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.

Detail of self portrait by Rembrandt

The Collection

Kenwood's collection includes fine historic interiors, sculpture, furniture and jewellery. Most famous are the house's internationally renowned paintings, which include works by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Van Dyck, Gainsborough and Reynolds.

Explore a selection of highlights from the magnificent collection on display at Kenwood.

   

Explore the collection

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.

Donate now

'step into englands story