Two Temple Place
© Will Pryce. Courtesy Two Temple Place
  • Attractions | Historic buildings and sites
  • Temple
  • Recommended

Two Temple Place


Time Out says

Built as an estate office in 1895 to the close specifications of William Waldorf Astor, Two Temple Place now opens to the public for three months a year with immensely popular exhibitions of ‘publicly-owned art from around the UK’, arranged by an up-and-coming curator. The pale Portland stone exterior and oriel windows here are handsome – but the interior is extraordinary. You get a hint about what’s to come before you open the door: look right and there’s a cherub holding an old-fashioned telephone to his ear.

Ring the bell and you’re warmly welcomed by volunteers into a house with decor that combines sublime, extravagant craftsmanship with a thorough lack of interest in coherence: above porphyry tiles, the Three Musketeers adorn the banisters of a staircase; intricately carved literary characters crowd the first floor, mixing Shakespeare with Fenimore Cooper; the medieval-style Great Hall, with lovely stained glass, crams together 54 random busts – Voltaire, Marlborough and Anne Boleyn enjoying the company of Mary Queen of Scots.


2 Temple Place
Tube: Temple
Admission free. Tours free but must be booked in advance
Opening hours:
Open Exhibitions late Jan-mid Apr 10am-4.30pm Mon, Thur-Sat; 10am-9pm Wed; 11am-4.30pm Sun. Private tours only mid Apr-late Jan
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