History and Stories

Kenwood: History and Stories

Overlooking London’s Hampstead Heath since the early 17th century, Kenwood House was transformed in the 18th century into a grand neoclassical villa. Now restored to its Georgian splendour, Kenwood is home to a world-famous art collection.

Find out more about the story of Kenwood, its intriguing former inhabitants, and the artworks housed within its walls.

Kenwood through the years

  • History of Kenwood

    Discover the history of Kenwood from its 17th-century beginnings to the 21st-century restoration of its Georgian grandeur.

  • Dido Belle

    Learn more about the life of Dido Belle, a mixed-race woman raised at Kenwood at the height of the transatlantic slave trade.

  • Introduction to the Georgian Period

    Discover how Britain changed dramatically during the Georgian period.

  • Georgian architecture

    Learn how Kenwood reflected the changing architectural fashions of the Georgian period.

  • Buy the guidebook

    Learn more about Kenwood's past with the official guidebook, which includes a tour of the house and its collection.

Rembrandt’s Self-Portrait

One of the highlights of the Kenwood collection, Rembrandt’s Self-Portrait with Two Circles is among the largest and most imposing of all Rembrandt’s self-portraits. It is celebrated for its technical brilliance and ruthless honesty, offering one of the most distinctive and defining images of the artist. 

Learn more about the historical and artistic significance of Rembrandt’s masterpiece, and take a closer look at the full range of techniques he used.

Explore Rembrandt’s Self Portrait with Two Circles

Resources for researchers

Please Support Today

You can be part of Kenwood's story and help keep the house open for everyone now and in the future.

Your donation will enable this magnificent house and its collection to thrive and spark the imagination of visitors for years to come.

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