Gunnersbury Park Museum


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
Gunnersbury Park House, Popes Lane, London, W5 4NH


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Statutory Address:
Gunnersbury Park House, Popes Lane, London, W5 4NH

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Greater London Authority
Hounslow (London Borough)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:
TQ 19040 79238


This list entry was subject to a Minor Enhancement on 15/07/2020

TQ 1979 15/106

POPES LANE Gunnersbury Park House Gunnersbury Park Museum

(Formerly listed as Gunnersbury Park House - Large Mansion, GUNNERSBURY AVENUE)

GV II* Country house, opened as a museum in 1929. 1801-28 by and for Alexander Copland; remodelled 1836 by Sydney Smirke for Nathan Mayer Rothschild, the City financier and Frankfurt-born founder of the British branch of this famous international Jewish banking dynasty.

Stucco over brick; slate roofs; stuccoed brick stacks. Plan has service area to right of main body of house, centred around entrance hall and rear ante-room. Italianate style. Three storeys; symmetrical seven-window range of 2:3:2 fenestration with rusticated quoin to slightly-projecting outer bays, heavy moulded string course to second storey and moulded cornice to parapet. Paired Tuscan columns in antis to porte-cochere with Tuscan pilasters flanking panelled door and windows to each side. Eight-pane ground-floor sashes set in raised architraves with floating cornices; semi-circular arched eight-pane first-floor sashes have moulded architraves continued as moulded impost courses; six-pane square-headed second-floor sashes.

Left-hand side elevation has mid C19 semi-circular bay window front and two-storey semi-circular bay to rear. Similar rear (garden) elevation has central three-storey, five-window range flanked by projecting two-storey, three-window range blocks with central second-floor string course continued as cornices beneath parapets of outer blocks: ground-floor French windows of central range are recessed behind screen of Tuscan columns and entablature; quoined outer blocks have two-light first-floor and ground-floor French windows set in slightly-projecting bays with channelled rustication to first floor and Tuscan columns to ground floor.

Service range to right, of two to three storeys, has six to twelve-paned horned sashes, and doorway framed by Tuscan pilasters and entablature to right of still room, now porch, of 1905; mid C18 semi-circular arched archway to right, built of rusticated flint with Portland stone imposts, keystone and coping surmounted by ball finials; one-storey garden elevation to rear, with central concave recess and semi-circular arched niches and moulded parapets.

Interior: fine range of rooms by Smirke, mostly in C18 French style, with panelled doors set in raised architraves with bracketed cornices and shutters. Entrance hall has open-well staircase with foliate wrought-iron balustrade, garlanded quilloche frieze beneath moulded enriched cornice and foliate ceiling boss. Former parlour to left has marble fireplace and moulded cornice, and anthemion cornice in anteroom to rear. Former library to right has marble fireplace with claw feet to paired reeded columns. Former vestibule to rear of entrance hall has narrow end bays defined by fluted pilasters to segmental arches, framing domed star-spangled ceiling with bay-leaf laurels and spandrels. Former music room, to rear left, has eagle-brackets to semi-circular arched tympanum with Rothschild arms surmounting doorway, bracketed foliate cornices over two doorways flanking festooned marble fireplace with putti and angled console brackets; fine plasterwork to ceiling, with naturalistic fruit, foliage etc, to ribs dividing panels. Former drawing room, to right of ante-room, has Ionic scagliola columns separating narrow end bays; fireplace and tall overmantle mirror framed by scagliola columns with gilt bay-leaf pulvinated frieze to stele-type swan-necked pediment with antefixae; coved cornice to star-spangled ceiling with oval painting of The Four Seasons by Edmond Thomas Parris. Former dining room to far right has bolection-panelled walls with antheniae to concave corners; cartouche flanked by palm fronds set in tympanum of pedimented doorway; blocked fireplace set in recessed bay framed by scagliola columns with gilt Corinthian capitals; foliate quilloche frieze to elaborate plasterwork ceiling with naturalistic fruit, foliage etc to ribs dividing panels and antheniae to central boss.

First floor has moulded cornicing and marble fireplaces; foliate wrought-iron balustrade to oval balcony over corridor to right. Service area to right has former butler's pantry with original mid C19 cupboards and fittings, two staircases with wood and iron balustrades and panelled doors; kitchen to right has cast-iron range of c.1840 with trivets, smoke jack, boiler and oven, and early (c.1850) cast-iron gas range by Timpson of Ealing; adjoining scullery turned into kitchen in mid C19, with plainer cast-iron range. Smirke's interiors at Gunnersbury Park House are the earliest example of French-inspired interiors characteristic of the Rothschild family's later C19 house.

Listing NGR: TQ1904079238


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England, Part 17 Greater London


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 28 Oct 2001
Reference: IOE01/05600/22
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Adam Watson. Source Historic England Archive
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