Leighton House Museum

Museums , History Kensington
Recommended
  • 5 out of 5 stars
(10 user reviews)
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 (© Will Pryce)
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© Will Pryce
 (© Will Pryce)
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© Will Pryce
 (© Will Pryce)
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© Will Pryce
 (© Will Pryce)
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© Will Pryce
 (© Will Pryce)
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© Will Pryce
Hall (Anthony Webb / Time Out)
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Anthony Webb / Time Out
Leighton House Museum (Ben Rowe / Time Out)
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Ben Rowe / Time Out
Architecture (Ben Rowe / Time Out)
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Ben Rowe / Time Out
Statue (Ben Rowe / Time Out)
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Ben Rowe / Time Out
Bedroom (Ben Rowe / Time Out)
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Ben Rowe / Time Out
Narcissus Hall (© Will Pryce)
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© Will Pryce
Room on show (Anthony Webb / Time Out)
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Anthony Webb / Time Out

Leighton House reopened in April 2010 after a £1.6 million refurbishment which has uncovered and restored many of the decorative schemes and features of the house, as well as a previously unseen staircase. In the 1860s the artist Frederic Leighton commissioned his friend, the architect George Aitcheson, to build him a showpiece house in Holland Park, which he filled with classical treasures from all over the world, as well as his own works and those of his contemporaries. The house was a work of art in itself, with every inch decorated in high style inspired by the studios Leighton had seen on his extensive European travels. There were magnificent reception rooms downstairs designed for lavish entertaining, and a dramatic staircase leading to a huge light-filled studio taking up most of the first floor. Four extensions were added over the years, the most striking addition the ‘Arab Hall’, designed to showcase Leighton’s huge collection of sixteenth-century Middle Eastern glazed tiles. The house was created as a stage on which Leighton could play out his role as a great artist, contrasting with the tiny single bedroom, the only private space in the whole house. Today, the house is still an architectural treasure trove which belies its somewhat dour exterior and the museum holds, or has on loan, some fine paintings as well as drawings and sketches.

Venue name: Leighton House Museum
Contact:
Address: 12 Holland Park Road
London
W14 8LZ
Opening hours: Mon, Wed-Sun 10am-5.30pm
Transport: Tube: High Street Kensington
Price: £10, concs £6
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Average User Rating

4.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:8
  • 4 star:1
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  • 1 star:1
LiveReviews|10
1 person listening
Fábio R

Absolute let down. £10 entry and you can experience the whole thing in under a minute. Honestly you can find more interesting architecture on the Edgware Road. Not even allowed to take photos, I really cant see why i would recommend this to anyone.    

Kritt N
Tastemaker

The Leighton House Museum is brilliant little gem tucked away in quiet residential street in Chelsea and Kensington.



Only a stone's throw away from Holland Park, this museum is home and studio to eminent Victorian painter, Lord Leighton. Small but intimate, The Leighton House Museum houses the vast collection of Lord Leighton’s sculptures, painting and artefacts collected throughout his lifetime. It is also the UK’s only purpose built studio open to the public!



Despite it’s relatively small size (it is a home after all!), there are more than 6 rooms to explore including Lord Leighton’s study, studio room, bedroom and dining room, you’ll wonder where all that time went.



What I love most about the museum is how peaceful, quiet and different it is to all the other museum I’ve visited. It’s one of those unique places you won’t believe could exist in London due to the vast and diverse collection Lord Leighton collected. The interior is simply amazing too. You must see the Arabic Hall complete with a golden dome, a fountain, intricate floor mosaics. Upstairs, wander in awe at the sheer size of Lord Leighton vast studio. Even the wooden staircase is quite a sight to admire.



It’s a little tricky. After all, it is secreted away in a quiet residential street. But persevere and you’ll be rewarded with a peaceful and unique visit to a quite lovely museum.



You don’t have to be into art to enjoy this small but brilliant museum. You can simply soak in the peaceful and quiet atmosphere, and admire the incredible decor inside this house, far away from the masses. A great little museum well worthy of the “Hidden Gem” tag.

Amanda W

received a friendly welcome when we arrived and was pleased to discover that it is half price for national trust members. The photograph of the tiled entrance hall doesnt really do it justice, the colours really are stunning. There was an exhibition of work by the pre- Raphaelites throughout the house when we visited which I think is on until May. Really enjoyed our visit here and will definitely come again, next time when the gardens are open.

Recommend!

Anaelle
Tastemaker

This is a little known museum (maybe because pictures – and subsequently Instagram – aren’t allowed) that is worth a few hours of your time.


In a beautiful old house, decorated in an oriental fashion straight out of the 1001 nights, you’ll see a great collection of paintings. But let’s face it, you’ll probably look less at the painting than the amazing Arabic-style blue atrium. A unique and interesting sight in old, posh West London.


Note: the garden is only open to the public in the summer so pick your visit day wisely!

Ben
Tastemaker

A real hidden gem in W14, the Arab Hall as you enter is genuinely one of the most spectacular rooms in London.  Leighton's Victorian art isn't really to my taste but he was a hell of an aesthete cherry-picking his favourites from a huge range of countries.  Peaceful gardens, fascinating history and one of the most beautifully decorated houses you'll ever visit.

Neil Davies

An amazing place, found by chance on the internet and visited on a whim. Well worth the admission price and a fantastic way to spend an afternoon. The building is incredible, the decor even more breathtaking. Can't recommend it highly enough.

carol mee

Stunning beauty, thoroughly enjoyed visiting this little gem, highly recommended. Carol

PS

Such a beautiful place and hidden gem in Kensington. Has the best entrance hall I have ever seen.