About the Temple
Built in 1756, this striking little octagonal building and its 18th century pleasure-garden setting were restored in 1998/99 by the Garrick's Temple Partnership Project, funded in part by a Heritage Lottery grant and donations from a range of other organisations and individuals.
The renowned actor-manager, David Garrick, built the Temple to celebrate the genius of William Shakespeare, commissioning the sculptor Roubiliac to provide a life-size statue of his hero to be placed inside. The recent restoration reinstates the statue in replica and also houses a display which celebrates David Garrick's acting career and his private life in Hampton.
About the Gardens
Garrick's Lawn is the name of the garden on the Thames that surrounds Garrick's Temple to Shakespeare.
Although there is no official record to prove it, it is widely believed that Lancelot Capability Brown advised David Garrick on how best to lay out the grounds of Garrick's Villa.
The gardens undoubtedly emulate the style for which Capability Brown became famous, and the Garricks certainly had the means and cultural understanding to adopt the newly fashionable landscape style as the main design option for their beautifully positioned gardens.
Today the gardens are managed by Karelle Bird who is working on a long-term strategy to retain the 18th century characteristics of the original garden whilst making the riverside park relevant, useful and valuable for 21st century use.
Karelle is working with the Parks and Open Spaces Department of Richmond upon Thames Council and the British Trust of Conservation Volunteers on biodiversity, conservation, development and maintenance projects to enhance the river bank and to improve and enhance this much loved public park for the local and wider community.