Point of Interest

Apsley House

England / Europe

Apsley House, sometimes known as Number One London, is the London home of the Duke of Wellington, and is found on the South East corner of Hyde Park. The house was originally commissioned by Lord Apsley, the then Lord Chancellor, and was designed by Robert Adam. It was built between 1771 and 1778. It was bought in 1807 by 1st Marquess Wellesley, the elder brother of the great Duke of Wellington, who bought it from him in 1817, needing a London home during the political phase of his life. In 1818 he commissioned the architect Benjamin Dean Wyatt to add two bays on the west side of the house, to build the Waterloo Gallery to house his paintings, and to face the original building with Bath stone, turning it from red to a golden colour. The 1st Duke of Wellington held a Cabinet dinner here in 1828 and entertained William IV to dinner in on 25 July 1830. Soon afterwards, on account of the Reform Bill in 1831, the house was stoned by the mob, who broke numerous windows until his servant fired two blunderbusses over the heads of the crowd. Now isolated on its own island, Apsley House used to be the first of the long line of houses on the north side of Piccadilly. The 7th Duke of Wellington, gave the house and its more important contents to the nation in 1947 under the terms of the Wellington Museum Act. The Wellingtons still have an apartment in the house. The rest is open as a museum and is a fine example of how a Victorian aristocrat lived in London.  

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