Kenwood House and grounds hold a very special place in our hearts. It’s a very important part of the history of Prickett & Ellis – but more on that tomorrow. For the next few weeks I will be highlighting stories linked to this great local landmark which I have enjoyed since I was a tiny tot, taken my children to enjoy, and hopefully will visit with my grandchildren one day.
The first house ever (of any significance) is thought to have been built in brick by the printer to James I. John Bill bought the estate in 1616, which would have been really very rural of course and it was kept in this family until 1690 when it was sold to Brook Bridges. Can you guess how much he paid for it? It was not cheap – £3,400.
We think that Brook Bridge’s son, William, who owned Kenwood between 1694 and 1705 was responsible for a pretty big refurb in around 1700, adding to what was already a pretty big place, (24 hearths were recorded in the 1665 Hearth Tax assessment). The new house was a two-storey red brick building with stone quoins, large sash windows, a hipped roof and a projecting central section with a triangular pediment. We have this charming drawing of his new home by the fabulous Mary Delany – if you don’t know her story already give her a quick google.
Next time – the eighteenth- century house.