Two Temple Place has one of the most remarkable interiors in London and for three months a year you can see it for free.  Every Spring it plays host to an exhibition that showcases items owned by Britain’s regional museums.  This year the exhibition is Rhythm and Reaction: The Jazz Age in Britain.  Let’s go inside Two Temple Place.

William Waldorf Astor gave his architect an unlimited budget to build an estate office with some living space above in 1895.  Everywhere you look is ornate wooden panelling and sumptuous stained glass.  The central staircase that connects the working and living spaces is crowned with a stained glass ceiling.

Inside Two Temple Place

William Waldorf Astor liked books and history, we know this because the interior is scattered liberally with literary references.  The ornate mahogany carvings on the central staircase depict Shakespearian heroes.  But pride of place is reserved for his all time top favourite book; Alexandre Dumas’ The Three Musketeers.  Each newel post is topped by an eighteen inch high stature of the novel’s characters.

Two Temple Place staircase

Not content with Shakespeare and Dumas, there are yet more literary references upstairs.  The door into the magnificent main room is decorated with nine silver gilt reliefs showing Arthurian heroines.

Two Temple Place Interior

At either end of this grand room is yet more stained glass.  Sunset is depicted in the one at the west end of the room: it is entitled Alpine Lanscape and was created by Clayton and Bell.

Stained Glass Two Temple Place

Even the entrance to the ladies’ loo is ornate.  I had never noticed the discrete brass plate before and felt compelled to go inside.  Inside is a vision of yet more wood panelling and ornate tiles.  Well worth a visit.

Two Temple Place interior

Two Temple Place can be found a few hundred yards away from Temple tube station.  Rhythm and Reaction: The Age of Jazz in Britain is on until 22 April 2018 and is free to visit.  There is a rather fine cafe open to all during the exhibition, if you happen to be in London between now and the end of April try and make time to see a rather good exhibition and a stunning interior.

If money was no object and you could decorate your house themed on your favourite novel, which would you choose?



  1. bavariansojourn
    February 3, 2018 / 9:17 pm

    That is quite an office!! Can you imagine being the architect in charge of that! Love the windows especially! 🙂

    • February 3, 2018 / 9:19 pm

      I know …… here is a blank cheque please spend it tastefully!

    • February 4, 2018 / 10:02 am

      It’s got me wondering if Mr CW would contemplate a stained glass atrium

  2. February 4, 2018 / 6:36 am

    That’s amazing. so glad I caught this post as I never knew it existed and will definitely visit now. Thanks.

    • February 4, 2018 / 10:01 am

      Let me know what you think!

  3. February 4, 2018 / 9:10 am

    That staind glass window is simply beautiful! #mysundayphoto

    • February 4, 2018 / 10:00 am

      Perfectly positioned to catch the light as well

  4. February 4, 2018 / 9:16 am

    Wow what amazing detail, it looks so grand. The colours in the glass are stunning.

    Thank you for linking up

    • February 4, 2018 / 9:59 am

      A treat for the eye and the camera

  5. February 4, 2018 / 10:03 am

    What a beautiful place to visit. I love all the wood carvings and the literacy references and the stained glass is so pretty. I’ve never heard of Two Temple Place and the exhibition sounds really interesting too. Will have to try and visit while it’s open.

    • February 4, 2018 / 10:04 am

      The exhibitions are always good

  6. February 4, 2018 / 10:38 am

    Oh wow, what an amazing place to visit. The architecture is amazing and I love all the stained glass.

  7. February 4, 2018 / 11:52 am

    Hi Catherine, what an incredibly ornate interior and I don’t think I’ve ever seen such an intracate ladies toilet door. I’m really not sure how I would like my house decorated, but it would have to be something bright, fun and uplifting. Probably more like a theme from a childrens book.


    • February 4, 2018 / 11:54 am

      Wols house in Winnie the Pooh?

  8. February 4, 2018 / 12:57 pm

    Wow it’s just so stunning. I’m not sure I’d have got much work done in that office. It reminds me a lot of the ceilings in Stirling castle!

  9. February 4, 2018 / 3:53 pm

    What a wonderful building. The stained glass is exquisite. You make me want to move back to London!

  10. February 4, 2018 / 4:25 pm

    This is an amazing place! You’re so lucky to get free entrance – I’d want to spend all day there.

    • February 4, 2018 / 5:48 pm

      Everybody gets free entrance!

  11. February 4, 2018 / 5:37 pm

    Beautiful photos, what a gorgeous place.

  12. February 4, 2018 / 7:38 pm

    What an amazing place – and that glass! Wow.

    • February 4, 2018 / 8:05 pm

      It is incredible, I will try to pop in for a coffee at least one more time before the end of April

  13. February 5, 2018 / 1:10 pm

    Wow what a beautiful building, it’s nice to see them in such a good state of repair. So many are left to ruin. #MySundayPhoto

  14. February 8, 2018 / 4:56 pm

    Those are incredible. What amazing photos. x

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