Leighton House Museum

London & South East
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
  • RIBA Arts & Leisure Award 2011
  • RICS Conservation Award Finalists 2011
  • Europa Nostra Awards 2012

Our team led a £1.2m conservation and restoration programme which has successfully returned the building to its former glory.

Located in the heart of Kensington, London, Leighton House Museum is the former house of artist Frederic, Lord Leighton. Purcell were commissioned to understand Leighton House within its historic context and develop a Conservation Management Plan to ensure the longevity of the building.

Conservation Management Plan

Leighton House Museum, located on the edge of Holland Park, was the studio home of well-known Victorian painter Frederic, Lord Leighton, designed by George Aitchison and constructed between 1865 and 1896.

Our Conservation Management Plan helped the client to understand the house in its context and tackled important issues for the future of the building. We led a £1.2m conservation, refurbishment and restoration programme to return the house to the full glory of Leighton’s and Aitchison’s original architectural vision.

Original materials

Historic paint, wallcoverings and detail samples from original materials were researched, sourced and reproduced. The historic decorative scheme was reconstructed for the interiors and magnificent Arab Hall gilded ceiling dome, newly illuminated by the refurbished gasolier.


The ambitious scheme also included the meticulous restoration of the building’s original ziggurat parapets, distinctive architectural features that were removed in 1959.

Craftsmen produced silk wall coverings and flock wallpaper using 19th Century methods. The interiors now convey a more authentic sense and understanding of Leighton’s aesthetics and decorative vision.


  • Europa Nostra Conservation Award
  • Lighting Design Heritage Award
  • RIBA London Arts & Leisure Award
  • Museums & Heritage Award for Restoration or Conservation (Shortlisted)
  • RICS London Award for Conservation (Shortlisted)
  • RICS London Award for Community Benefit (Shortlisted)

Location: London
Client: The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
Listing Status: Grade II* listed