Kenwood House London

Written by DEKYA

Kenwood House is a North London treasure. Perhaps it’s because of its position, right at the top of Hampstead Heath, gazing down over the rest of the city; perhaps it’s because, thanks to the terms of the Iveagh Bequest, it’s free to visit and always will be. Or perhaps it’s just because it’s so lovely.
Kenwood House was built in the early seventeenth century but it’s transformation from a prosaic house into a masterpiece was due to Robert Adam, who remodelled it in the 1760s. It’s a pinnacle of the ‘Adam style’, which uses decorative motifs based on the domestic architecture of ancient Rome, as opposed to the public buildings that influenced the Palladian style.
It’s home to the paintings from the Iveagh Bequest, an internationally significant collection of Old Master and British paintings by artists including Vermeer, Rembrandt, Gainsborough and Reynolds.
The library is easily the most impressive room in the house – not surprisingly, it’s regarded as one of Adam’s greatest interiors. It’s in neoclassical form with a decorative frieze and ceiling paintings by Antonio Zucchi, and the recent restoration accurately reproduces Adam’s original colour scheme….a truly original experience!