Two Temple Place

Attractions , Historic buildings and sites Temple
  • 5 out of 5 stars
(11 user reviews)
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Two Temple Place
© Will Pryce. Courtesy Two Temple Place

Few people seem to have heard of Two Temple Place – an extraordinary former private dwelling tucked away off the Strand – although it has the distinction of being one of the first houses in London ever to have a telephone. Built in the late nineteenth century by fabulously wealthy American William Waldorf Astor, it has been owned since 1999 by arts charity the Bulldog Trust and mostly earns its keep as an opulent party venue. The building juxtaposes literary reference, high romance and superb craftsmanship in a gloriously bonkers way. Flanking the entrance are a couple of cherubs, one of which appears to be chatting on the phone. Inside, the imposing rooms play host to many statues of literary figures, among them Rip Van Winkle and a large cast of Shakespearean characters. Best of all is a sculptural gathering in the Great Hall of historical figures including Mary Queen of Scots, Anne Boleyn and Pocahontas, who are linked only by the fact that each loved, or was loved, deeply. How can you resist?

Two Temple Place is open as part of Open House London, held in September, for occasional tours throughout the year and for its annual winter exhibition.

Venue name: Two Temple Place
Address: 2 Temple Place
Opening hours: Jan 31-Apr 24: Mon, Thu-Sat 10am-4.30pm; Wed 10am-9pm, Sun 11am-4.30pm (closed Tue)
Transport: Tube: Temple
Price: Adm free
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Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:11
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NakedPRGirl Claire

This building is beautiful and so interesting and has a staircase that looks like the one from Titanic - you know Jack, Jack, where are you Jack? It has stunning Windows and intricate woodwork. Go on Open House weekend!

Paula - ToT

What a beautiful building!  We were lucky enough to be taken on an all access tour and heard some great stories and insights into the building.  Irrespective of the actual exhibition on at the time, this building is definitely worth a visit if you have any interest in history or architecture.  It’s a place of real beauty. 

Ruth J

Absolutely stunning and totally worth a visit, especially now to avail of the Beyond Beauty exhibition which is totally free. Take this opportunity to see this wonderful building that is often closed to the public. A great way to spend an afternoon in London. Don't forget to check out the amazing stained glass ceiling. Wow.

Jennifer G

A visit to 2 Temple Place is a must see - open until April 24th -  its an amazing hidden Victorian gem (opposite Temple Tube!) FREE Egyptian exhibition, beautiful interiors, museum shop and fab café. Open late on Wednesday - perfect way to unwind after work!

Its only open for three months each year so see it whilst you can !


This is just about the most beautiful building in London.  The fascinating (free) Beyond Beauty exhibition is on now till late April but have a look at their website for free talks and even jazz evenings.   Craft workshops for kids are held during school holidays (some free, others £3).  A wonderful place and a joy to visit.

Ashley S

Tucked away in the heart of London, this gem just took my breath away. The guides were uber enthusiastic to give information about the building! It was just stunning! I shall be returning again very soon!!

Sarah J

This building tucked away a stone's throw away from Temple underground station is absolutely breathtaking and phenomenal inside. They are currently host to the Beyond Beauty: Transforming the Body in Ancient Egypt exhibition. The intricate walls and ceilings of the building gives it such an artistic feel, making it a perfect place to host such artefacts of historical importance. The wooden staircase alone was so grand, it gave the whole place a really atmospheric feel. During our visit, there was a real fire with incense - so attached is a snapshot to capture the mystery evoked.

Chlo Fo

I visited this marvel of gothic revival architecture for the Beyond Beauty Egyptology exhibition, having been completely unawares of its existence. What a treasure this building is! Having been built with an open ended budget in the Victorian era this building culminates the best of British craftsmanship (funded by an American). Dozens of different types of wood line each room, with many intricate carvings. It's been sympathetically restored (after WWII bomb damage) and added to in the 60s, something which I hope continues so it can continue to be enjoyed by future generations. While the building is only open during the exhibition, it can be hired out privately for events, where I'm sure it would be the star of the show. It's owned and run by The Bulldog Trust charity, so ensure to dig deep and donate if you pay a visit, so others can enjoy what they have to offer.


I am so chuffed about discovering this magnificent place, just moments from Temple station. This is a hidden little treasure within London, the architecture of this neo-gothic mansion is just incredible and has to be admired in person. I had no idea it even existed. Impressive rooms with fireplaces, wooden panelled walls and stained glass windows. The ornately decorated and impressive staircase is the most striking feature and has also featured in Downtown Abbey did you know! This a great place to visit that is rarely accessible to the general public apart from during the Open house weekend or their winter exhibitions so would strongly recommend that you go. This would also be a beautiful venue for corporate event or wedding.


I recently attended a wedding at Two Temple Place and it is an absolutely beautiful venue for such a special occasion. Tucked away by the river, the house is full of intricately decorated rooms that had a romantic feel and worked perfectly for the different parts of the day. That staircase! The staff were brilliant – canapes were always within reach, the wedding breakfast was incredible, the bar was flowing – and the evening was brought to a close as we left by the light of the flaming torches outside the gates. A brilliant setting and absolutely worth seeing if you can.


a stunning place, loved the house. It is a pity it is not open to the public more often.