Apsley House–#AtoZChallenge “A”

Welcome to my first entry in the 2017 A to Z Challenge. My theme this year is the 1st Duke of Wellington, sometimes known as the Iron Duke. As the Challenge progresses, hopefully you will learn a few things about the man–born Arthur Wellesley, who defeated Napoleon for good at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815–by reading my contributions to the Challenge. Europe was relatively peaceful for the next hundred years after this great victory by the forces led by Wellington against the French.

–Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington © Rachel Knowles – own collection, www.regencyhistory.net

Why is Apsley House important? According to the official website of Apsley House via English Heritage:

Apsley House is internationally famous as the home of the 1st Duke of Wellington and his descendants. As such it is also a memorial to Britain’s triumph over the Napoleonic threat. It is also significant as a restored historic house, a celebration of Regency style, a museum commemorating the 1st Duke and the home of an outstanding collection of decorative and fine art.

English Heritage is a charitable trust that oversees sites of historical importance in England. 

Apsley House was purchased by Wellington in 1817 and he owned the house when he died in 1852. The Duke bought the house located on Hyde Park Corner next to one of the gated entrances to Hyde Park. Below is a lovely aerial view of the house and Hyde Park Corner:

Following is the entry of “Apsley House” from The London Encyclopaedia (3rd Edition) explaining how the house was named and some other details:

APSLEY HOUSE • Hyde Park Corner, W1. Built 1771–8 by Robert Adam for Henry Bathurst, the Lord Chancellor, universally recognized as the most inefficient holder of that office in the 18th century. His father had married the daughter of Sir Allen Apsley, and Baron Apsley is the second title of the Earls Bathurst. It was the Duke of Wellington who faced the brick walls with Bath stone, added the Corinthian portico and enlarged the house to the designs of Benjamin Dean Wyatt. With the ultimate in prestigious addresses, Number One, London, the house was presented to the nation in 1947 by the 7th Duke of Wellington, and opened as the Wellington Museum in 1952. Its great Waterloo Gallery, wide range of rooms and finely proportioned architecture and appointments provide an admirable setting for the numerous exhibits associated with the famous soldier and statesman, the 1st Duke of Wellington. With a setting of appropriate furniture, the exhibition includes many fine paintings, trophies, uniforms, decorations, batons and weapons, plate and porcelain. A colossal marble statue of Napoleon by Canova is of special note and, among the busts, one of the Duke himself by Nollekens is considered an excellent likeness. The large collection of pictures, in which over 90 painters are represented, was acquired in two ways: there are those bought by, or given to, the Duke and those captured from Joseph Bonaparte at the Battle of Vitoria and known as the ‘Spanish Gift’. Since 2004 the care and presentation of Apsley House have been the responsibility of ENGLISH HERITAGE.

Hibbert, Christopher; Weinreb, Ben; Keay, John; Keay, Julia (2011-09-09). The London Encyclopaedia (3rd Edition) (Kindle Locations 1765-1771). Pan Macmillan. Kindle Edition.

–Apsley House at night via English Heritage

I wrote a post about one of my visits to Apsley House in September 2014. You can access that post and view my pictures from and about the Duke’s home by clicking HERE. Sources: Wikipedia, English Heritage, The London Encyclopaedia (3rd Edition)

  8 comments for “Apsley House–#AtoZChallenge “A”

  1. hilarymb
    April 1, 2017 at 7:10 AM

    Hi Denise – Apsley House is an extraordinarily interesting building – I’ve only been in once, but really need to go back. I love going to the little gallery in Wellington Arch where they have some fascinating small exhibitions.

    Great – I shall enjoy your A-Z posts … cheers Hilary


    Today’s A – Z Challenge 2017 post

    • April 1, 2017 at 7:45 AM

      Thanks, Hilary! Today Apsley House reopened after being closed a few months for cleaning and refurbishing! Perfect timing!

  2. April 1, 2017 at 3:31 PM

    I love old history. So glad you were able to take pictures of the Apsley House as this is the only way I’d be able to view any of it. Great A post Denise!

    Plucking Of My Heartstrings

    • April 1, 2017 at 7:52 PM

      Thank you, Cheryl. Happy first day of the A to Z!! Cheers, Denise

  3. April 1, 2017 at 6:11 PM

    Denise; fascinating! I love the address “Number One, London. Great Post! I went back to your old blog post to see your awesome pictures. I loved the staircase. Good Luck this Month!! Zulu

    • April 1, 2017 at 7:57 PM

      I know what you mean, ZD, about the address. I was struck by the address when I first heard it or read it a few years ago. My friends have a blog entitle Number One London and it can be found here: http://numberonelondon.net/. I have learned much from their posts on the Duke, the Regency period, and their travels in England and elsewhere in the UK. Happy first day of the A to Z!!

  4. April 5, 2017 at 4:42 PM

    Thanks for the mention, Denise! Looking forward to revisiting Apsley House with you in June.

    • April 5, 2017 at 7:51 PM

      Yes, I cannot wait!

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