New charitable trust for Chiswick House

Over £1 million available for restoring house and grounds

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Chiswick House and its gardens and park are set to return to their former splendour with the establishment of a new charitable trust to oversee the restoration, management and protection of this important national icon.

The Trust, set up between English Heritage and the London Borough of Hounslow, will focus on funding for the proper maintenance and protection of this outstanding Grade I villa and its gardens, which have been enjoyed as a public park since 1929.

Widely regarded as the birthplace of the English Landscape Movement, Chiswick House and its gardens were designed to impress and flaunt the great wealth and refinement of its owner, Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington. It is considered one of the world’s most glorious examples of neo-Classical design, of exceptional architectural purity.

Mr Rupert Hambro, the Trust’s first Chairman, said: “This celebrated site is an icon of history at the heart of the local community. It has been enjoyed by generations of Londoners as the embodiment of Lord Burlington’s pioneering vision. My Trustees and I are determined that the House and its park and gardens of 65 acres will be restored to its former glory.”

The park in recent years has seen a steady decline as the budget for maintenance has proven insufficient but consistent lobbying from members of the local community has resulted in concerted action from the Council and English Heritage to stem the decline.

Simon Thurley, English Heritage’s Chief Executive, said: “Chiswick House is of exceptional historical significance and its park is much loved and used. English Heritage is delighted to see the stewardship of the House, gardens and park combined into a single Trust.”

The Trustees represent a broad spectrum of the community and include the current Lord Burlington, a direct descendent of the 3rd Lord Burlington. English Heritage and Hounslow Borough Council selected the following candidates to establish the new trust: Mr Manish Chande, Mr David Jacques, Mr Edward Impey, Mr George Nissen, Ms Joanne Sawicki, Mr John William Chatt, Mrs Rosemary Day and Mr Paul Lynch.

Councillor John Chatt, London Borough of Hounslow Councillor and Trustee, added: “The Trust represents an important commitment to the community and has been specifically set up to spearhead the regeneration of Chiswick House and gardens for the enjoyment of future generations.”

The Chiswick House Project has lodged a funding application with the Heritage Lottery Fund to support phase one, encompassing the landscape regeneration elements. The project was given a significant boost by £600,000 in funding from the Wolfson Gardens Challenge Fund in September 2004, a figure English Heritage has matched.

May 11, 2005