Amazing hidden gem – London

575 Wandsworth Road the home of Khadambi Asalache (1935-2006)


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Notice: The booking line is now open for tours from June to August. Please call the box office on 0844 249 1895 or book on line by following the link at the bottom of this page. Please be aware that telephone lines are very busy so please keep trying. Guided tours are now fully booked until the end of May.

An extraordinary home and an intriguing work of art

The hand-carved fretwork interior of this modest, early 19th-century, terraced house is enthralling and inspiring.

575 Wandsworth Road was acquired by the National Trust in 2010, because of the rich and striking interiors created by Khadambi Asalache (1935-2006), a Kenyan-born poet, novelist, philosopher of mathematics and British civil servant. He bought the house in 1981 while working at the Treasury, and over a period of 20 years (from 1986) turned his home into a work of art.




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Prompted by the need to disguise persistent damp in the basement dining room, he initially fixed pine floorboards to the damp wall. He went on to embellish almost every wall, ceiling and door in the house with exquisite fretwork patterns and motifs, which he hand-carved from reclaimed pine doors and floorboards found in skips.




The house stands as he left it, with his painted decoration on walls, doors and floors and with rooms furnished with his handmade fretwork furniture and carefully arranged collections of beautiful and functional objects, including pressed-glass inkwells, pink and copper lustreware, postcards and his typewriter.




Book a tour




You’ll need to book onto one of our guided tours if you’d like to visit. Due to the delicate nature of the property, tours are limited to 54 visitors a week, in tours of a maximum of six people at a time. Admission charges and a booking fee apply, entry is free for National Trust members, but members still need to book a place. We are closed till 28 February 2015, but we are taking bookings for March to May 2015. You can call our bookings number on 0844 249 1895 or book online here.