Lego model building support for Chiswick House and Gardens

A two metre long Lego brick recreation of Chiswick House is under construction to raise money for the house and gardens in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The project was launched by Chiswick House Friends who are a 600-member strong community group founded in 1984 dedicated to supporting The Chiswick House and Gardens Trust.

The devastating impact of Covid-19 has been felt acutely by the trust, which has lost almost all commercial income amounting to a shortfall of £500,000.

The Trust, which maintains the sprawling estate, has described the situation as desperate.

Chiswick House Friends Chairman John Armstrong said: “It’s a really beautiful place to be.

“You’ve got London all around you and yet, when you’re in Chiswick gardens you feel as though you’re in the country.

“It’s like walking through history, you’ve got the eighteenth-century parts, the nineteenth century parts, and then the wilderness.”

The model will take 50,000 Lego bricks to build and will be constructed in three versions: the original house from 1736, with the Devonshire-wings added in 1788, and the house as we enjoy it today.

Each donation made correlates to a new Lego brick added until the model is complete.

Chiswick House Friends aim for the model to raise £75,000 to maintain the park.

The Grade 1 listed villa is one of the earliest examples of Neo-Palladian architecture in England and the gardens are considered to be the first expression of the British Landscape Garden Movement rendering it extremely culturally and historically significant.

Once complete, Chiswick House Friends will use the 1/37th scale model to educate school children about the history of this exceptional building found right on their doorstep.

A public park since 1929, the Chiswick Estate grounds stayed open throughout lockdown which offered many individuals and families the opportunity to exercise and enjoy nature.

Mental health charity Mind has warned of a mental health crisis due to the pandemic but insist spending time outdoors in nature can significantly benefit both physical and mental health.

Other fundraising efforts for the Trust include the hugely successful Chiswick Festival which included performances from the likes of Dara Ó Briain, Tom Allen, and Omid Djalili among others.

The Chiswick House Friends hope to continue fundraising with outdoor socially distanced Christmas carols in December but admit this will depend on future coronavirus regulations.

Chiswick House Friends are currently appealing for corporate sponsorship from local businesses, to band together in support of the park and wider community.

To donate to the Chiswick House Friends Lego project, click here.

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