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Fenton House Camden
   

Fenton House

Fenton House, August 2002. Photo: S Williams

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Fenton House is a late C17th merchant's house, which was left to the National Trust in 1952 by owner Lady Binning, together with a collection of porcelain. It had been given its present name after 1793 when the house was bought by merchant, Mr P I Fenton. A description of the garden in 1756 records that it had fruit trees and a kitchen garden. The layout today is not dissimilar to that of the 1860s with a lawn to the south with central gravel path leading to what was then the main entrance of the house. North of the house were terrace gardens with perimeter walks comprising a flower garden and walled kitchen garden.
Fenton House, August 2002. Photo: S Williams
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Fenton House, August 2002. Photo: S Williams
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Previous / Other name: Ostend House; Clock House
Site location: Hampstead Grove/Windmill Hill, Hampstead
Postcode: NW3 6SP > Google Map
Type of site: Private Garden
Date(s): C17th
Designer(s):
Listed structures: LBI: Fenton House. LBII: Fenton House Garage; 4 garden statues & cistern in the grounds; Garden gates, railings and walls to Fenton House,
Borough: Camden
Site ownership: National Trust
Site management: National Trust
Open to public? Yes
Opening times: March: Sat/Sun 2-5pm; April- Oct: Wed-Fri 2-5pm/Sat/Sun/BH 11-5pm
Has taken part in Open Garden Squares Weekend 9 times, most recently in 2017.
Special conditions: Admission charge (free to NT members)
Facilities: Self-guided walks leaflet
Events: Garden Easter trail, summer concerts, costume exhibition, Apple Day. Has opened for OGSW
Public transport: London Overground: Hampstead Heath. Tube: Hampstead (Northern). Bus: 268
Fenton House, August 2002. Photo: S Williams
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Fenton House, August 2002. Photo: S Williams
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The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/07/2011
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.nationaltrust.org.uk

Fuller information:

Fenton House is a late C17th merchant's house which in 1952 was left to the National Trust by Lady Binning together with a collection of porcelain; it now has a collection of C17th and C18th harpsichords and spinets. The date 1693 is scratched on a chimney-stack of the house, which in the early C18th was known as Ostend House and by the late C18th was called Clock House. It was given its present name after 1793 when the house was bought by a Mr P I Fenton, a Riga merchant, who made various changes, particularly to the interior. When in the ownership of Lady Binning, further substantial renovations were made including the west extension of c1936. The late C17th Stable building which included the old coachman's living quarters remains, altered, and is now used as the garage. The wrought iron east gate dates from the late C18th; the south gate is a C20th facsimile of the original 1707 wrought-iron gate, inscribed JAG (for Joshua Gee), between brick piers surmounted by stone balls. A description of the garden in 1756 records that it had fruit trees and a kitchen garden, a greenhouse was added in 1762.

The layout today is not dissimilar to that of the 1860s with a lawn to the south with central gravel path leading from the entrance gates to what was then the main entrance of the house, although there are no longer flower beds here. North of the house were terrace gardens with perimeter walks comprising a flower garden and walled kitchen garden. By the 1880s there was a lawn tennis court and vinery. The garden to the north today is entered through a yew arbour and has formal borders, a sunken rose garden, a working kitchen garden and 300 year old apple orchard. It was the regional winner of the National Trust Gardens Award 2000. The garden walls date from the C17th and C18th, with alterations, and on the north is a buttressed terrace with stone steps and cast-iron railings..

In the grounds are four garden statues: by the front door are two lead figures in C18th rustic clothing on stone pedestals. They represent a shepherdess with an apple in each hand, and a shepherd holding a crook, which were made c.1735 by John Cheere for Coldbath Abbey, King's Heath, Worcester. The shepherdess figure was stolen in c.1988, but later recovered. On the North Lawn is a C19th lead figure of Bacchus holding a shallow bowl in his raised left hand and a bunch of grapes in his right with a small faun behind him. Also on the North Lawn is a C19th bronze figure of a realistically-modelled seated toad approximately 10 inches high. The lead cistern in the Orchard Garden dates from 1723 and has reliefs showing a knight in armour on a rearing horse. The South Walk has been planted with over 3,000 snowdrops.

Sources consulted:

'Fenton House Hampstead', National Trust, 2000; Camden Listed Buildings website
Grid ref: TQ262860
Size in hectares:
   
On EH National Register : No
EH grade:
Site on EH Heritage at Risk list:
Registered common or village green
on Commons Registration Act 1965:
No
Protected under London Squares
Preservation Act 1931:
No
 
The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.
On Local List:
In Conservation Area: Yes
Conservation Area name: Hampstead Village
Tree Preservation Order: Not known
Nature Conservation Area: No
Green Belt: No
Metropolitan Open Land: No
Special Policy Area: Yes - Area of Special Character: Hampstead & Highgate Ridge
Other LA designation:
   

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