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Guide to South West London
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Culture Guide To South West London

Culture in South West London The south west of London is home to a large selection of exciting cultural events and venues.

Whatever you’re into you’ll find something appealing from fireworks and the natural splendour of the many parks and open spaces around, to the latest world cinema showcases and exotic restaurants, South West London offers a selection of truly diverse options for a great day out or a longer stay.

Avoid the crowds and head to some of the more unusual places for a unique day out.

The Pump House [map] in Battersea Park was built in 1861 to feed the Victorian lake cascades from a well beneath the building. By the end of World War II, the pumping machinery had been stripped out and the roof had collapsed. English Heritage undertook essential repairs in 1985 and in 1991 Wandsworth Council Design Services arranged for the restoration of the external fabric and internal refurbishment. New floors and a steel staircase were inserted into the shell of the building.

Since its reopening after an award-winning transformation in 1992, the Pump House Gallery [map] has presented a wide variety of exhibitions and events. Recent years have seen a dramatic increase in profile with a developing programme of contemporary exhibitions representing the broad range of current arts practice.

If you want to be at one with nature check out Bushy Park which is located on the edge of the Longford River, an artificial waterway that is 13 miles long and was created by Charles I in 1639 to bring fresh water to Hampton Court.

Bushy Park offers visitors the opportunity to wander in more than 445 hectares of historic deer park before stopping for refreshments or chilling out at a picnic table. Children will enjoy the many talks and nature trails that they’ll have access to and adults can relax in a family-orientated and safe environment.

In a similar vain Osterley Park House [map] is a National Trust property that dates back to 1575 and is set in more than 140 acres of landscaped gardens and woodland. Famous 18th Century architect Robert Adam is responsible for the changing face of Osterley when he brought it up to date with period features from the 1700s and transformed it into the popular house that it still is today.

Another popular stately home is located at West Hill, which is where you’ll find the De Morgan Centre [map] for the study of 19th century art and society in South West London. The centre is a permanent home for work by William De Morgan, the Victorian ceramic artist and his wife Evelyn, the painter. It houses an archive of papers relating to their lives and their circle, a reserve collection and a temporary exhibition space.

William and Evelyn De Morgan, in addition to their interest in the fine and decorative arts, were both involved in the issues which concerned artists and thinkers of the last quarter of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th including women's suffrage, pacifism and spiritualism.

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