Transforming Orleans House capital project wins Heritage Lottery Fund support

Release Date: 18/02/2014

Reference: P067/14

Orleans House Gallery in Twickenham has received initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the Transforming Orleans House project. The £3.2m project aims to preserve and make accessible the important heritage assets that comprise the Orleans House Gallery site, including restoring the grade one listed Octagon Room and increase public access to the Richmond upon Thames Borough Art Collection.

Development funding of £235,050 has been awarded to help Orleans House Gallery progress their plans for a stage 2 application by the end of 2014.

The project will restore the stunning James Gibbs designed Octagon Room; restore the North wing, a former service wing, closer to its original appearance; introduce a Study Room showcasing works from the Richmond upon Thames Borough Art Collection; increase the size of the picture store; and make the upper levels accessible for the first time through the introduction of a lift.

Cllr Gareth Evans, Cabinet Member for Community, Business and Culture, said:

“Orleans House is a hugely important part of our borough’s rich heritage. This exciting project will restore and transform the surviving buildings, significantly expanding what is already a thriving cultural and heritage hub for the local community to enjoy”

Sue Bowers, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund London, said: “We look forward to receiving the detailed plans showing how this important listed building can be restored and conserved so that public access to the borough’s considerable heritage can be enhanced.”

Improving and preserving and making accessible its heritage and collections will enable Orleans House to engage people in the whole site and the river landscape, creating a thriving heritage hub for the whole of West London.

The development will provide benefits for the community, working in partnership with local organisations, including other heritage sites. The project will provide new opportunities for people to volunteer and learn about the rich heritage of this site and the borough through a new heritage focussed education, skills training and interpretation programme.

Orleans House was built in 1710 for James Johnston, Secretary of State for Scotland, as a retirement villa. It was visited by George II and Queen Caroline in 1729. Caroline dined in luxury in the 1720 James Gibbs-designed Octagon Room, which still stands – one of the finest examples of baroque garden architecture in the country. The house was later named after its most famous resident, Louis Philippe, the Duc D’Orleans who made this his home in exile between 1815-17.

He returned to visit his former retreat, accompanied by Queen Victoria, in 1848 as King of the French. His son, the Duc D’Aumale later made the house his home for nearly two decades and the surviving Stables block dates from his residency.

The main building and conservatory of Orleans House were tragically demolished in 1926. Luckily the remains were saved by the Hon. Mrs Nellie Ionides and left to the borough on her death in 1962.

Notes for editors:

A first-round pass means the project meets HLF criteria for funding and HLF believes the project has potential to deliver high-quality benefits and value for Lottery money. The application was in competition with other supportable projects, so a first-round pass is an endorsement of outline proposals. Having been awarded a first-round pass, the project now has up to two years to submit fully developed proposals to complete a firm award.

On occasion, an applicant with a first-round pass will also be awarded development funding towards the funding of their scheme.

About Orleans House Gallery

Richmond upon Thames Arts Service and Orleans House Gallery provide arts for everyone, including exhibitions in three galleries, a diverse range of arts festivals, an award-winning family friendly education provision for all ages as well as partnership programmes with a wide range of cultural organisations.

Previous Heritage Lottery Fund capital projects include the Coach House Education Centre (opened 2006) and the refurbishment of the Stables Gallery, introduction of a café and artist-in-residence studio in 2008.

Orleans House Gallery, Riverside, Twickenham, TW1 3DJ

Tel: 020 8831 6000

About the Heritage Lottery Fund

Using money raised through the National lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) aims to make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities across the UK and help build a resilient heritage economy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported over 36,000 projects with more than £5.9bn across the UK.

For further information, images and interviews, please contact: Mark Coleman in Richmond Council’s press office on 020 8487 5158 or Rachel Tranter, Head of Arts of Arts 020 8831 6462,

Members of the public should call the Council’s contact centre for more information by phoning 020 8891 1411

Further Information:

If you are a journalist and would like further information about this press release, contact Mark Coleman on 020 8487 5158

Updated: 19 February 2014