UNLIMITED ACCESS TO OVER 400 HISTORIC PLACES
Live and breathe the story of England at royal castles, historic gardens, forts & defences, world-famous prehistoric sites and many others.
Please note that our mobility vehicle is currently undergoing essential repairs. We apologise for any inconvenience caused and we hope to have it back in service as soon as possible.
Don’t forget to join us in marking the 350th anniversary of Rembrandt’s death with our Rembrandt #nofilter display in the Dining Room Lobby.
If you’re visiting during 4 October – 12 January, we are commemorating this special anniversary with a free, temporary display exploring the artist’s celebrated Self-portrait with Two Circles alongside a new digital artwork, generated through visitors’ selfies. The display is generously supported by The Friends of Kenwood, Art Lighting Partner: TM Lighting.
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