Address: Lanesborough Place, London.
Opening hours: The place is generally open Wednesdays to Sundays, from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Contact: Phone +44 20 7259 5598
The place must be really important for it to be given the address of Number One, London. Apsley House does not disappoint in this regard as it comes with a grade I listing and the prestige of having been selected by English Heritage.
Apsley House used to be the Dukes of Wellington’s townhouse in London. It is the sole residence that can be seen by the Hyde Park Corner. Today, the house is open to public perusal as it is now an art gallery and a museum. Take note though that the 8th Duke of Wellington sometimes still lives in a part of the building.
Sometimes, Apsley House is referred to as the Wellington Museum. It looks to be the only house of its kind to have survived from the period it was built. The rooms are maintained in the closest way possible to its original style and furnishings. The rooms contain the 1st Duke’s various art collections, which include porcelain, silver and of course, paintings. Some of the art pieces are notable, such as Napoleon as Mars the Peacemaker, which was sculpted by Antonio Canova. This piece was housed in the Louvre for a time. in 1816, it was bought by the Government.
Apsley House was built sometime during the period between 1171 and 1178. It was built for the Lord Chancellor Apsley by Robert Adam. The house was in red brick. The 1st Marquess Richard Wellesley bought the house in 1807. Unfortunately, his problematic finances made him sell the house to the Duke of Wellington, who was actually his brother. The Duke had the house undergo renovations in 1819, and then in 1828. The red brick was covered in Bath stone and there were other changes that were made. The architect Benjamin Dean Wyatt even made use of his own take of the French style to change the interior.
The house was able to earn the popular Number One address because it is the first house to be seen by visitors coming from the countryside after they have passed the Knightsbridge toll gates.
Apsley House is also remarkable as a museum, being home to a collection of 200 paintings. 83 of these paintings had been acquired by the first Duke himself after the 1813 Battle of Vitoria. Adults can gain admission for £6.50 each and children (ages 5 to 15) can gain admission at £3.90 each. A family with two adults and three children has to pay the package price of £21.30. The place is generally open Wednesdays to Sundays, from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.