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Live and breathe the story of England at royal castles, historic gardens, forts & defences, world-famous prehistoric sites and many others.
Kenwood House and grounds are open. Measures are still in place to keep everyone safe, and you need to book your free visit to Kenwood House in advance. The cafes and shops are also open. Find out more below.
Immerse yourself in our stunning collection of internationally renowned artworks displayed in beautiful historic interiors. Admire world-class works including masterpieces by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Gainsborough, Reynolds, Turner and Constable as well as the Suffolk Collection of Stuart portraits. Marvel at the striking neoclassical architecture including the magnificent Library designed by Robert Adam, restored to its original 18th-century splendour.Discover our collection
Please note: the first floor of Kenwood House will remain closed to ensure social distancing.
We've made some changes to help keep you safe, and things might be a little different when you visit. Here's everything you need to know.
The first house on the site is probably a brick structure built by John Bill, King James I's printer.
Find out more about the history of Kenwood
Brook Bridges buys the house. His son transforms it into a two-storey red-brick building with large sash windows.
Kenwood passes through many owners before being bought by John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute.
Bute adds the orangery to the west of the south front and introduces new plant species to the grounds.
William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield, buys Kenwood for £4,000. He uses it as a weekend retreat.
Adam adds a new entrance and attic-storey bedrooms. He also modernises existing interiors including the library, one of his finest interiors.
Read a description of Kenwood
Murray commissions Robert Adam and his brother James to remodel the house to make room for more family members.
Murray's nephew David, 2nd Earl of Mansfield, expands the house with two brick wings, and enhances the grounds with the help of Humphry Repton.
Another David Murray appoints architect William Atkinson to add second-floor service-wing rooms. Atkinson also installs additional bookcases in the library.
Kenwood is leased to wealthy tenants, including Grand Duke Michael Mikhailovich and American millionairess Nancy Leeds.
Alan David Murray, 6th Earl of Mansfield, sells the contents of the house, including some of the original furnishings.
Edward Cecil Guinness, 1st Earl of Iveagh, buys the house to display highlights from his collection of paintings. After this death, the Iveagh Bequest Act requires Kenwood to be opened freely to the public.
See highlights from the collections at Kenwood
Kenwood houses servicemen during the Second World War. After the war it is handed over to London County Council.
English Heritage takes over and carries out repairs and conservations part-funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Kenwood is reopened to the public in 2013.
Learn more about Kenwood