of a new era for Chiswick House?
Executive of English Heritage says millions could be available to
stem the decline of the house and grounds
Simon Thurley described the House as "Lord Burlington's
© English Heritage
was renewed optimism over the future of Chiswick House and its surrounding
grounds this week as the Chief Executive of English Heritage spoke
of millions being available for the regeneration. Simon Thurley
was speaking at a buffet dinner at the House this week and revealed
that as well as a six figure sum from an anonymous donor there was
the strong possibility of money from the National Lottery.
the same day Mr. Thurley had written in the Financial Times on the
subject of heritage and singled out Chiswick House for specific
mention saying, "It is a challenge we are facing, for example,
at Chiswick House in west London. Lord Burlington's exquisite jewel
of a house, designed as a temple of the arts, an icon of the ideal
aristocratic life, is set in a landscape that symbolised the relationship
between man and nature. It is an extraordinarily significant building"
went on to add that the gardens were, if anything, even more seminal
than the House saying, "It is at least arguable that here,
in the lawns that run down from the house to the lake, is the earliest
example of the naturalistic English style that is still one of the
liveliest traditions in landscape design throughout the world."
stressed that the most important objective was to give as many people
as possible the opportunity to enjoy the house and grounds.
for Chiswick House friends said, "Simon is, quite simply, giving
Chiswick House and Grounds their proper level of importance in the
architectural heritage of this country. He is also underlining the
challenge to make this jewel accessible to the maximum number of
well as Simon Thurley, the meeting at Chiswick House heard from
two English Heritage employees responsible for major projects at
Kenwood and Eltham Palace. The emphasis was on the role that volunteers
could play in helping maintain major heritage properties. Chiswick
House grounds have seen substantial decline over the last few years
as the paltry maintenance budget of only £155,000 has proven
inadequate to turn the tide of vandalism and general deterioration.
comment from the Friends was, "We need to find the most appropriate
ways to mobilise the energy and enthusiasm of locals to share the
load and to convert our mutual love of the place into productive
action. London Borough of Hounslow, CIP, English Heritage &
CHF (the Friends) need to put their heads together and move forward
quickly. But this is a community and we do want community involvement
with ideas and help and support."
you want to find out more about the activities of the Friends of
Chiswick House or to become a member visit their
Police also run a scheme call Parkwatch
in which members of the public can help with the effort to reduce
crime in the grounds. They are currently looking for more participation
from local people.
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express anger at "disgraceful" state of the grounds
for "Garden Centre" in Chiswick House Grounds
of Chiswick House