THE TREASURE HOUSES OF ENGLAND – HAREWOOD HOUSE

Harewood House

There are ten stately homes that have been designated as “The Treasure Houses of England,” and three of them are included on our 2021 Country House Tour – Harewood House, Castle Howard and Chatsworth House.

Edwin Lascelles, 1st Baron Harewood, started building Harewood House in 1759, selecting Robert Adam as architect who, in turn, selected Thomas Chippendale as his furniture maker. This illustrious foundation was built upon once the house was completed, with the Baron filling it’s rooms with only the best. In addition to housing the single best collection of Chippendale furnishings in the UK, Harewood House also boasts a stellar porcelain collection, including many Sèvres pieces once belonging to the French royal family.

The State Bedroom

 

The art on display at Harewood House includes works by Turner, Gainesborough, Lawrence, Titian, El Greco and many other masters, but this may be the most famous, and most recognizable, painting in the collection –

Lady Worsley by Sir Joshua Reynolds

Outside, Harewood House is surrounded by 100 acres of gardens set amidst a landscape created by Capability Brown, who may or may not be surprised to learn that Harewood now has a Bird Garden featuring 80 species of exotic and endangered birds.

Click here to watch a video featuring the highlights of Harewood House.

THE 2020 TOWN & COUNTRY HOUSE TOUR

A mix of town and country, this tour includes a blend of residences  from London townhouses to grand stately homes in an array of styles, complete with glorious gardens and each one filled with fabulous furnishings and artwork from various eras and complete with glorious gardens – Visit Kenwood House, Apsley House, the Wallace Collection, Waddesdon Manor, Syon Park, Osterley Park and Sir John Soane’s House.

Based in London, the Town and Country House Tour will allow you to visit a broad range of homes both in Town and in the surrounding countryside. Waddesdon Manor, above, was home to Baron de Rothschild and, along with Syon Park, Kenwood House and Osterley Park, is a fine example of the type of stately home built by prominent aristocrats whose interests were tied to London and who required proximity to the City.

Apsley House, home to the 1st Duke of Wellington, and the Wallace Collection, above, housed in the former home of Lord and Lady Hertford, will both offer glimpses into life in London’s grandest residences, while Sir John Soane’s Museum, Leighton House and 18 Stafford Terrace demonstrate how the homes of 19th century writers and artists would have appeared.

Syon House
Kenwood House
Sir John Soane’s Museum

In addition, guided walking tours will bring you to aristocratic areas, elegant squares and lesser known corners that will immerse you in the history of London and  bring the 18th and 19th centuries to life.

The complete itinerary for the Town and Country House Tour can be found here.

THE 2021 COUNTRY HOUSE TOUR

For 2021, Number One London is offering an up-close look at six of Britain’s finest stately homes, each one showcasing impressive state rooms, private family rooms and perfectly preserved “downstairs” domestic spaces, all presented within a leisurely itinerary. Once we check-in to our hotel in the historic spa town of Buxton, the rest of the tour will be taken as day trips, via luxury coach.

The itinerary includes visits to magnificent properties, some of which have been named as one of England’s 10 Treasure Houses – Castle Howard (above), Harewood House and Chatsworth House – while  Shugborough Hall, Tatton Park and Lyme Park have been chosen for their unique history and architectural significance.

Click link in photo for complete Tour itinerary and links to each property!

KENWOOD HOUSE – PART ONE

In 2014, Victoria and I visited Kenwood House together, just one of many visits each of us have made to Kenwood before and since. What’s so special about Kenwood House? Situated in Hampstead Heath, Kenwood is one of the last examples of a private estate remaining in London.
Just inside the gate is this gardener’s cottage, but Kenwood House can boast rather more unique survivors of a bygone age in its grounds, including a bath house and dairy.
A flight of stairs lead to the baths themselves.

Just outside the baths, you’ll find these stairs and a doorway that leads to . . . . . the terrace at the rear of the house.

The Orangery
As you can see, the views were stunning and we decided to walk down to the dairy before touring the house.
On the way, we encountered several others strolling the grounds, including the cutie below, whose name, we learned, was Duke. Really. Not even kidding. Duke.
Around to the front entrance
The classical portico, added by Robert Adam for William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield
The walking the path leading to the Dairy
From the website:

Kenwood became what would be described in 1838 as ‘beyond all question, the finest country residence in the suburbs of London’. Tending a dairy was then a fashionable hobby for aristocratic women, following the example of the French queen Marie Antoinette. But such dairies were still functional, and the one at Kenwood would have supplied the house with butter, milk and cream, while ice was stored in the ice-house below.

Now, after restoration, the three dairy buildings can be appreciated once again: the small, colourfully decorated octagonal tea room, where Louisa entertained her friends, the rooms where the dairymaid lived, and the dairy room. The original marble benches in the dairy room are still here, although the more than 30 black marble milk pans and basins listed in the accounts are missing.

By this time, we were both a bit peckish, so we decided to walk back to the cafe for lunch before touring the house.

Roses in the Brewhouse Restaurant garden
Brewhouse Restaurant
“Hey, Vic,” I said through a mouthful of clotted cream once we’d been served.
“Hhhmmm?”
“I have something to say to you and I want you to look me in the eye while I say it.”
“Is it something bad?”
“Non. It’s something good. You ready?”
Victoria nodded.
“Here we are. Together. In London. At Kenwood House.”
Victoria grinned at me. “I know. It’s terrific. Alone together in England. Like minded travelers wallowing in British history.”
“We can overdose on 19th century Britain and Wellington to our hearts content.”
I’m not certain, but I think it was at this point that Victoria and I clapped our hands together and laughed with childlike glee.
Before long, we struck up a conversation with a really nice lady named Frances. The three of us walked outside and continued the conversation, talking about where Frances had been in the U.S. and where we’d been in England. Then I handed her our Number One London business card, which prompted Frances to tell us that she loved historical research, herself being a direct descendant of architect James Wyatt. Which prompted even more discussion, as you may well imagine.

Finally, Victoria and I entered the house and were greeted by two volunteer docents, who welcomed us warmly and asked us if this was our first visit to Kenwood House. Victoria told the young man that she’d been to the house before and had also seen the traveling exhibit of its artwork when it showed in Milwaukee. Which led to more discussion and mention of our blog. I handed him our card.

“I know this site,” he said. “It’s great.”

Victoria and I glanced at each other. Was he having us on?

“I have a blog about London, too. The Lost Valley of London. I travel round London and shoot videos of out of the way places and my adventures.”

This jogged my memory. “Wait a minute,” I said, “I know your site. You wear a pith helmet, right?” Really, what were the odds that Anthony and I should meet at Kenwood House? All of this led to more discussion and mutual admiration, which lasted another few minutes.

We did, finally, tour the house and for that part of our visit I hand you over to Victoria, who will be bringing you Part Two of our day at Kenwood House soon.

You can see Kenwood House up close and personal on
Number One London’s 2020 Town and Country House Tour.