Techniques of the Imagination in the Tribune: Stewarding and the Guidebook at Strawberry Hill House, Twickenham

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This article examines heritage-making first-hand through the techniques of the imagination visiting Strawberry Hill House, Twickenham, the Summer house and Gothic castle of Horace Walpole. Walpole developed Strawberry Hill as an architectural experiment in visitor emotions. In a now seemingly empty historic house, Walpole’s sleights of hand are being carefully and authentically conserved to fulfil the imaginations and expectations of the tourist as though a tour guide from beyond the grave. A detailed exploration of this staged encounter in the Tribune Room during a temporary exhibition highlights the workings of the tourist imaginary and the techniques and technologies of the visit, in particular the use of a 1774 guidebook as a resource for self-guided tourists, in conservation work, and the virtual development of the house as an award-winning heritage destination.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)accepted
JournalEthnologia Europaea: Journal of European Ethnology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2018


  • tour guide, guidebook, tourism, Strawberry Hill House

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