Apsley House

Museum (United Kingdom)
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About

Apsley House is the product of two very different styles of building and decoration. The original house was designed and furnished in the neoclassical style by Robert Adam between 1771 and 1778. Much of this was swept away when Apsley was remodelled on a grand scale for the Duke of Wellington from 1819. The house as it appears today is largely a product of Wellington’s refurbishments.

Apsley House occupies a prominent position in the centre of London, next to the formal entrance to Hyde Park and opposite the Wellington Arch.

The impressive exterior owes its appearance to the reconstruction of Apsley House by the architect Benjamin Dean Wyatt from 1819 onwards. The whole exterior is faced in Bath stone, and the symmetrical neoclassical south façade has a high four-column portico. There are three principal storeys. Wyatt’s refashioning of the exterior of Apsley accompanied the addition of a new wing on the western side of the original five-bay house designed by Robert Adam.

The elaborate cast iron railings in front of the house were added by Wyatt in about 1830. As well as making the house more secure, this helped to unite Apsley House’s appearance with the new tripartite screen and gates forming the entrance to Hyde Park, built by Decimus Burton in 1822–5. This was aligned with the triumphal ‘Constitution’ (now Wellington) arch on the south side of Piccadilly, erected between 1828 and 1830. The arch was moved to its present position in 1883. [source]