Exploring Kenwood House's Female Side

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  • Historical Walking Tour

  • 195 GBP (private group price)

  • 2,5 hours

  • Your Private Guide: Mark King

Countesses, Cousins, Courtesans (and Cows): Exploring Kenwood House's female side.

Kenwood House is a beautiful 18th century Palladian villa located in a leafy northern suburb between Hampstead Heath and Highgate within easy reach of central London.

Remodelled by the famous Adam Brothers for one of Britain's most respected judges, the 1st Earl of Mansfield, the house has many stories to discover.

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 Turner, Rembrandt, Gainsborough, Vermeer, Reynolds, Hals, Larkin, van Dyck, Kauffman, Romney and Singer Sargent.

This tour focuses on 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 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 bewitched an Earl.

Hear about the cows that once graced the Kenwood estate and now graze in 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.

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