Those of us living on the South West Trains line will know that Strawberry Hill is a terminus, but what's actually there? The name itself does sound like something out a fairytale and Strawberry Hill House is not far off — this unmistakable white Gothic revivalist castle does have a Disney-esque feel to it and seems completely out of place in Twickenham. It was built in the 18th century by Horace Walpole who is credited with launching the Gothic genre when he published his novel The Castle of Otranto, which went on to inspire a whole category of literature and cinema.
The house was re-opened to the public in 2010 and now Walpole's private rooms have been restored, so a visit to the house provides further insight into previous residents. The restoration was painstakingly undertaken to ensure all of the damaged wallpaper and fittings were replaced with modern replicas so that it looks just like it would have in Walpole's day.
The house is a treasure trove for fans of architecture and textiles with each room having its own colour of wall or design of wallpaper and some of the ceilings, particularly in the gallery, are spectacular. Many of the rooms feature stained glass windows and the house has some remarkably ornate bookshelves.
Strawberry Hill House is one of South West London's treasures and with this refurbishment it's been made even better.
Strawberry Hill House in Twickenham, TW1 4ST has now re-opened and tickets are £10.80 for adults, concessions available.