Why we chose Osterley Park
Osterley Park is a Georgian Mansion surrounded by gardens, park and farmland and is one of the last surviving country estates in London.
Take a trip through time and discover Osterley Park’s rich history and understand why this is the perfect location for our Walk to Remember London event.
Early Osterley Park
Conveniently close to London, Osterley was fashioned for show and designed for entertaining – a Thames side villa set beside a man-made river. The House and estate were created in the 1500s to support Sir Thomas Gresham’s growing ambitions and the grand and handsome Stableblock built for Elizabeth I’s visit can still be seen today.
In the late 1700s, the Child family commissioned Robert Adam to re-envisage the house, succeeding in mixing old and new, uniting the Elizabethan exterior with rooms so “improved and enriched, that all the Percies and Seymours of Sion must die of envy”. Meticulously designing every detail he created a State Apartment that now survives as a rare example of the high watermark of his interior decoration, rooms full of colour and harmony, testimony to his evolving style.
Over time, Osterley’s setting softened – canals evolving into lakes, avenues to clumps of shrubbery, mills into follies, menageries and exotic temples to delight and entertain. All set within a functioning estate, the fields are still worked, the farm buildings are still used – a suitable counterpoint to the recreational activities at the heart of the estate.
Osterley Park during World War II
In 1940, the grounds of Osterley Park were used for the training and teaching the theory and practice of modern mechanical warfare, guerilla warfare techniques, camouflage, street fighting techniques, knife fighting and hand to hand combat. However in 1941 the school closed and relocated after being disapproved by the War Office and Winston Churchill.
However, an explosives store which was used during this time can still be seen at the rear of the house.
Osterley Park: Postwar
After the war Osterley Park was opened to the public after having received many requests from people to see the buildings vast historic interior. Over 12,000 people visited the house in its first month of opening and a series of art exhibitions were held at the venue, boasting work from some of the most famous living artists.
Not long after the war finished the park was given to the National Trust and its furniture was purchased by the Victoria & Albert Museum. The house was then restored to its present late 18th-century state.
Osterley Park in film and television
Osterley Park has been used as a settling for many onscreen productions.
- At Bertram’s Hotel
- The Persuaders!
- Horrible Histories
- The Grass Is Greener
- The Young Victoria
- Top Secret!
- The Dark Knight Rises