Friday, March 13, 2015

Hampstead's National Trust - Fenton House and a distant view of 'The Shard'

Today we took a safari to what is traditionally thought of as the home of London's Left Wing intelligentsia - that's right Hampstead, the plan was to use our under utilised National Trust membership.
Beautifully kept gardens at the rear of the house

First stop was  Fenton House left to the 'National Trust'  by Lady Binning  in 1952, as well as housing her porcelain collection  there's a collection of ancient keyboards bequeathed by Benton Fletcher including one which survived the great Fire of London.

Fenton House was a merchant's residence for much of the last 250 years or so and as such the scale is more conformable than many of the Great Houses, as well as an imposing garden there's an air of calm and tradition throughout the house.

Amongst the porcelain there are many works from China there's also a collection of Tapestry as Lady Binning was an enthusiast for this too.

The well laid out rooms are a delight

There's also dotted around the house many valuable paintings many from  an amazing collection of paintings from actor, gardener and Hampstead resident Peter Barkworth.

The paintings in the house when we visited included two by  Walter Sickert -(who incidentally we took an interest in at Tate Britain last week) and a Constable  and print from Albrecht Durer.

Outside the Ornamental and Kitchen gardens were well maintained and provided a pleasant stroll with the topiary on display showing the touch of an expert.

The guides from the National Trust at each of the three levels of the house were welcoming and had information they were very happy to share

The Glass House was in important feature of homes like this one

We were fortunate to be able to see some amazing views across London from a balcony at what would have been the servants quarters, easy to spot landmarks like The Shard, BT Tower, The Gherkin  and the Walky Talky.

A view from Hampstead's Fenton House with both 'The Gherkin' and 'The Shard' clearly visible 

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