Apsley House
Apsley House
is the London
townhouse of the Dukes of Wellington. It stands alone at Hyde Park Corner, on the south-east corner of Hyde Park, facing south towards the busy traffic roundabout in the centre of which stands the Wellington Arch. It is a Grade I listed building. It is sometimes[when?] referred to[by whom?] as the Wellington Museum. The house is now run by English Heritage
English Heritage
and is open to the public as a museum and art gallery, exhibiting the Wellington Collection, a large collection of paintings, other artworks and memorabilia of the career of the 1st Duke. The 9th Duke of Wellington retains the use of part of the buildings. It is perhaps the only preserved example of an English aristocratic town house from its period. The practice has been to maintain the rooms as far as possible in the original style and decor.


1 History 2 Gallery 3 See also 4 Notes 5 References 6 External links

History[edit] Apsley House
Apsley House
stands at the site of an old lodge that belonged to the crown. During the Interregnum newer buildings were erected between what is now Old Regent Street and Hyde Park Corner. In the 1600s after the Restoration they were leased by James Hamilton (died 1673) and renewed by Elizabeth his widow in 1692 on a 99-year lease (Hamilton Place takes its name from that family). Immediately before Apsley House was built the site was occupied by a tavern called the Hercules Pillars (immortalised by Henry Fielding
Henry Fielding
in The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling as the location where Squire Western resides when he first journeys up to London).[2] The house was originally built in red brick by Robert Adam
Robert Adam
between 1771 and 1778 for Lord Apsley, the Lord Chancellor, who gave the house its name. Some Adam interiors survive: the semi-circular Staircase, the Drawing Room with its apsidal end, and the Portico Room, behind the giant Corinthian portico added by Wellington. The house was given the popular nickname of Number One, London, since it was the first house passed by visitors who travelled from the countryside after the toll gates at Knightsbridge.[3] It was originally part of a contiguous line of great houses on Piccadilly, demolished to widen Park Lane: its official address remains 149 Piccadilly, W1J 7NT.[4] In 1807 the house was purchased by Richard Wellesley, 1st Marquess Wellesley, the elder brother of Sir Arthur Wellesley, but in 1817 financial difficulties forced him to sell it to his famous brother, by then the Duke of Wellington, who needed a London
base from which to pursue his new career in politics. Wellington employed the architect Benjamin Dean Wyatt
Benjamin Dean Wyatt
to carry out renovations in two phases: in the first, begun in 1819, he added a three-storey extension to the north east, housing a State Dining Room, bedrooms and dressing rooms.[5] The second phase, started after Wellington had become Prime Minister in 1828, included a new staircase and the "Waterloo Gallery" on the west side of the house.[5] The red-brick exterior was clad in Bath stone, and a pedimented portico added.[6] Wyatt's original estimate for the work was £23,000, but the need to repair structural defects discovered during the work led to costs escalating to more than £61,000.[5] Wyatt introduced his own version of French style to the interior, notably in the Waterloo Gallery and the florid wrought iron stair-rail, described by Pevsner as "just turning from Empire to a neo-Rococo" . The Waterloo Gallery is named after the Duke's famous victory over Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo. A special banquet is still served annually to celebrate the date – 18 June 1815. The Duke's equestrian statue can be seen across the busy road, cloaked and watchful, the plinth guarded at each corner by an infantryman. This statue was cast from guns captured at the battle. Gerald Wellesley, 7th Duke of Wellington, gave the house and its most important contents to the nation in 1947, but by the Wellington Museum Act 1947 the right of the family to occupy just over half the house was preserved "so long as there is a Duke of Wellington".[7] The family apartments are now on the north side of the house, concentrated on the second floor. Gallery[edit]

Apsley House
Apsley House
in 1829 by TH Shepherd. The main gateway to Hyde Park can be glimpsed on the left.

The statue of the Duke of Wellington facing Apsley House. Hyde Park Corner to the left.

Apsley House
Apsley House
at night

Portrait of Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington hanging in Apsley House

Napoleon as Mars the Peacemaker statue in Apsley House

See also[edit]

Stratfield Saye House
Stratfield Saye House
– the country house of the Dukes of Wellington


^ Historic England. " Apsley House
Apsley House
(1226873)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 1 September 2013.  ^ Knight, Charles, ed. (1851), Knight's cyclopædia of London, London, p. 789  ^ Aspley House (English Heritage) accessed 13 March 2009 ^ 149 Piccadilly, W1J 7NT – Google
Maps ^ a b c "Arthur Wellesley and Benjamin Wyatt". English Heritage. Retrieved 20 December 2011.  ^ Timbs, John (1858). Curiosities of London. London. p. 541.  ^ Nicolson, Adam. "Heritage held hostage to class war". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 1 November 2015. 


Jervis, Simon and Tomlin, Maurice (revised by Voak, Jonathon) (1984, revisions 1989 & 1995) Apsley House
Apsley House
Wellington Museum published by the Trustees of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London ISBN 1-85177-161-1 Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: London
vol. I, p 463. ISBN 0-300-09653-4 Stourton, James (2012). Great Houses of London
(Hardback). London: Frances Lincoln. ISBN 978-0-7112-3366-9. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Apsley House.

Apsley House
Apsley House
on English Heritage's website Aerial photo and map – Apsley House
Apsley House
is marked "Wellington Museum". Historical Images of Apsley House Apsley House
Apsley House
and Park Lane, Old and New London: Volume 4 (1878), pp. 359–375

v t e

Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington


Father: Garret Wesley, 1st Earl of Mornington Mother: Anne Hill Brothers: Richard Wellesley, 1st Marquess Wellesley William Wellesley-Pole, 3rd Earl of Mornington Henry Wellesley, 1st Baron Cowley Sister: Lady Anne Smith Wife: Catherine Wellesley, Duchess of Wellington Children: Arthur Charles

Battles and wars

Flanders Campaign Battle of Boxtel Fourth Anglo-Mysore War Battle of Seringapatam Second Anglo-Maratha War Battle of Assaye Peninsular War Battle of Roliça Battle of Vimeiro Second Battle of Porto Battle of Talavera Battle of Sabugal Third Siege of Badajoz Battle of Salamanca Battle of Vitoria Hundred Days Battle of Waterloo


Apsley House Stratfield Saye House Walmer Castle


Wellington Arch Wellington's Column Wellington Monuments

Dublin London Somerset

Wellington College, Berkshire


Aldershot Glasgow London

Royal Exchange Hyde Park Corner

v t e

Museums and galleries in London

List of museums in London

National museums

British Library British Museum Geffrye Museum Horniman Museum National Army Museum National Gallery National Portrait Gallery Natural History Museum Royal Air Force Museum Sir John Soane's Museum Wallace Collection

Imperial War Museums

Churchill War Rooms HMS Belfast Imperial War Museum
Imperial War Museum

Royal Museums Greenwich

Cutty Sark National Maritime Museum Queen's House Royal Observatory

Science Museum Group

Science Museum


Britain Tate

Victoria and Albert Museum

V&A Museum of Childhood

Designated collections

Courtauld Gallery Dulwich Picture Gallery Firepower – The Royal Artillery Museum Hunterian Museum Jewish Museum Library and Museum of Freemasonry London
Transport Museum Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology Royal Academy of Arts

Museum of London

Museum of London

Royal Collection Trust

Queen's Gallery Royal Mews

Historic Royal Palaces

Banqueting House, Whitehall Hampton Court Palace Kensington Palace Kew Palace Tower of London

National Trust

2 Willow Road 575 Wandsworth Road Blewcoat School Carlyle's House Eastbury Manor House Fenton House George Inn Lindsey House


Morden Hall Park Osterley Park Rainham Hall Red House Roman Baths Sutton House

English Heritage

Apsley House Chiswick House Down House Eltham Palace Jewel Tower Kenwood House
Kenwood House
(Iveagh Bequest) London
Wall Marble Hill House Ranger's House
Ranger's House
(Wernher Collection) Winchester Palace

The London
Museums of Health & Medicine (selected)

Florence Nightingale Museum Foundling Museum Freud Museum Museum of the Order of St John Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret Wellcome Collection


Arsenal Football Club Museum Bank of England Museum Barbican Art Gallery Benjamin Franklin House Bruce Castle Charles Dickens Museum David Zwirner Gallery Dennis Severs' House Design Museum Dr Johnson's House Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art Fashion and Textile Museum Flowers Gallery Garden Museum Guildhall Art Gallery Handel & Hendrix in London Hayward Gallery Hogarth's House Institute of Contemporary Arts Leighton House Museum London
Museum of Water & Steam Marlborough Gallery Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising Museum of Croydon Museum of Immigration and Diversity Museum of Richmond Orleans House
Orleans House
Gallery The Redfern Gallery Royal Academy of Music Museum Saatchi Gallery Serpentine Galleries Sherlock Holmes Museum Two Temple Place Twickenham Museum Whitechapel Gallery White Cube William Morris Gallery Victoria Miro Gallery


Coordinates: 51°30′12″N 0°09′06″W / 51.5034°N 0.1517°W