Wellington: his life and legacy

From May 2024, a new display at Apsley will tell the story of the incredible life and legacy of the 1st Duke of Wellington, through objects that belonged to him and his family. Highlights include a writing set he used in the field, along with his battle orders from Waterloo, a telescope he used to survey battlegrounds, and a pair of leather boots that would become synonymous with his name, Wellington.

Shedding light on Wellington’s more private, domestic life, the display also includes one of his woollen nightcaps, a hearing aid and a rather snazzy pair of slippers; a gift from Lady Douro in 1841, which he regarded as “too fine for a veteran”.

An original plaster death mask and bronze cast of Wellington’s crossed hands, provide tangible links with Wellington as a human being, rather than purely being a heroic, historical figure. The death mask, made three days after his death at Walmer Castle in 1852, bears the impressions of the fabric of the original mould. It is the most authentic likeness of him in old age.

Entry to this exhibition is included with your ticket to the house.