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History

Bushy House

Bushy House was home to various notable historical figures before being offered to the Royal Society as a site for the National Physical Laboratory

The original site of NPL

Bushy House was built 1661-1663 by Edward Proger, one of the Grooms of the King's Bedchamber. The core of the existing house was designed by William Samwell, one of Charles II's court architects. Bushy House is a classic example of the type of house that became fashionable in England immediately after the Restoration.

Following Proger's death in 1713, the house fell into the hands of numerous dignitaries including Lord North, the Duc de Nemours and a future king of England.

It was on 24 November 1900 that the Royal Society received the letter from Windsor Castle offering Bushy House and grounds to be used "for the purposes of a physical laboratory." With a total of 22 acres of ground, this area was sufficient for the needs of NPL until around 1920, when they began expanding the site to its current size.

Read our 'History of NPL' booklet

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