Exploring Kenwood House

  • History, Art, Culture, Walking tour

  • 195 GBP - Private Group Price

  • 2 Hours Duration

  • Your Private Guide: Mark King

  • Guide Language: English


Kenwood House is a beautiful Palladian villa located within easy reach of central London in a leafy northern suburb between Hampstead Heath and Highgate.

Remodelled in the late 18th century by influential designers, the Adam Brothers for one of Britain's most respected judges, the 1st Earl of Mansfield and his wife, this beautiful house has many fascinating stories to discover. On this tour, we will focus on countesses, cousins, courtesans and cows as we explore Kenwood House's rich history and in particular, its female residents.

Today, it is also home to the world-class Iveagh Bequest of fine art, the Suffolk Collection of aristocratic and royal portraits and other loan items managed by English Heritage. Artists include Rembrandt, Vermeer, Hals, van Dyck, Gainsborough, Turner, Reynolds, Larkin, Kauffman, Romney and Singer Sargent.

This tour includes stories of generations of aristocratic residents, of royal visitors, cousins Dido Elizabeth Belle and Elizabeth Finch, and a love-struck Russian countess sent into exile. Get to know through paintings and sculpture women with poignant or inspiring personal histories, as well as a few unforgettable 'shady ladies'! Hear about a respected female painter honoured to be named as a founder of the Royal Academy in 1768. 'Come hither, sir' and gaze deep into the gorgeous eyes of an American-born countess, whose glamorous portrait enchanted an Earl.

Hear about the pedigree cows that once graced the Kenwood estate and now gaze at us from landscape paintings commissioned by the Countess of Mansfield. See the countess's charming private tea-room overlooking Hampstead Heath and the dairy where Dido helped manage the estate's prized herd.

Read more about your guide: Mark King

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