Octagonal 18th century temple located in idyllic grounds.
This extraordinary octagonal temple was commissioned by celebrated actor, dramatist and theatre manager, David Garrick (1717-1779) as a tribute to his hero, William Shakespeare. Built in 1756, the temple was fashioned out of stone and framed by a domed roof, a porch and four pillars. Reached by a grotto tunnel, Garrick used the folly for entertaining and dining. It originally housed a life-size statue, created by sculptor Roubiliac, of the celebrated playwright sitting at his desk. Restoration work on the building produced a replica of the statue which now resides inside the temple. The 18th century pleasure garden has been similarly reinstated, decorated by a serpentine path favoured by landscape designers of the day. Perched on the river’s edge, this is an idyllic spot to visit.
18th century history and theatre, Shakespeare in London, rural riverside retreat.
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Did you know?
Roubiliac’s statue of Shakespeare now stands in the King’s Library at the British Museum.