Sources for Kenwood

The following lists provide a summary of the main sources of our knowledge and understanding of Kenwood.

Engraving of Robert Adam's designs for furniture in the entrance hall at Kenwood
Robert Adam’s designs for furniture at Kenwood, including the sideboard, pedestals and wine cooler that can be seen in the entrance hall today

Primary Sources (Unpublished)

London Metropolitan Archives

Files of the London County Council and Greater London Council relating to their stewardship of the Iveagh Bequest, Kenwood.

Scone Palace, Perth

The Scone Palace Archive holds the archive of the Mansfield family, including bills and inventories dating to 1796, 1831, 1840, 1841, 1898 and 1906, and plans and sections from the 1815 building works [accessed 11 October 2013].

Sir John Soane’s Museum, London

Robert Adam (and studio), ‘Kenwood, Hampstead, London: designs for the house and park for William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield’, 55 drawings, 1764–83 [catalogued by F Sands; accessed 11 October 2013]. The collection includes:

  • SM 20/119: ‘glass frame for the Hall at Kenwood’, 20 March 1773
  • SM 14 3/31; 15 6/151: designs for sofa for the north wall of the library, c 1768–9
  • SM 6/69: design for a lantern on a pedestal for the staircase, c 1768–9
  • SM 20/258; 21 20/119: alternative designs for mirror frames for the entrance hall/dining room, 1773
  • SM 22 3/46; 23 20/120: design for mirror frames for the private dining parlour.

The Soane Museum also holds two unexecuted ground-floor plans for alterations to Kenwood by Robert Adam (c 1764).

Other Unpublished Primary Sources

  • CB King, Catalogue of choice and valuable furnishings, ... within Kenwood Mansion, Hampstead, including French furniture, furniture designed for Kenwood by Robert Adam [sale catalogue, 6–9 November 1922].

Primary Sources (Published)

Adam, R and Adam, J, The Works in Architecture of Robert and James Adam, 2 vols (London, 1774) [accessed 11 October 2013]

‘James Stuart, Duke of Richmond and Lennox’ (c 1636) by Sir Anthony Van Dyck, the sitter with faithful hound on knee at Kenwood
‘James Stuart, Duke of Richmond and Lennox’ (c 1636) by Sir Anthony Van Dyck, one of the paintings in the Iveagh Bequest on display at Kenwood

Material Sources/Collections


Most of the original contents of the house were either removed by the Earls of Mansfield to Scone Palace, Perth, or sold in 1922.

Items from Robert Adam’s original interiors that remained in situ or have been reacquired include:

  • three cornice boxes for the curtains, two pier glasses and two of the original three scrolled window seats by William France (1769), all in the library (except for one window seat in archive)
  • the sideboard table, pedestals and wine cooler carved by Sefferin Nelson (1773), all in the entrance hall (see above)
  • two carved white long stools.

Kenwood also displays important examples of Adam furniture from his other interiors, including Sir Lawrence Dundas’s suite of 1764 from Moor Park, Hertfordshire, and two neoclassical stools designed for Lord Shelburne’s house, Bowood, Wiltshire (c 1768). (The set of four stools on display at Kenwood includes two additional 19th-century copies.)

The Iveagh Bequest

The important collection of Old Master and British portraits bequeathed to Kenwood by Edward Cecil Guinness, 1st Earl of Iveagh, in 1927 has been displayed in the house since 1929 (see also Significance of Kenwood).

The Suffolk Collection

The Suffolk Collection of 17th-century portraits has hung in the first-floor rooms since 2001. 

Other Collections

Kenwood also displays the Hull Grundy bequest of 18th- and 19th-century jewellery, Lady Maufe’s collection of 18th-century shoe buckles, and the Draper Collection of British portrait miniatures. 


Visual Sources

British Museum, London

The British Museum holds a large collection of images, both views of the house and drawings relating to the collection, including:

Other Visual Sources

Map of the Kenwood estate, 1623–5 (The National Archives, MPF 1/293)

John Rocque, An Exact Survey of the Citys of London, Westminster, ye Borough of Southwark, and the Country near Ten Miles round, 1746 [accessed 11 October 2013]

John Wootton, ‘View from Caenwood House over London’, 1755 (Titsey Collection)

Thomas Ramsey, ‘Heath House Hampstead, with view of Kenwood in the background’, 1755 (Titsey Collection)

Mary Granville Delany, ‘Kenwood House, London’, 1756 (National Gallery of Ireland, NGI.2722.60) [see History of Kenwood]

Robert and James Adam, The Works in Architecture of Robert and James Adam, 2 vols (London, 1774), eight engraved plates [accessed 11 October 2013]:

  • ‘Plan of Kenwood’
  • ‘View of the south Front of Kenwood, with the Terrace and Rising Bank’
  • ‘Geometrical elevations of the south and north Fronts of Kenwood’
  • ‘Detail, or parts at large of the south Front’ [see History of Kenwood]
  • ‘Section of one of the Sides of the great Room’
  • ‘Section of one End of the great Room’
  • ‘The Ceiling of the great Room’
  • ‘Designs of various Pieces of Furniture done for this Villa’

George Robertson, ‘A view of Kenwood’, drawing and watercolour, 1780 (The Iveagh Bequest, Kenwood)

Humphry Repton, ‘Red Book’ for Kenwood House, 1793 (Scone Palace Archive)

Julius Caesar Ibbetson, ‘Kenwood, Lord Mansfield’s Pedigree Cattle’, oil on canvas, 1797 (Shipley Art Gallery) [accessed 11 October 2013]

Julius Caesar Ibbetson, ‘Three Long-Horned Cattle at Kenwood’, oil on canvas, 1797 (English Heritage, Kenwood) [with dairy buildings depicted in the background; see Description of Kenwood]

JC Loudon, plan of the Kenwood estate, illustrated in The Suburban Gardener and Villa Companion (London, 1838) [accessed 11 October 2013]

Country Life, archive historic photographs of interiors, 1913 

Plans and Photographs in the Historic England Archives

Items in the Historic England Archives at Swindon relating to Kenwood include:

  • PF/KWH: property file containing 1,142 items from the 1920s to 2012 including maps and topographical surveys of the estate
  • FL01239: file containing a set of postcards commissioned by the Iveagh Bequest.

More details of these and many other items can be found in the online catalogue. Some material is not yet listed online, including a large collection of aerial photography; for a full search, please contact the enquiry service. Copies of images and documents can be ordered through the website or by contacting the archive. For details of current charges for these services see the archives price list.

Secondary Sources


Austin, AB, ‘Lord Iveagh’s bequest’, Country Life, 62, no. 1607 (5 Nov 1927), 653–8

Beard, G, ‘The Rose family of plasterers’, Apollo, 85, no. 62 (April 1967), 266–77

Beard, G, ‘Robert Adam and his craftsmen’, The Connoisseur, 198, no. 240 (July 1978), 181–93

Beard, G, The Work of Robert Adam (Edinburgh, 1978)

Beard, G, Craftsmen and Interior Decoration in England, 1660–1820 (Edinburgh, 1981)

Bolton, AT, ‘Kenwood, Hampstead. The residence of HIH The Grand Duke Michael of Russia’, Country Life, 34, no. 881 (22 Nov 1913), 710–18

Bolton, A, The Architecture of Robert and James Adam, 1758–1794, 2 vols (London, 1922), 303–20

Bryant, J, Finest Prospects: Three Historic Houses: A Study in London Topography (London, 1986)

Bryant, J, ‘Back as Adam intended’, Country Life, 182, no. 44 (3 Nov 1988), 192–5

Bryant, J, The Iveagh Bequest, Kenwood (English Heritage guidebook, London, 1990)

Bryant, J, ‘The Adam Library carpet recreated at Kenwood’, English Heritage Conservation Bulletin (February 1991), 5–7

Bryant, J, Robert Adam: Architect of Genius (London, 1992)

Bryant, J, Kenwood: The Iveagh Bequest (English Heritage guidebook, London, 2001)

Bryant, J, ‘Representing the Iveagh Bequest’, English Heritage Collections Review (2001), 85

Bryant, J, Kenwood: Paintings in the Iveagh Bequest (London, 2003)

Bryant, J, ‘Kenwood’s lost chapter: Julius Bryant reveals the forgotten story of the National Gallery’s management of the Iveagh Bequest, 1928–49’, Apollo, 159 (1 March 2004), 40–46

Bryant, J, and Colson, C, The Landscape of Kenwood (London, 1990)

Carswell, J, ‘Repton’s 1793 Red Book for Kenwood’, Camden History Review , 21 (1997)

Cherry, B and Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: London 4: North (London, 1998), 368–71

Crosfield, A, Reminiscences of Kenwood and the Northern Heights (London, 1925)

Colvin, H, A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600–1840, 4th edn (New Haven and London, 2008) [see entries on Robert Adam, William Atkinson and George Saunders]

Daniels, S, Humphry Repton: Landscape Gardening and the Geography of Georgian England (New Haven and London, 1999), 219–26

Edwards, R, ‘William France and the furniture at Kenwood’, Country Life(26 July 1924), 157–8

Edwards, S, Dejardin, I, Reynolds, G, Ribeiro, A and Bryant, J, Miniatures at Kenwood: The Draper Gift (London, 1997)

Einberg, E and Jacob, J, The True Resemblance of Lord Mansfield (London, 1971)

Gater, G and Godfrey, W (eds), Survey of London: The Parish of St Pancras, part 1: The Village of Highgate (London, 1936), 114–32 [accessed 11 October 2013]

Harris, E, ‘Adam furniture in an Adam house’, Country Life, 135, no. 3511 (18 June 1964), 1573

Harris, E, The Genius of Robert Adam: His Interiors (New Haven and London, 2001), 180–95

Harris, E, Country Houses of Robert Adam (London, 2007), 99–103

Houliston, L, The Suffolk Collection: A Catalogue of Paintings (London, 2012) 

Houliston, L, and Jenkins, S, Kenwood: The Iveagh Bequest (English Heritage guidebook, London, 2014) [buy the guidebook]

Howard, RE and Arnold, AJ, ‘Kenwood House, Hampstead Lane, London Borough of Camden: tree-ring analysis of timbers from Wood Pond’, Historic England Research Department Reports, 62/2007 (2007)

Hussey, C, ‘The re-opening of Kenwood’, Country Life, 107 (26 May 1950), 1550–53

Ikin, C, Hampstead Heath: How the Heath was Saved for the Public (London, 1971)

Jenkins, S, ‘The decoration of the library at Kenwood’, English Heritage Historical Review, 7 (2012) [accessed 1 March 2018]

Kelly, A, ‘Coade stone in Georgian architecture’, Architectural History, 28 (1985), 71–95 [subscription only; accessed 11 October 2013]

Kelsall, F, ‘Liardet versus Adam’, Architectural History, 27 (1984), 118–26 [subscription only; accessed 11 October 2013]

King, D, The Complete Works of Robert and James Adam (Oxford, 1991)

Loudon, JC, The Suburban Gardener and Villa Companion(London, 1838) [accessed 11 October 2013]

Mitchell, J, Julius Caesar Ibbetson (1759–1817), ‘The Berchem of England’ (London, 1999)

Russell, F, John, 3rd Earl of Bute: Patron & Collector (London, 2004), 17–42

Simon, J, ‘Humphry Repton at Kenwood: a missing Red Book’, Camden History Review, 11 (1984), 4–9

Spiers, W, A Catalogue of Drawings and Designs of Robert and James Adam in Sir John Soane’s Museum (London, 1979) [microform]

Stillman, D, The Decorative Work of Robert Adam (London, 1966)

Summerson, J, Iveagh Bequest GLC: A Short Account of its History and Architecture (London, 1962), 5–20

Trevelyan, R, Grand Dukes and Diamonds: The Wernhers of Luton Hoo (London, 1991)

Westman, A, ‘Festoon window curtains in neo-classical England: an analysis and comparison’, Furniture History, 29 (1993), 80–84

White, C, Sweet Hampstead and its Associations (London, 1900)

Worsley, G (ed), Adam in Context: Papers Given at the Georgian Group Symposium 1992(London, 1993)

Unpublished Reports

Crick-Smith, I and N, ‘Architectural paint survey findings document, exterior elements [Kenwood House]’ (2008–9)

Crick-Smith, I and N, ‘Kenwood House, Hampstead, London: Adam interiors: the Great Stair, Ante-Chamber and Library, architectural paint research’ (2011)

Crick-Smith, I and N, ‘Kenwood House, Hampstead, London: the Adam Library subsection, architectural paint research’ (2011)

Crick-Smith, I and N, ‘Kenwood House, Hampstead, London: south front interiors, architectural paint survey’ (2011)

Fellows, D, ‘Fieldwork report: evaluation of service trench excavations within the Kenwood House estate’, CfA Reports, 1/2003 (2003)

Weekes, J, ‘Conservation plan: Kenwood, the Iveagh Bequest’, 2 vols, The Built Heritage Consultancy/MRDA (2011)

English Heritage keeps copies of some of these reports in the library at the Historic England Archive, Swindon, open to the public Tuesday to Friday 9.30–17.00;; tel (01793) 414630/414632. It is recommended that you contact the librarian in advance to avoid disappointment.

Curatorial research files are also held on site at Kenwood.

More about Kenwood


    Kenwood’s breathtaking interiors, world-class art collection and glorious parkland are free for everyone to enjoy.

  • History of Kenwood

    Discover Kenwood’s history, from its 17th-century beginnings to the recent restoration of its Georgian grandeur.


    Explore highlights from the collection, including paintings by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Van Dyck and Turner.

  • Download a plan of Kenwood

    Download these floor plans to explore in detail how the villa at Kenwood has been altered over time.

  • Description of Kenwood

    Discover more about the architecture of Kenwood House, designed by Robert Adam.

  • Why does Kenwood matter?

    Learn why Kenwood’s architecture and interiors, as well as its collections, are considered so significant.

  • Research on Kenwood House

    Learn how we know so much about Kenwood House and where we still have gaps in our knowledge.

  • Buy the Guidebook

    Learn more about Kenwood’s history with the official guidebook, which also includes a full tour of the house.

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