Is architecturally one of the more modest royal residences, but historically it is full of interest. It began life as a private residence of the Finch family and was purchased by William III in 1689 since it provided fresh air but was near to London. Wren, surveyor of the works, was employed to rebuild extensively, but the scale was moderate, partly because there was lavish building at Hampton Court. The delightful orangery by Vanbrugh was added during Anne's reign. Much of the later internal decoration, including the king's staircase, was by William Kent, and the gardens were laid out and redeveloped by George London, Henry Wise, and Charles Bridgeman. The Round Pond and the Serpentine were finished during the reign of George I.
Subjects: British History.