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Apsley House

This London art gallery and museum is also known as the Wellington Museum.

Georgian House Hotel is a great place to stay if you are planning a trip to Apsley House. Apsley House is a fascinating place to visit, and for some strange reason, it is far less well known than many of the popular tourist attractions. It is easy to reach from the Georgian House Hotel, only 10 minutes walk away.
Apsley House

The History of Apsley House

Apsley House was built between 1771 and 1778 for Baron Apsley. It was designed by the neo-classical architect Robert Adam (1728-1792) and was originally a five-bay red brick house. Built on the site of a lodge to Hyde Park, it was the first house to be encountered after passing the tollgates at the top of Knightsbridge, a conspicuous position that soon led to its popular nickname 'No.1 London'.

In 1807 Marquess Wellesley, the 1st Duke of Wellington's elder brother, bought Apsley House. In 1818, Wellington employed the architect Benjamin Dean Wyatt to carry out repairs and install the Canova statue of Napoleon in the stairwell. In 1819, Wyatt built the classical Dining Room in the north-east corner where the Waterloo Banquets were held from 1820 to 1829.

Wellington lived regularly at Apsley House until his death in 1852. His wife and children lived mainly at their countryseat, Stratified Saye House, although the Duchess was at Apsley House when she died in 1831.

Apsley House opens to the public

After Wellington's death, his son (the 2nd Duke of Wellington) allowed the public to visit the principle apartments of the house from 1853 onwards on written application. He made some alterations but the main rooms remained substantially intact until the 7th Duke of Wellington presented the house to the nation in 1947.

In 1947, the 7th Duke of Wellington gave Apsley House and its contents to the Nation, to be open to the public as a museum with provision for the family to retain some apartments in perpetuity. Whilst the government undertook to maintain the fabric of the building, responsibility for running the museum was given to the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Apsley House today

During the 2nd World War, a bomb fell nearby. The damage and the effects of time were put right by major renovation carried out by the then Ministry of Public Buildings in time for the public opening on July 19th 1952. From 1961-1962, the houses next to Apsley House were demolished to make way for Park Lane, separating the house from Piccadilly. The new east facade was then faced with Bath stone and pierced with windows, the coach house removed and the forecourt rendered symmetrical.

Apsley House now welcomes over 65,000 visitors a year, including 15,000 children in school groups. The driving force behind the presentation of the Apsley House is the 1st Duke's taste and the interiors are arranged, as they would have looked in his day.

Georgian House Hotel is ideally situated in a very central location, so visiting sights all over London is quick and easy. Why not book Georgian House Hotel when you plan your trip to Apsley House? You can book online or email to make a reservation on reception@georgianhousehotel.co.uk, or telephone on 0044(0)207 834 1438.