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Marble Hill was built in the 1720s for Henrietta Howard, mistress of King George II when he was Prince of Wales, as a retreat from court life. Both house and garden were designed with advice from the most fashionable gentlemen of early Georgian England. Saved from destruction and development by an Act of Parliament in 1902, Marble Hill is the last complete survivor of the elegant villas and gardens that once bordered this part of the Thames.
Find out much more about Marble Hill, and how English Heritage has brought the house and Henrietta Howard’s lost garden back to life.
Read a full history of this English Palladian villa and its gardens beside the Thames, from its origins in the 1720s as a retreat from court life for Henrietta Howard to the present day.
Though mainly known as the mistress of George II, Henrietta Howard was a remarkable woman in her own right. Read more about her extraordinary life and how she came to build Marble Hill.
Find out what makes the garden between the house and the river at Marble Hill so significant, and how English Heritage has restored its key elements.
See how artists have depicted the panoramic view from Richmond Hill over the centuries and find out how Marble Hill was saved thanks to a campaign to preserve this view.
Explore some of the key items from the collection at Marble Hill, which reveal Henrietta Howard’s taste and status.
Download floor plans of Marble Hill as a PDF.
This fully illustrated guidebook includes a tour and full history of the house and grounds, and gives many fascinating glimpses into life at Marble Hill.
In 2017 Historic England archaeologists explored the original layout of Henrietta Howard’s garden. Find out what they discovered.
Discover the stories of some gardeners of the past, including one of Henrietta Howard’s gardeners at Marble Hill.
Geophysical surveys in 2015 and 2016 found evidence for past landscape use from the 18th to 20th centuries. Download the full survey report.
Henrietta Howard, mistress of the Prince of Wales (later George II), starts to build Marble Hill House and lay out the grounds.
After 20 years’ service in the royal household and after falling out of favour with the king, Henrietta Howard – now Countess of Suffolk – retires from her role at court. Marble Hill becomes her main residence.
A detailed survey of the Marble Hill estate is made in about 1749 during a legal dispute over land. This is now being used to guide the proposed garden restoration.
Henrietta Howard updates and expands Marble Hill. The work includes building a large service wing and creating a fashionable dining parlour.
Henrietta dies at Marble Hill, which passes to her nephew, John Hobart, 2nd Earl of Buckinghamshire. He lets the house and contents before living at Marble Hill until his death.
Henrietta Hotham, Henrietta Howard’s great-niece, inherits Marble Hill and lets the house to a series of tenants.
On Henrietta Hotham’s death the 5th Earl of Buckinghamshire succeeds to Marble Hill, which he sells in 1824, breaking the conditions of Henrietta Howard’s will.
The soldier, MP and horseracing devotee Captain Jonathan Peel buys Marble Hill and soon after builds a new stable block. His wife, Alice, dies in 1887, the last resident of Marble Hill.
The house stands empty until the Cunard family buys Marble Hill in 1898, with the intention of building a housing estate.
After a public campaign Marble Hill is saved from development by an Act of Parliament protecting the celebrated view from Richmond Hill.
Allotments spring up in the East and West meadows as part of the ‘Dig for Victory’ campaign encouraging people to grow their own food.
After a restoration campaign to return the house to its appearance in Henrietta Howard’s day, Marble Hill opens as a historic house museum.
English Heritage takes over responsibility for Marble Hill.
Marble Hill reopens to the public after a major project to restore the lost gardens and conserve and redisplay the house interiors.