Marlborough House

Marlborough House
(Photo: Gavin Gardiner)
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Built by Sir Christopher Wren in 1709-11, this magnificent house is now the working headquarters of the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Commonwealth Foundation.

The garden has been largely maintained in its original formal 18th-century layout, with a number of large, plain expanses of lawn, intersected by gravel pathways.

At its southern and western boundaries, bordering The Mall and Marlborough Road respectively, the lawns bank upwards, enabling residents to see over the fairly high boundary wall from the gravel path. Against these walls are formal beds with some hedging and other planting.

At the eastern boundary is a less formal, extensive shrubbery, with a woodland path and a pet cemetery, where the tombstones commemorate household pets, including some of Queen Alexandra’s dogs.

There is a revolving timber summerhouse with a thatched roof commissioned by Queen Mary, the last royal resident of the house, in front of the east wing of the building. In the south-east corner of the garden is a brick-built gazebo.

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