The house from an 1897 photograph
Built / Designed For: John Julius Angerstein
House & Family History: Woodlands was built in the late 18th century as a country villa for John Julius Angerstein, a Russian-born banker who made multiple fortunes: in the East India Company, as a Lloyd's marine insurance underwriter, and as an owner of a slave plantation in Grenada. Woodlands was the first house in Britain since Roman times to have a central heating system. During World War I the house was a hostel for Belgian refugees. In 1923 Woodlands was sold to the Little Sisters of the Assumption, who used the house as a convent until 1967, when it was sold to Greenwich Borough Council, who restored it as much as possible to Gibson's original plans. Woodlands Art Gallery opened to the public in 1972 as a local history library and art gallery, a purpose it served until 2003, when the art gallery closed and the local history library moved to the Royal Arsenal site in Woolwich (today the Greenwich Heritage Centre).
Collections: After his death Angerstein's collection of 38 paintings at Woodlands, including works by Raphael and Hogarth's "Marriage A-la-Mode" series, was purchased by the government and used as the nucleus of the new National Gallery.
House Listed: Grade II*
Park Listed: Not Listed
Past Seat / Home of: John Julius Angerstein, 1776-1823; John Angerstein, 1823-58. Sir Alfred Fernandez Yarrow, 1897-1923.
Current Ownership Type: Government
Primary Current Ownership Use: Unoccupied
House Open to Public: No
Historic Houses Member: No