The National Archives, Kew (reading rooms are temporarily closed due to tier 4 restrictions)

 The National Archives’ reading rooms are temporarily closed

The National Archives is home to millions of historical documents covering a huge range of subjects, including more than 70,000 images, from ancient maps to iconic advertising. The building houses records which have been created and collected by UK central government departments such as the Home Office and the Foreign Office, and major courts of law such as the Central Criminal Court. The National Archive is a unique resource for those interested in the history of the United Kingdom.

There are certain records, such as birth, marriage and death certificates, that they do not hold. You will not find army service records after 1923, wills after 1858, Parish records, legal proof of divorces later than 1858, adoption records or certificates of naturalisation after 1 October 1986. Follow this link to see where they suggest to look for those records.

How to use the archive

To see what they do have, you can use their A-Z index or use their subject guides for: Family History / First World War / Seconld World War / Military and Maritime history / Social and Cultural history / Criminals, Courts and Prisons / Political and Economic history / Foreign and Colonial history / Land and Maps / Mediaeval and early modern history / Records for current legal purposes.
Follow this link to see their research guides.

The Research & Enquiry Room has an excellent library holding books on many subjects and the bookshop sells books on all subjects, including many on the World Wars.

Programme of events

The National Archives are currently hosting an excellent programme of online talks and webinars that are free for everyone and delivered by their experts, specialists and guests.
Check their website for details.

Local Cinemas

Local Cinemas

Visit Gunnersbury Triangle, nature reserve

A green oasis created by intersecting railway lines, saved from development in the 1980s and managed by the London Wildlife Trust for wildlife and people. This wet woodland nature reserve is a haven for birds and small mammals, which take advantage of the sheltered birch and willow. Walkways and footpaths help guide visitors around the ponds and acid grassland areas through this wild oasis in Chiswick. You can just wander round and enjoy the peace and beauty of it or become a volunteer, record the species you see and take part in events. Only guide dogs allowed.

wildlondon.org.uk

View our This is Chiswick page on Gunnersbury Triangle to view more lovely photographs of the nature reserve.

Visit the London Wetland Centre, Barnes

Winter opening: 1 November until February 28 (or 29 when relevant), opening times 9.30 am to 4.30 pm (last admission 3.30pm).

Summer opening: 1 March until October 31, opening times 9.30am to 5.30pm (last admission 4.30pm).

An urban oasis for wildlife, with wading birds, ducks and otters. A lovely place to go, with or without kids. Find out about WWT’s conservation work and the birds they are helping to save from extinction. Walks and talks on wild animals, plants and birds, hands on activities for kids, especially during school holidays. Enjoy the lakes, ponds and gardens, café and play areas.

Tickets: 10% saving if you book online

wwt.org.uk

The Food Market Chiswick

The market is behind the flats on the A316, opposite Chiswick School. You can reach it from either Edensor Road or Riverside Drive (and then left onto Alexandra Gardens). Just follow the signs.

The Food Market Chiswick is a collection of stalls where the stallholders are also the producers of the food, so the food is fresh and seasonal. There are stallholders offering prepared food: a selection of street food, handmade bread, cakes and pastries, and those offering the ingredients: fine rare breed meats, fish, fresh seasonal vegetables, unpasteurised milk and artisan cheeses. The market puts you, the customer, in direct contact with the farmers, fishmongers, growers and bakers, so you can talk to them directly about their produce. It’s also a great place to sit and read the paper over a cup of coffee while the kids run round Dukes Meadows and play in the adventure playground. Dogs welcome. Special events, such as a Birds of Prey display, Punch & Judy and donkey rides on Sundays during the school summer holidays.

thefoodmarketchiswick.com

facebook.com/The-Food-Market-Chiswick

twitter.com/TheFoodMarketW4

instagram.com/thefoodmarketchiswick

Go to our This is Chiswick feature page on The Food Market to view two videos about the market and a gallery of photographs

London Museum of Water and Steam, Brentford

The museum is open daily, Wednesday – Sunday, 10.00am – 4.00pm (Closed Mondays and Tuesdays for pre-booked school tours) and open on bank holidays and daily throughout LB Hounslow school holidays.

The heart of the museum is its collection of magnificent steam pumping engines: the Cornish engines, which are in their original engine houses, and the rotative engines, which have been collected by the museum trust from pumping stations across the country.

Together the collection demonstrates the major developments in steam engine technology. In addition to these engines, the museum has also collected examples of diesel, electric, water and animal powered pumping engines and has on show a range of items associated with water.

Despite the serious engineering base, the museum is growing in popularity with families, with hands on water pumping activities and the fun Splash Zone to make learning about steam and water more user friendly to children.

The highlight has to be a ride on a steam engine, with 15 minute trips around the museum grounds on selected days. Check the museum’s website to see which days the locomotives are in operation. There’s always something special laid on during weekends and school holidays.

Tickets:
For prices see the museum website.

waterandsteam.org.uk

Musical Museum, Brentford

The museum is open Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10.30am – 5.30pm. Also open bank holidays.

The Musical Museum is home to a wonderful collection of self-playing musical instruments. From tiny music boxes to the Mighty Wurlitzer theatre organ in the concert hall, you can learn about the history of music reproduction, and hear an impressive array of self-playing pianos, orchestrions, pipe organs, violin players, gramophones & synthesizers.

Guided tour and instrument demonstrations:

Tuesday – 11.00am, 3.00pm
Friday – 11.00am, 1.00pm, 3.00pm
Saturday – 11.00am, 1.00pm, 3.00pm
Sunday – 11.00am, 1.00pm, 3.00pm

The museum has a café and also hosts tea dances and organ concerts. See the museum’s website for details.

Tickets:
Standard museum entry: £11.00, Concessions: £9.00, Children (5 to 16): £5.00

Family ticket (2 adults plus up to 3 children) £25.00

musicalmuseum.co.uk

The Pilot – Quiz night

Club Card Offer – 10% off all food and drink

Take your card with you to show when you order.

Testing those brain cells every Sunday at The Pilot in Chiswick! Brush up on your general knowledge & win a fantastic £50 Food & Bar tab! Not only that, but all teams have the chance to enter the rollover cash jackpot.

pilot-chiswick.co.uk

The Pilot is a member of The Chiswick Calendar’s Club Card scheme, offering Club Card holders 10% off all food and drink.

See our Club Card offers

Visit Watermans arts centre, Brentford (All screenings and events have been cancelled until at least Sunday 5 April)

There’s something on at Watermans arts centre every day of the year except Christmas Day.

Watermans arts centre offers a variety of arts activities for varied age groups and interests. This includes a cinema, a 250 seat theatre, contemporary art gallery, and an on-site cafe. Year round they provide activities for families, including children’s theatre and comedy, and workshops varying from music to creative writing.

watermans.org.uk

Cinema

Daily, Watermans screens the latest box office hits, independent art house cinema, foreign language films and special events such as National Theatre Live productions and film festivals. For families there are specific ‘family film’ screenings, with both the latest live action and animated films on offer. See the full list of what’s showing at the cinema here.

Live performance:

Watermans hosts many live performance events, including cabaret nights, comedy and contemporary dance. For families, the children’s theatre runs every Sunday during term time and during half terms from September to May. See more about what’s on in live performance here.

Club Card offer

Watermans is part of The Chiswick Calendar’s Club Card scheme. The arts centre offers Club Card holders £6.00 movie tickets on Tuesdays. To access this exclusive deal, book tickets through the Box Office on 0208 232 1010 or in person at Watermans.

Visit Watermans arts centre, Brentford (All screenings and events have been cancelled until at least Sunday 5 April)

There’s something on at Watermans arts centre every day of the year except Christmas Day.

Watermans arts centre offers a variety of arts activities for varied age groups and interests. This includes a cinema, a 250 seat theatre, contemporary art gallery, and an on-site cafe. Year round they provide activities for families, including children’s theatre and comedy, and workshops varying from music to creative writing.

watermans.org.uk

Cinema

Daily, Watermans screens the latest box office hits, independent art house cinema, foreign language films and special events such as National Theatre Live productions and film festivals. For families there are specific ‘family film’ screenings, with both the latest live action and animated films on offer. See the full list of what’s showing at the cinema here.

Live performance:

Watermans hosts many live performance events, including cabaret nights, comedy and contemporary dance. For families, the children’s theatre runs every Sunday during term time and during half terms from September to May. See more about what’s on in live performance here.

Club Card offer

Watermans is part of The Chiswick Calendar’s Club Card scheme. The arts centre offers Club Card holders £6.00 movie tickets on Tuesdays. To access this exclusive deal, book tickets through the Box Office on 0208 232 1010 or in person at Watermans.

Visit Osterley Park & House

Osterley Park is a Georgian country estate in west London, now owned by the National Trust. Described by Horace Walpole as ‘the palace of palaces’, Osterley was created in the late 18th century by architect and designer Robert Adam for the Child family to entertain and impress their friends and clients.

Today the house is presented as it would have looked in the 1780s: ‘Enter the house as the family’s guests would have via the impressive stone steps leading up to the portico. Stroll through the colourful formal gardens, transformed during our six year-long project from an overgrown wilderness back to their 18th century grandeur of herbaceous borders, roses and ornamental vegetables beds. Look out for the original Robert Adam summer house full of lemon trees and highly scented shrubs.’

The house has a nice café in what used to be the stables tea-room, with hot and cold food on offer. The grounds are wonderful to walk around and play in: there are woods, a lake, a forgotten boathouse and an ancient meadow to explore, bursting with wildflowers and butterflies.

The parkland is open every day, 7.00am-7.30pm, except Christmas Day. For house opening times and details of guided tours, see the Osterley Park website.

nationaltrust.org.uk/osterley-park-and-house

Visit Osterley Park & House – (Gardens and cafe are open, house remains closed)

The gardens and café and are now open, with additional safety measures. However, the house is closed until further notice.

Osterley Park is a Georgian country estate in west London, now owned by the National Trust. Described by Horace Walpole as ‘the palace of palaces’, Osterley was created in the late 18th century by architect and designer Robert Adam for the Child family to entertain and impress their friends and clients.

Today the house is presented as it would have looked in the 1780s: ‘Enter the house as the family’s guests would have via the impressive stone steps leading up to the portico. Stroll through the colourful formal gardens, transformed during our six year-long project from an overgrown wilderness back to their 18th century grandeur of herbaceous borders, roses and ornamental vegetables beds. Look out for the original Robert Adam summer house full of lemon trees and highly scented shrubs.’

The house has a nice café in what used to be the stables tea-room, with hot and cold food on offer. The grounds are wonderful to walk around and play in: there are woods, a lake, a forgotten boathouse and an ancient meadow to explore, bursting with wildflowers and butterflies.

The parkland is open every day, 7.00am-7.30pm, except Christmas Day. For house opening times and details of guided tours, see the Osterley Park website.

nationaltrust.org.uk/osterley-park-and-house

Visit Gunnersbury Park

The park is open daily from 8.00am – dusk.
The museum is open Tuesday – Sunday (including Bank Holidays) 10.00am – 4.30pm.

The original Gunnersbury House was built by Sir John Maynard, a lawyer and politician during the time of Oliver Cromwell. In the 18th century Princess Amelia, daughter of George II, used it as her summer home. After her death the original house was pulled down and replaced by two mansions. Both were bought by the Rothschild family in the 19th century and purchased for the nation in 1926. See Friends of Gunnersbury Park & Museum website for more about the history. The stunning gardens include the original Georgian temple folly, a boating lake and an Orangery as well as the more modern additions of tennis courts and bowls club.

Gunnersbury is jointly owned by Hounslow and Ealing councils. In 2014 they were awarded two grants by the Heritage Lottery Fund to overhaul the house and make major improvements to the park. The house was closed for a while and after a £26m refurbishment programme it reopened as a museum in 2018. The museum and gardens are now run by a not-for-profit company Gunnersbury CIC on behalf of both councils.

There’s always something happening in the park, from the Park Run every Saturday at 9.00am to poetry and theatre performances, nature walks, history talks and pumpkin carving in October. In previous years the park has been home to Europe’s biggest festival of South Asian culture, the London Mela which takes place in early September. In 2018 Lovebox and Citadel music festivals moved to the park. They take place in July.

visitgunnersbury.org

View more photographs of Gunnersbury Park on our feature about the park in the ‘This Is Chiswick’ section of the website.

See also our feature on Gunnersbury Museum in the ‘This Is Chiswick’ section of the website.

Visit Kew Gardens (Gardens remain open but all buildings are closed due to the Coronavirus outbreak)

The Gardens remain open but buildings and structures are closed as a precautionary measure during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew is home to the world’s most diverse collection of living plants; 132 hectares of landscape which is exceptionally beautiful in any season. In winter the Palm House welcomes you in to the warmth of the rainforest, the Princess of Wales Conservatory invites you to explore ten of the world’s climatic zones and the Waterlily House shows off its amazing, giant lily pads. In spring and summer you can enjoy the long vistas of snowdrops and crocus lawns and the brightly coloured herbaceous borders, the Great Broad Walk Borders which are home to more than 60,000 plants. In autumn where better to appreciate the changing colours than from the 59ft (18m) high Treetop Walkway?

Kew Gardens is also the site of Kew Palace, the former summer residence of King George III and it is a global resource for plant and fungal knowledge. With its unique combination of extensive collections, databases, scientific expertise and global partnerships, it is a leading international scientific and conservation centre.

See kew.org for seasonal attractions such as the Orchid Festival, the annual summer music concerts Kew The Music, children’s holiday activities, a whole range of walks, talks, art and sculpture exhibitions and the annual finale, Christmas At Kew.

The historic gardens at Kew are interesting to visit and visually stunning at any time of year. Here are just a few images by local photographers.

kew.org

Visit Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens is open but some safety measures have been implemented. Everyone will need to book a time slot in advance, and you might need to queue to enter some of the indoor attractions.

The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew is home to the world’s most diverse collection of living plants; 132 hectares of landscape which is exceptionally beautiful in any season. In winter the Palm House welcomes you in to the warmth of the rainforest, the Princess of Wales Conservatory invites you to explore ten of the world’s climatic zones and the Waterlily House shows off its amazing, giant lily pads. In spring and summer you can enjoy the long vistas of snowdrops and crocus lawns and the brightly coloured herbaceous borders, the Great Broad Walk Borders which are home to more than 60,000 plants. In autumn where better to appreciate the changing colours than from the 59ft (18m) high Treetop Walkway?

Kew Gardens is also the site of Kew Palace, the former summer residence of King George III and it is a global resource for plant and fungal knowledge. With its unique combination of extensive collections, databases, scientific expertise and global partnerships, it is a leading international scientific and conservation centre.

See kew.org for seasonal attractions such as the Orchid Festival, the annual summer music concerts Kew The Music, children’s holiday activities, a whole range of walks, talks, art and sculpture exhibitions and the annual finale, Christmas At Kew.

The historic gardens at Kew are interesting to visit and visually stunning at any time of year. Here are just a few images by local photographers.

kew.org

(Currently closed due to Corona Virus outbreak) Visit the William Morris Museum

The William Morris Society has small museum is in the coach house and basement rooms of Kelmscott House. William Morris lived at Kelmscott House from 1878 until his death in 1896 and the main section of the house is still a home today.

The coach house is now the seasonal exhibition space, where they hold events and exhibitions of work by Morris and those inspired by him here but much has happened in this room; Morris started to weave his first carpets here, and when he became active in politics, the coach-house became the meeting place for the Hammersmith branch of the Socialist League.

The basement rooms have an extensive Morrisian reference library, showcase changing displays from our collection as well as Morris’s original Albion printing press used in the production of the Kelmscott Press Chaucer, Morris’s last great creation.

The majority of The William Morris Society’s collection originates from the generous legacy of Mrs Marion Helena Stephenson, who also bequeathed Kelmscott House to the Society as a fitting location to study and appreciate her artefacts.

The society holds the archives of the Society, the Kelmscott Fellowship and the Women’s Guild of Arts. Founded in 1918 with May Morris as its first President, Emery Walker and AH Verstage, the Kelmscott Fellowship was the forerunner of The William Morris Society, and they merged in 1966. With May Morris at its first President, the Fellowship aimed to keep Morris’s legacy alive through a series of events and exhibitions, and through an active membership which included Walter Crane, Georgiana Burne-Jones and Emery Walker. The Women’s Guild of Arts was established in 1904 as a reaction to the lack of professional art organisations willing to admit women. May Morris was responsible for organising the May lectures and events that appealed to a wide range of craftswomen. The archive includes minutes of meetings, accounts and membership lists.

The collection contains a number of Kelmscott Press titles and working proofs as well as the only printing press used by Morris left in the country. Dating from c.1835 it is fully operational and used on a regular basis by our artist in residence. The Society has a comprehensive collection of Morris and Company wallpapers, watercolour designs, and a selection of textiles, ranging from a Hammersmith rug and woven hangings to printed cottons, silks and embroideries.

The Museum is open every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from 12.00pm – 5.00pm

williammorrissociety.org

The Little Gym – Classes

Club Card Offer – Free Annual Membership worth £50.

 

The Little Gym is now open but with additional COVID-19 measures in place. More details here.

The Little Gym Chiswick offers gymnastics, dance and karate as well as birthday parties.
Classes start for babies aged four months and are on every day of the week.

The Little Gym Chiswick was established in 2007 and is the UK’s only ‘double decker’ Little Gym with two fully equipped gymnasiums, mirrored studio with sprung floor and two separate kitchens and lounge areas for parents and little ones.

The Little Gym is an internationally recognised physical programme that helps children build the developmental skills and confidence needed at each stage of childhood. The very first location was established in 1976 by Robin Wes, an innovative educator with a genuine love for children. Today, The Little Gym has more than 400 locations in 32 countries.

The Little Gym puts on the following classes:
Parent/child: 4 months – 3 years
Pre school Gymnastics: 3 years – 6 years
Primary School Gymnastics: 6 years – 12 years
Dance: 3 years – 12 years
Karate: 4 years – 12 years

For a full timetable of the classes, take a look at the website: chiswick.thelittlegym.eu

(Cancelled due to Coronavirus outbreak) The Pilot – Live Music

Live music from Brendan Cleary or Piers WJ from 4.00pm -7.00pm every Sunday. Enjoy with Sunday roast, served all day with all the trimmings.

Use your Club Card for 15% off all food and drink.

Club Card Offer – 15% discount on all food and drink

Present your Club Card on arrival.

The Food Market Chiswick, Dukes Meadows

The Food Market Chiswick is a collection of stalls where the stallholders are also the producers of the food, so the food is fresh and seasonal. There are stallholders offering prepared food: a selection of street food, handmade bread, cakes and pastries, and those offering the ingredients: fine rare breed meats, fish, fresh seasonal vegetables, unpasteurised milk and artisan cheeses.

The market puts you, the customer, in direct contact with the farmers, fishmongers, growers and bakers, so you can talk to them directly about their produce. It’s also a great place to sit and read the paper over a cup of coffee while the kids run round Dukes Meadows and play in the adventure playground. Dogs welcome. Special events, such as a Birds of Prey display, Punch & Judy and donkey rides on Sundays during the school summer holidays.

SEE ALSO: Our Chis-wiki profile of long term stall holder March House Farm

SEE ALSO: Dukes Meadows Trust celebrates 25 years

The Food Market is a social enterprise run by a Trust and the proceeds from running it are used to improve and maintain Dukes Meadows Park. The market is behind the flats on the A316, opposite Chiswick School. You can reach it from either Edensor Road or Riverside Drive (and then left onto Alexandra Gardens). Just follow the signs. It does not open on Easter Sunday or the first Sunday after Christmas.

thefoodmarketchiswick.com

SEE ALSO:

Chiswick Flower Market – chiswick-flower-market
Chiswick Antiques & Vintage Market – antiques-vintage-market
Chiswick Cheese Market – chiswick-cheese-market
Duck Pond Market at Chiswick House – duck-pond-market-chiswick-house

All events in Chiswick

See our events listings for all events in Chiswick:

whats-on-in-chiswick

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Visit Chiswick House Gardens

Chiswick House is a beautiful example of Classical architecture in the style of Italian Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio. Built by Richard Boyle, 3rd earl of Burlington, 1727-9, the villa was famous in its heyday during the 18th and 19th centuries for some of the most sumptuous entertainments ever held in Britain. The rich decoration and many paintings are well worth the entrance fee.

Image above: Chiswick House; photograph Jennifer Griffiths

Chiswick House and the Kitchen Garden are open 1 April to 30 October 2022, every Thursday to Sunday from 10.00 am – 4.00 pm. (Monday to Wednesday are for pre-booked private groups and tours only). Chiswick House offers Chiswick Calendar Club Card holders a 10% discount off the ticket price to enter the house and 10% off everything in the shop on any day. For the promo code when booking online go here: Chiswick House offer.

Image above: Chiswick House Gardens; photograph Jennifer Griffiths

The Gardens are considered the birthplace of the English Landscape Movement and the inspiration for great gardens such as Blenheim Palace and Central Park in New York. In recent years they have won numerous prizes in the London In Bloom awards, including Heritage Park of the Year and People’s Choice for parks.

Access to the 65 acres of Gardens is free and they are open every day from 07.00am – dusk. There are pedestrian entrances on all sides of the park, on Staveley Rd, Park Rd, Burlington Lane and the A4. Access by car from the A4.

The public events hosted at Chiswick House, such as Gifford’s Circus and Pub in the Park are all listed on The Chiswick Calendar as individual events, put on by different event organisers renting the space. Tickets available through the Chiswick House & Gardens website.

chiswickhouseandgardens.org.uk

Image above: Chiswick House Conservatory, photograph Rosie Leyden

Chiswick House Trust has published a guide to the House & Gardens.

DOWNLOAD HERE: Chiswick House & Gardens visitor map

SEE ALSO: Our Chis-wiki has a number of features about the history of Chiswick House Gardens.

Image above: Chiswick House Conservatory, photograph Rosie Leyden

See our events listings of all the events happening in Chiswick here:

chiswickcalendar.co.uk/whats-on-in-chiswick

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Visit Gunnersbury Triangle, nature reserve

Haven for wildlife in the city

A green oasis created by intersecting railway lines, saved from development in the 1980s and managed by the London Wildlife Trust for wildlife and people. This wet woodland nature reserve is a haven for birds and small mammals, which take advantage of the sheltered birch and willow.

Walkways and footpaths help guide visitors around the ponds and acid grassland areas through this wild oasis in Chiswick. You can just wander round and enjoy the peace and beauty of it or become a volunteer, record the species you see and take part in events. Only guide dogs allowed. Admission is free.

wildlondon.org.uk

See our events listings of all the events happening in Chiswick here:

chiswickcalendar.co.uk/whats-on-in-chiswick

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Visit Syon Park

Syon is one of the last great houses in London which is still lived in by a member of the aristocracy. It has been in the family of the present owner, the Duke of Northumberland, for more than 400 years.

The park land, which is also home to the Syon Park Hilton hotel and children’s indoor play area Snakes and Ladders, never closes. Syon House, the Gardens and the Great Conservatory close for the winter and reopen Wednesday 23 March.

Gardens

The Gardens, created by ‘Capability’ Brown in the eighteenth century, are open daily in the summer season. Tickets pre-booked or by contactless payment on the door. (Up to two free children per full paying adult, not available combined with another promotion or offer). Tickets available to book online. HHA, RHS and Season Tickets don’t need to book, just show your passes on entry.

Image above: Syon Park Great Conservatory; photograph Jennifer Griffiths

Great Conservatory

The Great Conservatory, within the gardens, has been used as a location for music videos and film shoots, including the 1967 Dudley Moore – Peter Cook version of Bedazzled and John Boorman’s first feature film Catch Us If You Can.

Syon House

Built in the sixteenth century on the site of the Medieval Syon Abbey, the House came to the family of the present owners in 1594. Normally, during the summer season, Syon House is open on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays from middle of March to the end of October.

Syon Park Trout Fishery

Syon Park Trout Fishery, which offers easily accessible trout fishing for novices and more experienced anglers, is open to season ticket holders only.

syonpark.co.uk

All events in Chiswick:

chiswickcalendar.co.uk/whats-on-in-chiswick

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Visit Osterley Park

Osterley Park is a Georgian country estate in west London, now owned by the National Trust. Described by Horace Walpole as ‘the palace of palaces’, Osterley was created in the late 18th century by architect and designer Robert Adam for the Child family to entertain and impress their friends and clients. Surrounded by gardens, park and farmland, Osterley is one of the last surviving country estates in London.

The property is managed by the National Trust.

Osterley Park House

The House is well worth a visit. The family of Sir Francis Child, founder of Child’s bank, restored the house in the late eighteenth century with the aid of architect Robert Adam. The house was originally Tudor but fell into disrepair.

It is presented as it would have looked in the 1780s:

‘Enter the house as the family’s guests would have via the impressive stone steps leading up to the portico. Stroll through the colourful formal gardens, transformed during our six year-long project from an overgrown wilderness back to their 18th century grandeur of herbaceous borders, roses and ornamental vegetables beds. Look out for the original Robert Adam summer house full of lemon trees and highly scented shrubs.’

The house has a nice café in what used to be the stables, with hot and cold food on offer. The grounds are wonderful to walk around and play in; there are woods, a lake, a forgotten boathouse and an ancient meadow to explore, bursting with wildflowers and butterflies in summer.

Dogs are not allowed in the gardens. They are allowed in the park on a lead. There is a designated off-lead area on the front lawn.

Check Osterley Park and House website for opening times and prices.

nationaltrust.org.uk/osterley-park-and-house

See our events listings of all the events happening in Chiswick here:

chiswickcalendar.co.uk/whats-on-in-chiswick

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Visit Gunnersbury Park

Park and Museum

Gunnersbury Park is considered by English Heritage to be one of the most important parks in the country. Originally a country estate, it is now bordered by Acton, Brentford, Chiswick and Ealing. Gunnersbury is jointly owned by Hounslow and Ealing councils and run by a not-for-profit company, Gunnersbury CIC.

The park has beautiful ornamental gardens with woods and lakes and a new sports hub with nine-hole golf, tennis courts, football and cricket pitches. The sports hub is currently open for outside activities and if the coronavirus roadmap goes to plan, will open fully on 12 April for indoor sports as well. Book activities online at www.better.org.uk/book

Images above: Gunnersbury Park; photographs Jennifer Griffiths

Gunnersbury Park Museum

The original Gunnersbury house was built by Sir John Maynard, a lawyer and politician during the time of Oliver Cromwell. In the 18th century Princess Amelia, daughter of George II, used it as her summer home. After her death the original house was pulled down and replaced by two mansions. Both were bought by the Rothschild family in the 19th century and purchased for the nation in 1926.

The house has had a major (£26m) refurbishment and reopened as a museum in 2018, with many of the rooms decorated as they were when the famous banking family lived there. There is also a collection representing the modern city all around the park, with exhibits on famous local celebrities such as musician Freddie Mercury and mathematician Ada Lovelace.

There are regular free introductory tours of the museum. No booking required, just turn up. For dates check here:

visitgunnersbury.org

Images above: Gunnersbury Park; photographs Jennifer Griffiths

Gunnersbury Park hosts an extensive programme of activities in the house and outside in the park for people of all ages and interests, many of which can be found on our site in ‘What’s On’. The Lovebox and Citadel music festivals were held in the park in 2018 and 2019.

visitgunnersbury.org

SEE ALSO: Our This is Chiswick section for a feature about the museum.

All events in Chiswick

chiswickcalendar.co.uk/whats-on-in-chiswick

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Visit Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens is home to the world’s most diverse collection of living plants; 132 hectares of landscape which is exceptionally beautiful in any season.

The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

An outing for all seasons

In winter the Palm House welcomes you into the warmth of the rainforest, the Princess of Wales Conservatory invites you to explore ten of the world’s climatic zones and the Waterlily House shows off its amazing, giant lily pads.

Image above: Spring borders, photograph Jennifer Griffiths

In spring and summer you can enjoy the long vistas of snowdrops and crocus lawns and the brightly coloured herbaceous borders, the Great Broad Walk Borders. In autumn where better to appreciate the changing colours than from the 59ft (18m) high Treetop Walkway?

Image above: Treetop walkway, photograph Mando Mendolicchio

Kew Gardens is also the site of Kew Palace, the former summer residence of King George III and it is a global resource for plant and fungal knowledge. With its unique combination of extensive collections, databases, scientific expertise and global partnerships, it is a leading international scientific and conservation centre.

See kew.org for seasonal attractions such as the Orchid Festival, the annual summer music concerts Kew The Music, children’s holiday activities, a whole range of walks, talks, art and sculpture exhibitions and the annual finale, Christmas At Kew.

Image above: Bridge over the lake at Kew Gardens, photograph Mando Mendolicchio; The Palm House Pond, photograph Mando Mendolicchio

See our events listings of all the events happening in Chiswick here:

chiswickcalendar.co.uk/whats-on-in-chiswick

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Visit the London Wetland Centre, Barnes

WWT London Wetland Centre is a wetland reserve managed by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust. An urban oasis for wildlife, with wading birds, ducks and otters. A lovely place to go, with or without kids. Find out about WWT’s conservation work and the birds they are helping to save from extinction. Enjoy the lakes, ponds and gardens, café and play areas.

The Wetlands Centre has reopened on a timed entry ticket system. Every visitor will need to pre-book.

The centre is usually open all year round, all 365 days of the year.

Winter opening:
November to February the centre is open 9.30am to 4.30pm (last admission 3.30pm)

Book tickets on the Wetland Centre website.
wwt.org.uk

For the WWT’s festive lights display, Illuminature, see here.

See our Things to do listings for all the events happening in Chiswick

chiswickcalendar.co.uk/whats-on-in-chiswick

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Chiswick walking trail – Art & Artists

Image above: Jan Pienkowski’s image of the Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Chiswick

Chiswick has been home to several very famous artists over the centuries. When Karen Liebreich and Sarah Cruz of Abundance London created the the Chiswick Timeline mural under the railway bridge at Turnham Green Terrace in 2017, they included images of paintings by some of the area’s best known artists.

At the same time they launched a map of 19 sites of artistic interest, including Johan Zoffany’s house at Strand on the Green, Eric Ravilious’ house at Chiswick Mall and Camille Pissarro’s house on Bath Rd. Their homes are private houses, so you can’t go inside, but it’s still interesting to see where they lived.

This is a walk that you can do at your leisure; just download the map to print it out and follow it.

DOWNLOAD HERE: Art & Artists – Chiswick walking trail map

abundancelondon.com

Image above: Corney House by Jacob Knyff, 1676

In the 17th century Leonard and Jacob Knyff painted local scenes which have survived, including The House at Chiswick (1698-9) and Corney House (with Church of St Nicholas, 1676).

Images above: Johann Zoffany; Zoffany’s painting The Tribuna of the Uffizi 1772-77; The Royal Collection

The high society painter favoured by royalty, Johann Zoffany, and Chiswick’s most famous historical figure, the political satirist and painter William Hogarth, both lived here in the 18th century, when Chiswick was for them a country retreat.

Images above: William Hogarth; Hogarth’s house

The 19th century saw another of the great English artists, William Turner painting the River Thames at Kew Bridge and Strand on the Green, and Impressionist painter Camille Pissarro also painting Chiswick scenes. Frederick Hamilton Jackson, who lived in Bedford Park and was a co-director of the Chiswick School of Art, designed the poster to promote Bedford Park as the ‘Healthiest Place in the World.’

Images above: Pissarro’s paintings of the railway at Stamford Brook and Bath Rd

At the beginning of the 20th century, English architect and furniture and textile designer Charles Voysey designed Voysey House, built in 1902 as an extension to the Sanderson wallpaper factory.

Sir John Lavery painted Chiswick Baths c1929, capturing the new fashion for open air swimming pools that emerged in London at the turn of the 20th century.

Richard T Cooper painted the Boat Race centenary in 1929 and Anthea Craigmyle painted Chiswick scenes throughout her life from her house on Chiswick Mall, which was home also to artists Mary Fedden and Julian Trevelyan. Eric Ravilious, who lived nearby in Hammersmith, also painted Chiswick Eyot.

Image above: Sir John Lavery painting, Chiswick Baths c1929; Anthea Craigmyle, Mother and child with birds, Chiswick Park

When Karen and Sarah created the Chiswick Timeline, as well as printing huge panels of maps from different periods of Chiswick’s history and reproducing art works by celebrated long dead artists, they also commissioned works from Jan Pienkowski, Sir Peter Blake and Marthe Armitage specially for the Timeline.

Images above: Sit Peter Blake, with his Empire House collage; Marthe Armitage with one of her wallpaper prints

Explore the cultural history of Chiswick online and on foot.

Explore Chiswick’s cultural history

And the Books & Writers Chiswick walking trail here:

Books & Writers Chiswick walking trail

SEE ALSO: Our This Is Chiswick profile of the artist Johann Zoffany

SEE ALSO: Our This is Chiswick profile of the artist and pattenmaker Marthe Armitage

See our events listings of all the events happening in Chiswick here:

chiswickcalendar.co.uk/whats-on-in-chiswick

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Chiswick walking trail – Books & Writers

Image above: Nancy Mitford; Rose Cottage, Strand on the Green, where she lived

Torin Douglas, Director of the Chiswick Book Festival, has made it his mission to research Chiswick’s literary history.

Chiswick can lay claim to two winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature (and one nominee) plus one Booker Prize winner, three Oscar winners (and two nominees), a Poet Laureate and several writers who merit blue plaques. All of which prompted the Observer to comment: ‘Chiswick may be the UK’s most literary location’.

Images above: Alexander Pope portrait, studio of Michael Dahl; Georgiana Duchess of Devonshire by Thomas Gainsborough; WB Yeats; portraits courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery

Inspired by the Art & Artists walking trail, put together by Karen Liebreich and Sarah Cruz, Torin has published a Books & Writers trail.

The Books & Writers trail takes in the house at Strand on the Green where Nancy Mitford, author of The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate lived, the flat where Harold Pinter wrote The Caretaker and the home of EM Forster, author of A Passage to India, A Room with a View and Howard’s End. There are 21 locations on the trail, all over Chiswick.

Images above: Arlington Park Mansions, where EM Forster lived; portrait of EM Forster by Dora Carrington (1920), courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery

Authors: Nancy Mitford, Harold Pinter, EM Forster, Patrick Hamilton, Dame Iris Murdoch, JG Ballard, Alain Fournier, Ralph Griffiths, Anthony Burgess, Sir Arthur Wing Pinero, WB Yeats, Sergius Stepniak, Sir John Betjeman, GK Chesterton, Alun Owen, Alexander Pope, WN Thackeray, Ugo Foscolo, Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, Robert Bolt, John Osborne.

This is a walk that you can do at your leisure; just download the map to print it out and follow it.

DOWNLOAD HERE: Books & Writers – Chiswick walking trail map

Images above: Iris Murdoch; photograph by Godfrey Argent, courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery; house where she grew up at 4 Eastbourne Road, W4

chiswickbookfestival.net

Explore the cultural history of Chiswick online and on foot.

Explore Chiswick’s cultural history

SEE ALSO: Our This is Chiswick feature on Nancy Mitford in Chsiwick

SEE ALSO: Our This is Chiswick feature on EM Forster in Chiswick

SEE ALSO: Our This is Chiswick feature on Iris Murdoch in Chiswick

SEE ALSO: Our This is Chiswick feature on Alexander Pope in Chiswick

See our events listings of all the events happening in Chiswick here:

chiswickcalendar.co.uk/whats-on-in-chiswick

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Chiswick walking trail – In Georgian footsteps

Brentford & Chiswick Local History Society and William Hogarth Trust have co-created In Georgian Footsteps, a guided trail of 18th Century Chiswick.

In Georgian times what we now know as Chiswick was three villages: Chiswick Town, Strand on the Green and Turnham Green, with fields, nursery gardens and orchards between them. The ancient Bath Rd, which today is Chiswick High Rd, ran east-west across common land on which Turnham Green grew up as a settlement with blacksmiths, farriers and inns to serve travellers. Burlington Lane linked the two riverside villages, which were fishing communities but also served that other important transport route, the River Thames.

There were several big estates: The Grove, Sutton Court and Chiswick House. Richard Boyle, 3rd earl of Burlington, built his new villa in the grounds of the old Chiswick House, in 1727-9.

Image above: Powell’s Walk; photograph Nick Raikes

Powell’s walk is a footpath with high brick walls which is one of several older footpaths enclosed at about the same time. It leads to St Nicholas Church, where there are many interesting graves, among them the artist William Hogarth’s.

In Georgian footsteps leads you along Chiswick Mall, where every house has a story to tell, many of them pre-dating the eighteenth century. There were two breweries here: Thomas Mawson’s brewery, which became the Griffin Brewery, and the domestic brewhouse of Bedford House.

Image above: Hogarth’s tomb; photograph Nick Raikes

There was a passenger ferry which left from the bottom of Church St and the shingle bank, sheltered by Chiswick eyot, was used as a drawdock where flat-bottomed barges could load and unload at any state of the tide. There was a pub here, the Red Lion, which no longer exists.

Also lost was quite a lot of the old Chiswick Town, obliterated by the modern A4 and Hogarth roundabout. The Mawson Arms and the George and Devonshire remain. What was the Lamb pub is now a private house.

Hogarth’s House was built in 1717. It had several well-known tenants before the famous artist, but William Hogarth lived here from 1749 until his death. He bought it as a weekend and summer home, away from the noise of his other home in what is now Leicester Square.

Image above: Entrance to Hogarth’s house; photograph Nick Raikes

This is a walk that you can do at your leisure; just download the map to print it out and follow it, while reading up on Chiswick’s Georgian society.

DOWNLOAD HERE: In Georgian footsteps – Chiswick walking trail map

Explore the cultural history of Chiswick online and on foot.

Explore Chiswick’s cultural history

SEE ALSO: Our This is Chiswick features about the history of Chiswick House Gardens.

SEE ALSO: Our This is Chiswick feature on Alexander Pope in Chiswick

SEE ALSO: Our This Is Chiswick profile of the artist Johann Zoffany

See our events listings of all the events happening in Chiswick here:

chiswickcalendar.co.uk/whats-on-in-chiswick

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.