lady who, clad in Austrian attire, sang about some strange sounding place by the sea. I will always remember the place with affection and I retain a love of Gothic in both architecture and ghost/horror stories.
Mick O'Donnell

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