(b. 1717, London, d. 1797, London)

Great Gallery

Strawberry Hill, Twickenham, Middlesex

In the 1740s, Horace Walpole bought a small country seat in Twickenham near London, beside the Thames, which over some 30 years he converted into his "little Gothic castle." Over the period, it developed into an asymmetrical, charming architectural cluster that put into effect the principles of the picturesque for the first time. The richly articulated exterior, with its projections and recessions, gables, towers and pinnacles and pointed arches, quatrefoil windows and battlements, was intended to imitate the evolved layout of a medieval structure.

For the interiors, which are equally variegated, Walpole and his friends took as their models the illustrations in the few publications on medieval architecture then available. Their application was done in a purely decorative way.