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DAVID GARRICK - Actor, Manager and Writer

England's greatest Actor-Manager   ...   1717 - 1779


David Garrick moved to Hampton House, now known as Garrick’s Villa, in 1754. He had been born into a Huguenot family, in Hereford though most of his early life was spent in Lichfield. He attended the local grammar school and then a short-lived school run by his friend Samuel Johnson, the great man of letters, who was the son of a Lichfield bookseller.

Garrick's Villa is a Grade I listed country house located on Hampton Court Road in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. Its park and gardens are listed at Grade II by Historic England in the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens of special historic interest in England.


The house was converted into flats in 1922. 

Gardens of Garrick's House and Temple to Shakespeare


Capability Brown was consulted over the grounds and suggested building the, still existing, grotto-like tunnel under the road joining the house to the riverside part of the grounds.  In 1755-1756, the octagonal Temple was constructed, possibly modelled on Lord Burlington's temple at Chiswick House, to entertain visitors and also to house some of the mementos of Shakespeare.


The Fire   ...   Garrick's House caught fire on 25 October 2008 


The entire roof of the Grade I listed building, Garrick's Villa in Hampton Court, south west London, collapsed in the fire, which began yesterday morning.


Seventy firefighters tackled the fire at its height but no injuries were reported. Witnesses said building work had been taking place at the property.  The building's roof fell through to the second floor in the blaze, and half of its first and second floors also caught fire, a fire brigade spokesman said.  It took 5 hours to the fire under control.


English Heritage described the destruction of large parts of Garrick's Villa as "a tragedy".                                               

The Telegraph - October 2008


Photograph:  Alan Cornwell

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