Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The original house was early 17th century. The orangery was added in about 1700. In 1754 it was bought by Lord 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.
It was donated to the nation by Lord Iveagh, a member of the Guinness family in 1927 when he died, and opened to the public in 1928. He had bought the house from the Mansfield family in 1925. Unfortunately the furnishing had already been sold by then, so the house is largely empty. Some furniture has since been added. 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.
The film Notting Hill was partly filmed here.
Paintings of note include
- Thomas Gainsborough, 'Portrait of Countess Howe' (see Richard Howe, 1st Earl Howe)
- Edwin Henry Landseer, 'Hunting in the Olden Times'
Other painters include
- Joshua Reynolds
- Angelica Kauffmann
- John Crome
- George Morland
- Van Dyck
- William Larkin
- J. M. W. Turner
- Arthur Boyd Houghton
- Frans Hals
- Francois Boucher
There are fine landscaped gardens around the house, originally designed by Humphry Repton, contrasting to the more wild Hampstead Heath that surrounds the area. There is also a new garden by Arabella Lennox-Boyd .
Concerts by the lake are held in the summer.
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