Neha Patil (Editor)

Kenwood House

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Stately home

c. 1616


The Guitar Player

Robert Adam

10 June 1954

+44 370 333 1181

Kenwood House

Architectural style
Georgian and Neoclassical

Hampstead Heath, London

Hampstead Ln, Hampstead NW3 7JR, UK

Open today · 9AM–5PMSunday9AM–5PMMonday9AM–5PMTuesday9AM–5PMWednesday9AM–5PMThursday9AM–5PMFriday9AM–5PMSaturday9AM–5PM

Hampstead Heath, Fenton House, Parliament Hill - London, Burgh House, Keats House


Kenwood house park places to visit in london hampstead

Kenwood House (also known as the Iveagh Bequest) is a former stately home, in Hampstead, London, on the northern boundary of Hampstead Heath. It served as a seat for the aristocratic Murray and Guinness families and had various tenants before it was left to the nation under the care of English Heritage.



The original house dates from the early 17th century when it was known as Caen Wood House. The orangery was added in about 1700. In 1754 it was bought by William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield. He commissioned Robert Adam to remodel it from 1764–1779. Adam added the library (one of his most famous interiors) to balance the orangery, and added the Ionic portico at the entrance. In 1793-6 George Saunders added two wings on the north side, and the offices and kitchen buildings and brewery (now the restaurant) to the side.

The 2nd Earl and Countess of Mansfield added a dairy to supply Kenwood House with milk and cheese. After two years of negotiations, the 6th Earl of Mansfield leased the house to the exiled Grand Duke Michael Mikhailovich of Russia and his wife Countess Sophie of Merenberg in 1910.

Lord Iveagh, a rich Anglo-Irish businessman and philanthropist (of the Guinness family), bought the house from the Mansfield family in 1925 and left it to the nation upon his death in 1927; it was opened to the public in 1928. The furnishings had already been sold by then, but some furniture has since been bought back. The paintings are from Iveagh's collection. Part of the grounds were bought by the Kenwood Preservation Council in 1922, after there had been threats that it would be sold for building. In the late 1990s the house received approximately 150,000 visitors a year and an estimated 1 million people visited the grounds each year.


The estate has a designed landscape with gardens near the house, probably originally designed by Humphry Repton, contrasting with some surrounding woodland, and the naturalistic Hampstead Heath to the south. There is also a new garden by Arabella Lennox-Boyd.

One third of the estate is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, particularly the ancient woodlands. These are home to many birds and insects and the largest Pipistrelle bat roost in London.

There are sculptures by Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore and Eugène Dodeigne in the gardens near the house.

Music concerts, originally classical but in more recent years predominantly pop concerts, were held by the lake on Saturday evenings every summer from 1951 until 2006, attracting thousands of people to picnic and enjoy the music, scenery and spectacular fireworks. In February 2007, English Heritage decided to abandon these concerts owing to restrictions placed on them after protests from some local residents. On 19 March 2008, it was announced that the concerts would return to a new location on the Pasture Ground within the Kenwood Estate, with the number of concerts limited to eight per season.

The house was closed for major renovations from 2012 until late 2013.

The house was the subject of a Margaret Calkin James poster in the 1930s, seen by many commuters on the London Underground.

The 1999 British feature film Notting Hill had a scene filmed here.

Many scenes in the 2013 film Belle, in which William Murray figures as a character, are set in the house or its grounds, although filmed elsewhere.

A scene from the 2016 novel Swing Time by Zadie Smith is set on the grounds of the estate.

Paintings and other collections

Paintings of note include

  • The Guitar Player by Johannes Vermeer
  • Self Portrait with Two Circles, a late Rembrandt self-portrait
  • Portrait of Pieter van den Broecke, by Frans Hals
  • Thomas Gainsborough, 'Portrait of Countess Howe' (wife of Richard Howe, 1st Earl Howe)
  • Edwin Henry Landseer, 'Hunting in the Olden Times'
  • Other painters include

  • Joshua Reynolds, 'The Hon'ble Mrs Tollemache as Miranda'
  • Angelica Kauffman
  • John Crome
  • Claude de Jongh
  • George Morland
  • Anthony van Dyck
  • William Larkin
  • J. M. W. Turner
  • Arthur Boyd Houghton
  • François Boucher
  • Thomas Lawrence, 'Miss Murray'
  • Henry Raeburn
  • George Romney
  • Jan Baptist Weenix
  • Joseph Wright
  • Most of the works were acquired by Iveagh in the 1880s–1890s and are mainly Old Master portraits, landscapes and 17th century Dutch and Flemish works and British artists. Others were not part of the Iveagh Bequest but were added to the collection after his death because of a connection with Kenwood House.

    There is also a collection of shoe buckles, jewellery and portrait miniatures.

    In 2012, an exhibition of works from the art collection, Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Gainsborough: The Treasures of Kenwood House, London began a tour of museums in the United States while Kenwood House was undergoing renovations; many of the works had never been outside Britain. The exhibit opened 6 June 2013 in Little Rock, Arkansas at the Arkansas Arts Center.


    Kenwood House Wikipedia

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