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iVisit.... Apsley House

  • Apsley House 149 Piccadilly, Hyde Park Corner London, W1J 7NT United Kingdom (map)

Be amazed by the glittering interiors of the grandest address in the capital, once known as 'Number 1 London'. This beautiful Georgian building was the London home of the first Duke of Wellington and has changed very little since his great victory at Waterloo in 1815. Revel in one of the finest art collections in London, with paintings by Velazquez and Rubens, as well as a wonderful collection of silver and porcelain.

Apsley House was originally designed and built between 1771 and 1778 for Lord Chancellor Henry, 1st Baron Apsley (later 2nd Earl Bathurst), by the fashionable architect Robert Adam (1728–92).

The site chosen was on Piccadilly, at the formal entrance to Hyde Park, which was Crown land. Bathurst negotiated the lease of land from the Crown in order to build his new house. Apsley was the first house on the north side of Piccadilly, located opposite a turnpike with toll houses, and consequently it became known as ‘Number 1, London’. Its correct postal address is now 149 Piccadilly.

The original house was a five-bay red brick building, with a spacious entrance hall and central colonnaded oval staircase. Adam had to design the house to respect the existing stable block on the eastern side, which contributed to its irregular floor plan.

Adam completed the building and furnishing of the house at a cost of £10,000. The structure of this house survives underneath the later stone encasement and extensions.

Delve into the art and history of Apsley House with the brand new multimedia guide, learn about Regency society and much more, as you tour the house.

Venture down to the basement gallery to see items which have never been seen before, in a new exhibition. Discover a wealth of fascinating memorabilia including medals and shields.

Find out more about the man behind the myth. The 'Iron Duke' lived at Apsley House after defeating Napoleon, and the house remains a residence of the Dukes of Wellington today. 

By the time of his death in 1852 the Iron Duke was a national hero, and his house stands as a national shrine to the victor of Waterloo.

Away from his military career, the Duke reputedly had a way with words and many admirers.

Earlier Event: July 1
iVisit.... Notes
Later Event: July 3
iVisit.... Eltham Palace