(Above photo - Robert Adams designed Neo Classical villa - a North London gem )
If you are from North London you will probably be aware of the Robert Adams designed neo-classical villa Kenwood House near Hampstead Hill. It’s only a 25 minute drive from the Canonbury Antiques showroom just north of London so well worth a visit after you see us. Of particular interest is the Adam Library – or Great Room – which is considered, as hopefully the photos illustrate, one of the finest 18th Century interiors anywhere. The Library was built between 1767 and 1770 and the painted ceilings and plasterwork with pale pinks, blues and whites really is the height of style and elegance. In classic Adams style the motifs are drawn from ancient Greek and Roman architecture in his trademark revolutionary Neo Classical style. Even the shape of the room with the ends flanked by Corinthian columns is dervived from a Roman thermae (public bath). Seeing it in person is even better as you gaze up at the ceiling in awe to complement it’s beauty.
(Above photo - The Great Library at Kenwood House - North London's Sistine Chapel )
Kenwood House is a building situated in Hampstead, London and owned by the London County Council. It was built initially in the 17th century. The house served as a stately home to the earls of Mansfield in the 18th and 19th centuries.
In 1925, Edward Guinness, the First Earl of Iveagh, bought the house and part of its grounds before donating it to the state in 1927. Ever since, the London County Council has been the rightful owner of the building, opening it to the public towards the end of the 1920s.
Today, Kenwood House is a popular tourist attraction featured in several films, including Notting Hill, starring Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts. The grounds are also beautiful and you can walk amongst the woods and fields of Hampstead Heath after visiting the house.
(Above photo - A Roman Villa inspired mansion in North London)
Kenwood House sat on a vast estate with forested land and landscaped gardens. The gardens surround the house, followed by several woodlands, for a more natural look.
In the woodlands, visitors can behold numerous insect and bird species found in very few places in London. The significance of the woods as a habitat for rare insect and bird species has led to its designation as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
(Above photo North London antiques - an Elizabethan oil painting )
As you move closer to the house, you come face-to-face with several sculptures created by Eugene Dodeigne, Henry Moore, and Barbara Hepworth.
The estate has a lake, where classical and pop music concerts have been held on Saturday evenings from 1951 to 2006. Since the shows came predominantly in the summer, they attracted thousands of picnic lovers seeking a thrill from the scenery, music, and spectacular fireworks.
After restrictions resulting in complaints from residents, English Heritage stopped the concerts in 2007. Since 2008, the shows have been held within Kenwood Estate but on the Pasture Ground. Every season, the organizers offer only eight concerts.
(Above photo - The Guitar Player by Vermeer on display at Kenwood House )
Kenwood House is home to many historical paintings and artwork. Visitors come here to behold the house’s architectural prowess and the artwork housed inside. Some of the most famous paintings include Johannes Vermeer’s, The Guitar Player, Rembrandt’s, Self-Portrait with Two Circles, Thomas Gainsborough’s Portrait of Countess Howe, and Edwin Henry Landseer’s Hunting in the Olden Times.
(Above photo - Sumptous antiques and interiors at Kenwood House )
Apart from significant housing figures such as the Earl of Mansfield and the Earl of Iveagh, Henwood House played host to service members during the Second World War. It was handed to the London County Council in 1949 and English Heritage in 1986.
Over the years, the house had undergone extensive damage, necessitating extensive repairs between 2012 and 2013. Once the repair work had ended, the place reopened for public visits in 2013.
(Above photo - Classical marble bust in the Library )
To reach Kenwood House from the City of London, you can ride a bike or take a bus, taxi, tube, or overground train to Hampstead Village. If you have a car, you can drive it to the village before making it to the house. From Canonbury Antiques in North London head directly south on the A1 and you will reach it in 30 minutes traffic pending. However, the best way to explore Hampstead village is walking. In the process, you will discover lots of secret passageways and arrive at Kenwood House in style.
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A Robert Adam designed Neo-Classical villa in North London? The Library is surely the Sistine Chapel of North London?