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Things to see and do at Fenton House

Visitors exploring inside Fenton House, London
Visitors exploring inside Fenton House | © National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra

One of London's hidden treasures, Fenton House is a 17th-century house with decorative arts collections just waiting to be discovered. Don’t miss the early keyboard instruments, the playful ceramics, the intricate needlework, the impressive art collection and the far-reaching views over London.

The paintings

Explore the art collection of the 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, Duncan Grant, John Constable and Albrecht Dürer among many others.

The needlework

Fenton is home to a collection of intricate 17th-century needlework. The fine examples of stumpwork would have been painstakingly created by young women from affluent Stuart homes.

The pieces feature biblical and pastoral scenes and imagery, with doll-like characters dressed in the height of Stuart fashion surrounded by a wonderland of green hills, flowers, birds, bees and animals.

An example of stumpwork at Fenton House, London
An example of stumpwork at Fenton House | © National Trust Images/Derrick E. Witty

The ceramics

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. With a range of intricately made and playful subjects, from ceramic poodles and pugs to scenes of revelry and courting couples, there is something for every age and taste.

Gaze across London

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

Music at Fenton

The National Trust has been caring for the Major Benton Fletcher collection of early keyboard instruments since 1938. With regular attention from specialist conservators, the Trust is able to keep most of the collection in playing condition so that international professional and student early keyboard musicians can enjoy and learn from playing original instruments.

There are 19 instruments to discover at Fenton, from a 1540 virginal to a 1925 clavichord, with finely worked and painted cases.

Hear the Benton Fletcher collection of early keyboards being played, with demonstrations by volunteer musicians.

An antique keyboard instrument, and a music stand, with a display case, in the music room at Fenton House and Garden, London
The music room at Fenton House and Garden, London | © National Trust Images/John Hammond
A double-manual harpsichord in the Blue Porcelain Room at Fenton House, London, with blue and white plates hung on the wall above. Made in 1777 by Jacob and Abraham Kirckman, it has nag's-head swell enabling diminuendo and crescendo.

Fenton House and Garden's collections

Explore the objects and works of art we care for at Fenton House and Garden on the National Trust Collections website.

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