Apsley House or No. One London is one of the last remaining great Georgian houses left in London. This house got the nickname #1 London because it was the first house a visitor to London would see as he arrived in the city from the West. I was intrigued by the comments in TRIP ADVISOR that the house is small and the displays are one on top of another. Ridiculous comments! THIS IS A FORMER PRIVATE RESIDENCE which was filled with the Duke of Wellington’s collection of military memorability and his art collection. It is not Kensington Palace with all the high tech that irritates the daylights out of me nor is it a museum which tries to “editorialize” the exhibits. IT IS A PRIVATE RESIDENCE. I love to come to Apsley House on Hyde Park Corner, up from Buckingham Palace; I have the opportunity to experience what a grand old Georgian house must have been like. The great period, however, for the house was after the Duke of Wellington’s defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo when the grand Duke was the great hero of Regency England. Statues of the old Duke went up all over the city, and even his horse became immortalized in bronze. The great house was once red brick, but in the Duke’s time, it was covered in warm, elegant, Bath stone which matched George IV’s original part of Buckingham Palace, just through the trees. I love rooms filled with paintings–from floor to ceiling. I gaze into cabinets of fabulous memorial china with great pleasure. I can have a real laugh when I see Canova’s huge marble sculpture of Napoleon which the Prince Regent gifted to the Duke of Wellington who stuffed it under the staircase. Apsley House is filled with history, filled with personality, abounding in military memorial of the Grand Old Duke who was later adored in his old age by Queen Victoria. Honestly, sometimes I read Trip Advisor and wonder who in the world writes these shallow comments; they are obviously visitors who have not done their homework before they visit such a magnificent residence as is Apsley House and yet feel qualified to judge it. I suppose they have spent 20 minutes in the house and then run off to the British Museum for another 20 minute visit before ending up in the National Gallery for a 15-minute “run through.” It is that “Monday-it-must-be-Belgium” mentality. The house is still to this day the residence of the current Duke of Wellington who lives in an apartment on the top floor. Pretty neat, I would say.
Thomas Moore email: TMooreSr@me.com Telephone: 801.791.9918