LivingTravelApsley House London

Apsley House London

Apsley House was the home of the first Duke of Wellington, the one who defeated Napoleon Bonaparte, and is also known as London’s number one because it was the first house to be found in the country after passing the tolls at the top of Knightsbridge.

Apsley House is an opulent, palatial mansion managed by English Heritage. It has been converted into a museum of art and treasures bestowed on the Duke of Wellington, and gives visitors a glimpse of the grand lifestyle of this iconic figure.

Apsley House Visitor Information

149 Piccadilly, Hyde Park Corner, London W1J 7NT

Nearest Tube Station: Hyde Park Corner

Use Journey Planner to plan your route on public transportation.


  • Check the official website for the latest ticket prices.
  • Free for children under 16 years old.
  • Visit this attraction for free with a London Pass

Duration of the visit: 1 hour +.


Apsley House is a historic building and therefore there are some steps. There is an elevator / lift, but you would still need to negotiate the steps at the main entrance and get to the elevator on the ground floor.

Near Apsley House

Apsley House was originally built by Robert Adam between 1771 and 1778 for Lord Apsley, who gave the house his name.

In 1807, Richard Wellesley bought the house and then sold it in 1817 to his brother, the Duke of Wellington, who needed a base in London from which to pursue his new career in politics.

Architect Benjamin Dean Wyatt carried out renovations between 1818 and 1819, including the addition of the great Waterloo gallery for the Duke’s paintings, and facing the red brick exterior with the Bath stone.

Who lives there now?

The 9th Duke of Wellington still lives at Apsley House, making it the only property managed by English Heritage in which the family of the original owners still reside.

Tips for Visitors

  • Do not touch anything
  • You don’t sit on the antique furniture
  • No photography
  • Control children
  • Audio tour available
  • At the end of your visit, relax in the room off the entrance hall and admire Wellington’s leather-bound photo archives, Apsley House and the art collection.


  • There is no cafeteria, but Hyde Park is a great place for a picnic.
  • It could make some dust.

A visit to the Apsley house

The lobby includes an open gift shop that has a souvenir guide for £ 3.99.

In the 1820s, the fashion for presenting monumental plaque pieces to national heroes was widespread, with the Duke of Wellington receiving many. Don’t miss The Plate and China Room , near the lobby, which houses grand dinner services that were gifts given to the Duke of Wellington after Napoleon’s defeat at the Battle of Waterloo.

See the swords by the window including the sword (saber) carried by Wellington at Waterloo alongside Napoleon’s court sword.

A ‘must see’ is Canova’s huge marble statue of a naked Napoleon at the foot of the grand staircase. It was made for Napoleon, but he turned it down because he felt he looked “too muscular.” In the most British way, a ‘fig leaf’ has been added to cover its modesty, which is probably a good thing as it would be at eye level.

Upstairs you’ll find the Piccadilly Room, which has a great view of the Wellington Arch, and the Portico Drawing Room with its high, white and gold ceiling.

The Waterloo Gallery has the “wow factor.” This large red and gold room, which overlooks Hyde Park, is a 90-foot-long photo gallery that has some of the best paintings in the Royal Spanish Collection, including works by Romano, Correggio, Velázquez, Caravaggio, and Sir Anthony Van. Dyck, Murillo and Rubens. Keep an eye out for Goya’s portrait of Wellington. From 1830 to 1852, the annual Waterloo Banquet was held here. (See William Slaterton’s ‘Waterloo Banquet of 1836’ painting on display in the Entrance Hall.) Staff are careful to adjust shutters on bright days to protect paintings and interior décor.

More rooms include the Yellow Drawing Room and the Striped Drawing Room, which is a renovation by Benjamin Dean Wyatt.

The annual Waterloo banquets were held in the dining room until 1829 and the original table and chairs are in the room, along with some of the 26ft / 8m long Portuguese tableware that is one of the best surviving examples of Portuguese neoclassical silver.

In the Basement Gallery you can see artifacts of the Wellington horse: Copenhagen, and a pair of Wellington boots, which have given the name to wellies.

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