Kenwood House

imageOnly a bit further afield from Central London and next to the village of Hamstead and it’s much adored open Heath is Kenwood House, a magnificent mansion set in expansive parklands. It is a visit you will enjoy any time of year.

The original structure dates to 1616, but was extensively expanded by the then owner William Murry, the Lord Cheif Justice and Earl of Mansfield in 1754 with the aid of architect Robert Adam.

After his death, the estate passed through several hands before finally being bought by Edward Cecil Guinness who used the House to showcase his extensive collection of art.  Ultimately he bequest the House and grounds to the English Heritage with the  condition the House and art collect remain intact and access to the public free of charge.

imageAnd so it is today.  A 15 minute underground ride to a world from the past.  The house is still in exceptional condition from its 18th Century overhaul.

The most impressive asset in the House is the extensive collection of fine art, including Rembrandt, Van Dyke, Hals, Reynolds, Gainsborough, JMW Turner and more.

imageEvery room has highly skilled docents to help visitors absorb what they are experiencing.  This extra resource really maks the visit a memorable experience.  Vistors will leave with sense of having visited a day in the life of the House as it may have been.

Especially noteworthy, this is the home to Dido Elizabeth Belle, the illegitimate daughter of Sir John Lindsey, nephew to Lord Mansfield.  This was the true basis for the feature film production Belle in recent years.

 

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