On the edge of Hampstead Heath is Kenwood House. Surrounded by peaceful landscaped gardens, explore the woods, meadows and lake and discover sculptures by Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth.
If you have time, visit Kenwood House with its vast collection of masterpieces including Rembrandt’s self-portrait.
Entrance to the house and gardens is free.
From 13th to 16th century Caen Wood was a monastic wood which was bought in 1616 by John Bill who built the first house on the site.
George Middleton leased Kenwood from the Earl of Ilay at the beginning of the 18th century but by 1747, the house was owned by John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute. Bute added the Orangery for his beloved exotics.
In 1754, Lord Bute sold the estate to William Murray, later 1st Earl of Mansfield who commissioned Robert Adam to remodel the house and landscape the pleasure grounds. The 2nd Earl appointed Humphry Repton to update the landscape by removing the kitchen garden and extending the terrace.
Parts of the estate were sold off at the beginning of the 20th century and the Kenwood Preservation Trust bought some of the land. In 1924, Lord Iveagh bought the house and the remaining grounds, gifting them to the Nation on his death in 1927.
In 1986, Kenwood House was transferred to English Heritage.