Ten Georgian gems

  • 9 October 2013

Palladian villas, Capability Brown gardens, the Gothic Revival – the Georgian era gave rise to some of Britain's most iconic architecture. Visit these stunning buildings across the UK.

1. Croft Castle and Parkland, Herefordshire
Free entry with National Art Pass

Home to the Croft family for nearly a millennium, this impressive manor house features fine Georgian interiors. The castle is surrounded by 1,500 acres of woods, farm and parkland within which visitors can find an Iron Age hill fort, while the interiors feature a number of 'atmosphere rooms' including the 18th-century Saloon.

2. Royal Pavilion, Brighton
​Free entry with National Art Pass

Built for George IV as a seaside retreat, Brighton's iconic Royal Pavilion is one of the most iconic buildings of the late-Georgian period. Inspired by Chinese and Indian architecture and home to one of Britain's finest collections of chinoiserie, the pavilion is filled with astonishing colours and superb craftsmanship.

3. Marble Hill House, London
Free entry with National Art Pass

Built for the 18th-century socialite Henrietta Howard as a retreat from crowded London, this beautiful Palladian villa is set in gorgeous riverside parkland near Richmond. Its interiors have been recreated with original Georgian designs, and are home to a fine collection of early Georgian paintings.

4. Danson House, Kent
Free entry with National Art Pass

Sir John Boyd, the vice-chairman of the East India Company, built Danson House for his second wife as a place for 'pleasure, relaxing and entertaining'. It was designed by Sir Robert Taylor, the architect behind the Bank of England, and was restored in 1995 after falling into disrepair during the 20th century.

5. No 1 Royal Crescent, Bath
Free entry with National Art Pass

The Georgian era was a golden age of urban development, and nowhere was that clearer than at the Royal Crescent in Bath. Designed by the architect John Wood, the Georgian stone facade remains virtually unchanged from the 1760s. No 1 is now a museum of Georgian life, recreating a fashionable 18th-century townhouse with a splendidly equipped kitchen. 

​6. Handel House Museum, London 
Free entry with National Art Pass

Home to the great baroque composer George Frideric Handel from 1723 until his death in 1759, this beautifully restored townhouse celebrates Handel's life and works. Frequent music rehearsals and weekly concerts bring live music back to the house, among beautifully restored Georgian interiors.

7. Georgian House, Edinburgh
Free entry with National Art Pass

Set in the heart of Edinburgh's historic New Town, 7 Charlotte Square is often considered Robert Adam's crowning glory. It was restored to its original condition by the National Trust for Scotland in the early 1970s, and features fine collections of furniture and paintings.

8. Nostell Priory, West Yorkshire
Free entry with National Art Pass

Built on the site of a 12th-century priory among hundreds of acres of parkland, Nostell was home to the Winn family for over 300 years. Today the building is furnished with mostly original pieces, including an unparalleled collection of Chippendale furniture and one of the country's finest private libraries.

9. Osterley Park House, London
Free entry with National Art Pass

Known as 'the palace of palaces', Osterley was built by the Child family as a place to entertain and impress their friends and clients. Designed by the ubiquitous Robert Adam, the Childs' urban retreat has been brought up to date thanks to an iPhone app guide to the house.

​10. Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire
Free entry with National Art Pass

This spectacular Neoclassical mansion takes visitors on a trip back in time to the 1760s with an extensive collection of paintings, sculpture and original furnishings. Created for the Curzon family, who have lived on the Kedleston estate since the 12th century, it was designed as a personal museum and venue for entertaining.