Why was Canons Park once one of Britain’s finest palaces? In the early 1700s, it was home to the Duke of Chandos, who poured millions of pounds into the house and gardens, turning it into a centre of collecting and connoisseurship which astounded everyone who visited. It even rivaled Blenheim Palace in its grandeur.
Based on years of research, and developed in collaboration with the Friends of Canons Park and the Oxford Research Centre for the Humanities at the University of Oxford, this walking tour will allow you to explore the rise and fall of Canons Park. You’ll retrace the Duke of Chandos’ steps through the grounds, find out what the trees in the garden say about his taste in art and architecture, and how a temple reveals something of empire and slavery.
Highlights on this tour include hearing about:
• How Chandos made his millions with the Duke of Marlborough
• The boom and bust in the South Sea Bubble
• Canons Park’s hidden legacy of empire and slavery
• Why the grounds and gardens were at the forefront of science
• The story of how a church led Handel to compose the Chandos Anthems
• Canons Park’s fame and subsequent infamy, thanks to Alexander Pope
Whether you’ve lived near Canons Park for years or you’re just visiting, this tour brings to light the life and times of its most famous resident like never before.