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Leighton House Sambourne House

Join The Friends

Enjoy free unlimited access to our historic houses and join a community of like-minded art lovers.

Pre-Raphaelites on Paper, exhibition in 2016, Leighton House.

“Not only have The Friends enabled exhibitions and acquisitions, conservation work and important learning and outreach activity; above all they have brought with them an enthusiasm and affection for the houses and their interiors. This spirit is true to that of the original association formed shortly after Leighton’s death. I also believe that it sets The Friends apart from many other membership groups”
Daniel Robbins, Senior Curator

About The Friends

The organisation has its origins in the group of supporters formed after Leighton’s death, in 1896, led by local resident and close friend of Leighton himself, Emilie Barrington. They sought to preserve Leighton’s legacy and make it available to the broader public, and this spirit continues today. In 1969 the association was formalised as The Friends of Leighton House and Sir John Betjeman was invited to become its first president.

Today The Friends has become a thriving membership community and has been established as a registered charity, and has extended its reach to support not only Leighton House, but also its sister museum, Sambourne House, the home of Punch cartoonist Edward Linley Sambourne. The Friends provide financial support to the museums in five key areas of work: acquiring new artworks, delivering an inspiring education programme, holding ambitious exhibitions, conservation and restoration of the collections, and taking on major capital projects, such as Hidden Gem to National Treasure at Leighton House.

Led by a dedicated board of Trustees , The Friends organise regular events for their members, which have included in the past trips to art galleries and museums in London and beyond, concerts and exhibition previews at the houses themselves and lately, exclusive online talks led by museum experts. The Friends also hold two special annual events at Leighton House, the Golden Hours Dinner in the studio and the spectacular Summer Garden Party.

Garden Party 2015, Leighton House.

Become a Friend

By joining The Friends you will get unlimited access to Leighton House and Sambourne House among other benefits, while providing the museums with invaluable support. Choose the membership that suits you and become part of a growing community of Victorian art enthusiasts.

Please note the museums remain closed at the moment and all new memberships will be activated upon reopening in Spring 2022.

Join Online Today

By Post or Email:

If you prefer to subscribe by post or email please request a  Membership Form to fill to The Friends Administrator (details below). 

Please note any  accompanying cheques should be made out to The Friends of Leighton House.


Jennifer Sage, The Friends Administrator

Leighton House, 12 Holland Park Road, London W14 8LZ


Telephone: +44 (0)20 20 7361 3788


22/09/2021 PDF 131.43 KB

Members on a visit to Vienna with Senior Curator Daniel Robbins, 2017.