Chiswick House Reveals Coded Symbols

During April and May 2006, Chiswick House launched a tour which examined the mystical symbolism behind the art and architecture of this elegant property in west London.

During April and May 2006, Chiswick House launched a tour which examined the mystical symbolism behind the art and architecture of this elegant property in West London.  Designed to reflect the interest in symbolism generated by the best selling book, The Da Vinci Code, the film of which was released in June 2006, the English Heritage ‘secret symbolism’ tour explored the secrets behind Masonic symbols and beliefs.

A masterpiece of neo-classical architecture, Chiswick House was designed in the 18th century by the third Earl of Burlington who was inspired by the classical villas of ancient Rome.  Traditionally thought to have been built as a home for entertaining, recent findings suggest that the villa may have had a secondary function as an early Masonic Lodge. Investigations began 17 years ago when two local residents took an interest in the house and the history of the Burlington family.  Powerful Masonic symbols and clues have since been revealed in ceiling paintings, in the unusual geometric proportions of the villa and in the blue and red colour scheme.

The ‘secret symbols’ tour encompassed the full array of intriguing symbols and clues, examining ceiling paintings that feature figures displaying triangular gestures replicating the Masonic triangle and compass, painted rats that signify death and snakes which allude to the belief of rebirth, in addition to revealing the significance of the green men carved into the marble mantelpieces. 

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