Search for the name, locality, period or a feature of a locality. You'll then be taken to a map showing results.

Orleans House, Twickenham


The riverside grounds of Orleans House are now a woodland garden. The house is gone, and only an octagonal pavilion survives from the site's original early 18th-century layout. The stables, which also remain, have been converted into a gallery.

Orleans House was a Palladian villa built by the architect John James in 1710 near the Thames at Twickenham, England, for the politician and diplomat James Johnston. It was subsequently named after the Duc d'Orléans who stayed there in the early 19th century.

Visitor Access, Directions & Contacts

Access contact details

Orleans House Gallery is open Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 5pm.

The Stables Café is open Monday to Sunday 9am to 4pm.

The grounds are accessible 7 days a week and can be explored independently or as part of a visit to the Gallery or the Stable café.


Rail: Twickenham. Rail/London Overground/Tube (District): Richmond then bus. Bus: R70, 33, H22


London Borough of Richmond upon Thames


17th Century

James Johnston, Secretary of State for Scotland from 1692 to 1695/6, retired from public life in 1702 and purchased a riverside site in Twickenham where he developed a highly regarded garden over the next 10 years.

18th Century

In 1713 he sponsored John James in the translation of Antoine-Joseph Dezallier d' Argenville's Theorie et Pratique du Jardinage (1709).

An octagonal pavilion, designed by James Gibbs, was added to the east end of the greenhouse in 1716.

A few years later Batty Langley offered an 'improvement', suggesting that the principal view be modified by changing the groves to labyrinths, that the pools be reshaped and set within a quincunx, and that the vines be replanted as further wildernesses.

The layout was informalised in the mid-18th century, and in the early-19th century the house was for a few years the residence of the Duc d'Orleans.

20th Century

In the early-20th century the house was demolished and the grounds built on or abandoned, leaving the Octagon Pavilion as the only significant remainder of the riverside villa.

By the early 20th century it was derelict and in 1926 it was mostly demolished. However, parts of the property, including a baroque octagonal room designed by architect James Gibbs, were preserved. The octagon room and its service wing are listed Grade I by Historic England and, together, with a converted stable block, are now the Orleans House Gallery

21st Century

The buildings and site were refurbished between 2005 and 2008 by architects Patel Taylor to incorporate an education centre and a café.


18th Century (1701 to 1800)

Associated People
Features & Designations


  • Conservation Area

  • Reference: Twickenham Riverside
  • The National Heritage List for England: Listed Building

  • Reference: Orleans House Gallery
  • Grade: I
  • Site of Local Importance for Nature Conservation


  • Specimen Tree
  • Shrubbery
  • Pavilion
  • Description: The Octagon Pavilion was designed by James Gibbs.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
Key Information





Principal Building



18th Century (1701 to 1800)


Part: ground/below ground level remains



Open to the public





  • London Parks and Gardens Trust