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Orleans House Gallery

Riverside, Twickenham, TW1 3DJ

Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 5pm, free.

Pleasant 35-minute riverside walk from Richmond station (underground and National Rail), or National Rail to St Margaret’s or Twickenham.

This Palladian villa, set in woodland by the Thames, was designed by John James in 1710 for the politician James Johnston with a baroque octagon by James Gibbs, which was added for entertaining George II’s Queen Consort, Caroline, who favoured Johnston, a former diplomat in Hanover. The house was given its present name after Louis-Phillippe, Duc d’Orléans, was exiled here during the Napoleonic wars.

The house was demolished in 1926, but the outbuildings and octagon were saved by the efforts of a local figure, the Shell heiress Nellie Ionides, who left them and her collection of 18th- and 19th-century pictures to the borough. Richmond Borough’s extensive art collection is now housed here and it includes a Study Room that has memorabilia of Sir Richard Burton, who went to school in Richmond and is buried in a curious tent-shaped mausoleum in nearby Mortlake. There is also a gallery of contemporary work at the House, and there are workshops and talks.

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Issue 59, June 2019 Behind Closed Doors
£ 12.00