The Marble Hill Society

About the Society

The Society was founded in March 1987 to bring together people with an interest in Marble Hill House and Park, to encourage a wider knowledge with talks and events, and to help English Heritage to preserve and enhance its amenities.

The aim is make Marble Hill a natural destination for all visitors to Twickenham and Richmond seeking to understand the history the area or simply to enjoy its beauty and amenity. Set in 66 acres of open parkland beside the river Thames at Twickenham, in the London Borough of Richmond, it is a classic example of an English Palladian villa. This beautiful house signalled the start of the whole Georgian architectural style which swept this country. Together with Chiswick House, which was being built at the same time, they fuelled the appreciation of a classical style which spread to America and around the world. Their influence continues to this day.

The work of the Society includes fundraising to purchase objects for the house, as well as actively promoting it as a venue to be enjoyed by everyone. The Society has been able to help in the purchase of new handwoven silk festoon curtains for the Great Room, a painting by Gawen Hamilton of the neighbouring Montague Family, four 18th century novels with handwritten annotations linking them to the house, as well as an 18th century mirror and set of chairs.  

More recently, the society has purchased a selection of related reference books for Marble Hill House and commissioned a bookcase to be made for them in the Dining Parlour.  It is a source of pride that all these acquisitions from the Society’s fund raising activities are now on display in the house.

The Marble Hill Society's social activities and lecture programme support the preservation of the house by raising both funds and public awareness. The Society continues to press for maximum access to the house, particularly in the light of restricted opening times English Heritage have imposed in response to financial constraints. The Society is also taking positive steps to improve and enhance the experience of everyone who visits. The long established successful programme of Sunday afternoon tours by Marble Hill Society guides has been expanded to cover the whole season from April to October.

There are currently seven Society guides, with more being trained. The published opening hours are supplemented by private viewings which the public can pre-arrange with the house.  Tours for private groups are often led by Society guides as part of the work of the Society to support English Heritage and promote the house.

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