Explore the colourful past of Chiswick House through the eyes of creative writers, including Carol Ann Duffy
From landscape garden to mental asylum to public park, Chiswick House and Gardens have had a colourful past.
Now you can explore these stories through the eyes of creative writers, including Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy and former Poet Laureate Sir Andrew Motion, in a new downloadable audio tour.
The tour follows ten easels that are dotted around the gardens at Chiswick, each displaying a picture of the gardens at a different point in its history.
At each easel, you can listen to a story or poem inspired by the image: you'll eavesdrop on a conversation between two suffragettes at one, and discover how a giraffe felt when brought to Chiswick to entertain party guests at another.
You can also learn more about the history of Chiswick House, discovering what makes the gardens here so important.
The tour takes about an hour and you will need the map on the right to find all the easels.
The route suggested on the map is largely accessible but visitors may find it easier to take more advantage of surfaced paths to find the easels, particularly when the gardens have been subject to poor weather.
Signs around the site indicate wheelchair-friendly routes. Stop 2 on the terrace can be entered and exited via a slope beside the steps.
To download the tour, click on the link on the right and chose the option to save the folder to your computer. Inside the folder you will find the individual mp3 files that make up the tour, with each track corresponding to a number on an easel.
Once saved to your computer, you can add these files to your device as you would songs or any other file. This will vary per device, but you can use any supplied software (such as iTunes), or drag and drop the files.
Or you can listen online to the individual files using the links below.
Audio Tour 1
1a) Mind the Carriage
1b) About Chiswick House
Audio Tour 2
2a) Chiswick as it Never Was
2b) A Revolutionary Garden
Audio Tour 3
3a) The Artist Admires His Handiwork
3b) The Obelisk, Lord Burlington and William Kent
Audio Tour 4
4a) The Ionic Temple
4b) Chiswick After Lord Burlington
Audio Tour 5
5a) A Place of Healing
5b) A Peaceful Asylum
Audio Tour 6
6a) A Sporting Tradition
6b) The Classic Bridge and Orangery
Audio Tour 7
7a) An Audience of Oranges
7b) Goosefoot, Exedra and Rock'n'Roll
Audio Tour 8
8a) Long-Necked Visitors
8b) The Duke and His Menagerie
Audio Tour 9
9a) A Prize for the Architect Earl
9b) Inigo Jones Gateway
Audio Tour 10
10b) A Public Park and Goodbye