Things to see and do at Fenton House

The garden at Fenton House

One of the city's hidden treasures, Fenton House is a 17th century London house and garden with lots just waiting to be discovered. What will you see on a visit?

The garden

Admire the vista of the formal lawn and terrace, with neatly trimmed topiary, before exploring the sunken rose garden and cross borders. Pass through the yew hedges and you'll arrive in the hidden kitchen garden and historic orchard, which contains 32 different heritage varieties of apples and pears. Find a secluded bench among the flowers and drink in the vivid colours and scents of the ever-changing and abundant borders.

Early keyboard instruments

Listen to international musicians play classical works on the Benton Fletcher collection of early keyboards throughout the week, and join us on Wednesdays from 2.30pm, for a musical tour of the house, with demonstrations by volunteer musicians.  There are 19 instruments to discover at Fenton, from a 1540 virginals to a 1925 clavichord, with finely worked and painted cases.

The paintings

Contemplate the collections of last owner Lady Binning, as well as Hampstead actor Peter Barkworth, featuring works by a group of English Post-Impressionist painters called the Camden Town Group. See pictures by Walter Sickert, John Constable, Albrect Dürer and William Nicholson among many others.

The needlework

Explore the biblical and pastoral scenes and imagery in a beautiful collection of intricate 17th-century needlework. Look closely at fine examples of stumpwork painstakingly created by young women from affluent Stuart homes. Be enchanted by scenes featuring doll-like characters dressed in the height of Stuart fashion, set in a wonderland of green hills and flowers surrounded by birds, bees and animals.

The ceramics collection

See Fenton's ceramics collection, full of vibrant colour and a range of styles, including Chinese porcelain from the Kangxi period, 18th century Meissen figures and Staffordshire ware. Enjoy intricately made and playful subjects, from ceramic poodles and pugs to scenes of revellery and courting couples. Something for every age and taste.

Gaze across London from the balcony

The panoramic view from our balcony offers one of the highest points in London from which to view the city on fine days. Fenton's residents in the late 1600s would have been able to watch the construction of St Pauls. You can still see St Pauls today, now surrounded by the great variety of high-rise buildings that line the Thames river.

Don't miss

  • The 300 year-old orchard and kitchen garden
  • The emerald formal lawn for picnics, snoozes and croquet
  • The Camden Town Group's collection of pictures
  • The Benton Fletcher Collection of early keyboard instruments
  • Chinese, English and German fine porcelain alongside playful ceramic collectables
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