Garrick's Lawn & Temple
Garrick's Lawn and Temple, Right bank
Garrick's Temple to Shakespeare was built by the great 18th century actor-manager David Garrick
in 1756 to celebrate the genius of William Shakespeare.
The Temple is open to the public on Sunday afternoons (14.00-17.00) from the first Sunday in April to the last Sunday in October. Admission to the Garrick Exhibition and most events is free.
The Temple is available for private events.
Zoffany-Garricks Temple by Johan Zoffany - Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection. Licensed under CC0 via Wikimedia Commons.
1859: The Thames, Mr & Mrs Hall
Of these residences the most striking is "Garrick's Villa",
once the property and the favourite residence of the great master
of histrionic art. The garden, like its neighbours, abuts upon the river:
but the house stands beyond the road, and, consequently, it is separated
from the water-side part of its grounds: a communication, however,
suggested by Dr. Johnson, exists in the form of a very picturesque
short tunnel under the road. Here, beneath a weeping willow that
droops gracefully into the water, stands "the Grecian rotunda, with
an Ionic portico" (it is really a little octagonal water-side summerhouse),
which in Garrick's time gave shelter to Roubiliac's statue of
Shakspere, that has since been promoted to the Hall of the British
* The "Temple of Shakspere", as Garrick called this building, was constructed expressly for Roubiliac's statue, a commission from the actor to the artist, who did his utmost to produce a good work — to his own loss; for Garrick, with his usual tact at driving a bargain, gave little more than would pay for the model and the marble. The artist was also subjected to the meddlesome taste of the actor, whose vanity was unbounded, and who threw himself into the affected posture of poetic inspiration, which he insisted the statue should exhibit. When the work was finished, the sculptor executed a new head, as Garrick demurred at a faint vein of colour in the marble. The only portrait of Roubiliac we possess represents him working enthusiastically on this statue, which he certainly desired to make his chef-d'oeuvre. It passed to the British Museum, by Garrick's desire, on the death of his widow.