The house was occupied – no prizes for guessing – by the great Georgian painter William Hogarth, who enjoyed it as a country retreat from the bustle of London. Ironic, then, that his once-rural home now cowers in the shadow of the Great West Road, a postmodern industrial park and the roaring roundabout that bears the artist’s name.
The restoration, delayed by a fire in 2009, cost around £400,000 and was mostly funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and smaller benevolent societies. The cash has been used on structural repairs to the 300-year-old building. The funds have also contributed to a new museum space devoted to the Hogarth family, and a public outreach officer who’ll help spread the good word.
You can visit the house 12 noon till 5pm Tuesday to Sunday. Entrance is free.