Set in splendid grounds beside Hampstead Heath, this outstanding neoclassical house holds one of the most important collections of paintings ever given to the nation. Works by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Turner, Reynolds and Gainsborough all hang against a backdrop of sumptuous rooms.The house also contains paintings from the Suffolk Collection, with magnificent full-length portraits by William Larkin and Royal Stuart images by Van Dyck and Lely.
Take time to enjoy the tranquillity of Kenwood. As well as visiting the house, relax in the extensive lakeside gardens or explore the meandering pathways and woodland, featuring sculptures by Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth.
Gallery, Historic house or home, Garden, parklands or rural site
24 Mar-31 Oct: 11am-5pm, Mon-Sun
1 Nov-31Mar: 11am-4pm, Mon- Sun
Closed: 24-26 Dec and 1 Jan
Please check before visiting.
- English Heritage
Access to House: Wheelchair and shooting sticks available in house. Ground floor (ie main part of museum and art gallery) all level. Easy staircase to upper floors for ambulant disabled visitors, with good banisters. Chairs provided.
Access to grounds: Many areas accessible via loose hoggin paths and grass. Strong pushers necessary for slopes. Seats available.
Parking: 500m from entrance; reserved parking for disabled drivers. Strong wheelchair pusher needed in car park. Disabled visitors may be set down in front of the house, by prior arrangement via intercom at the entrance to the East Lodge. Limited parking also available near restuarant.
Visually Impaired Visitors: Cornices, fire surrounds, ballusters, etc may be touched using cotton gloves provided. Bird song, animal sounds and flower scents in grounds. Garden objects on display to touch and smell in the visitor centre. Audio tour available (charge): excellent descriptions of some of the paintings.
NB: The polished wooden floor may be a little difficult for assistance dogs.
Toilets: Adapted WCs (near restaurant).
Shops: Access via shallow ramp.
Refreshments: Access via ramp.
Property Description: The house was remodelled by Robert Adam (1764-1779), when he transformed the original brick house into a majestic villa for the great judge, Lord Mansfield. The richly decorated library is one of his masterpieces. Later Earls of Mansfield redesigned the parkland and Kenwood remained in the family until 1925. When developers tried to buy the estate, the house and grounds were saved for the public by a brewing magnate, the first Earl of Iveagh. In 1927, when he died, he bequeathed the Kenwood Estate and part of his collection of pictures to the nation.Take time to enjoy the tranquillity of Kenwood. Relax in the extensive lake-side gardens or explore the meandering pathways and woodland featuring sculptures by Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth. Information about the history, wildlife and importance of Kenwood Estate is available at the Visitor Information Centre in Mansion Cottage. Portraits from the Suffolk Collection: This exhibition includes full-length Jacobean portraits by William Larkin and royal Stuart images by Van Dyck and Lely. Admission is free, opening times vary, please call for details. Regrettably there is no disabled access to the first floor, where the exhibition is based.
Architecture, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art
Key artists and exhibits
- William Larkin
- Van Dyck
- Henry Moore
- Barbara Hepworth
Estate Quest Discovery Visit
How can you keep a 17th century site sustainable beyond the 21st century? View and consider changing landscapes and explore this fascinating estate using key geography skills such as using a compass and reading a site map. A thought-provoking practical session to encourage geographical skills.
Duration: 1 1/2 hours
Key Stage: 2, Geography
How to obtain
Call 020 7499 5676 to arrange a 1 1/2 hour session on weekdays during term time. Price £60 per group of up to 30 pupils until April 2009, £75 per group after April 2009. Visit http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/server/show/nav.19465 for more information.