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What Is Kenwood House?

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  • Written By: Dee S.
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 12 November 2016
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The Kenwood House is a luxurious estate home that is located in the northern section of London, England. Built in the 1700s, it is currently maintained and operated by the historical organization English Heritage. Visitors can tour the house to see works of art by Rembrandt, Gainsborough, Turner, and others. They may also view the intricate interior and exterior design, completed by Robert Adam. Many visitors also enjoy a stroll through sections of the 74-acre parcel of land that contains gardens, lakes, woodlands, and other features.

Robert Adam designed the Kenwood House using a variety of architectural styles. Although the house has a British Colonial exterior, complete with white cement, stucco, and brick, the interior combines other styles. For example, the Kenwood House library, now called the Adam Room, has a mixture of classical and Rococo styles. The room has ornamental pillars and rounded ceilings. Pastel colors, such as pale blue and white, are found in the room as well as plenty of gold.

The gardens, which were designed in three parts, often draw visitors to the Kenwood House. The early gardens, designed in the early 1700s, are considered the most formal of the gardens. Other less formal gardens were added in the mid-1700s. The last gardens with the most intricate pathways and features were added in the late 1700s. Other features include the farm, stables, and a milking dairy.

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Since the Kenwood House sits atop a hill, there are views of a lake below. In addition, there are flower gardens, meadows of hay, and historic woodlands. Features include bridges and circular garden paths. There are artistic sculptures located through the gardens as well. Flowers and trees include species such as the handkerchief tree, swamp cypress, and rhododendrons. The estate also boasts unique animals, such as several types of bats and woodpeckers, on the property.

Although the Kenwood House may be visited for free, donations are accepted. The donations go toward the upkeep of the house. In fact, restoration of the estate is often extensive. Repairs include fixing facades as they peel and patching leaks in the roof. In addition, invasive plants have forced the landscaping to appear less organized. As a result, gardeners are constantly removing invasive species to return the landscaping to its original appearance.

Visitors to the Kenwood House can also spend time at a garden café called the Brew House. The Brew House was aptly named when the owner of Guinness Brewing Company purchased the property and later opened it to visitors in 1925. During the summer, there are often concerts on the property of Kenwood House as well.

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