An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in London, Volume 2, West London. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1925.
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The borough of Kensington is generally conterminous with the civil parish of the same name, but includes a portion of the parish of St. Margaret, Westminster. The principal monuments are Kensington Palace and Holland House. The former, built by William of Orange, became the normal residence of the princes of the House of Hanover and the birthplace of Queen Victoria. Holland House, a great Jacobean mansion, passed from Sir Walter Cope, the builder, to the Riches, Earls of Holland and Warwick, and from them, by descent, to the Earls of Ilchester. It was here that Addison died.
Fittings—Coffin-lid: In churchyard—immediately S.W. of W. doorway, upper half of marble (? Bethersden) coffin-shaped slab, with remains of brass rivets, probably late 13th-century. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In organ-chapel—on W. wall above arcade, (1) to Lionel, only son of William Ducket, 1693, (he married Martha Ash), plain white marble tablet with cartouche-of-arms. In vestibule to vestry—S. wall, (2) to Henry Frohock, A.M., 1692, white marble tablet with flowers and palmborder, oval form, with shield-of-arms. In S. transept—on W. wall, (3) to John Dickens, 1694, and Catherine, his widow, 1702, white marble draped tablet with two cherubs. In N. aisle— on N. wall, (4) to Laud D'Oyley, eldest son of Robert D'Oyley, 1709, white marble tablet with drapery, cherub-head, and shield. In S. aisle— on S. wall, (5) to Colin Campbell, 3rd son of John, 1st Earl of 'Bread Albany' and Holland, and Mary (Campbell), Countess Dowager of Caithness, his second wife, 1708, white marble tablet with cherubs, fruit, drapery and cartouche-of-arms; (6) to Thomas Henshaw, 1700, Gentleman in ordinary of the Privy Chamber to Charles II and James II, etc., and Anne (Kipping), his wife, 1671, five sons and one daughter, black and white marble tablet with cornucopias and drapery: achievement-of-arms at top; (7) to Aaron Mico, merchant, 1658 (he married Joanna Methold), black and white marble tablet with segmental pediment, moulded sill and achievement-of-arms. On W. respond of S. arcade, S. side, (8) to Anthony Carnaby, 1678, and Mary, daughter of Anthony Carnaby, 1705, black marble tablet with plain white marble frame. In porch —on W. wall, (9) to William Courtens, 1702 (?), freestone tablet with cherubs and shield-of-arms. In churchyard—in passage N. of tower, (10) to Henry Dawson, M.P., alderman and twice mayor of Newcastle-on-Tyne, 1653, freestone tablet with side pilasters and scrolled pediment, two shields-of-arms. Floor-slabs: In churchyard—W. of church, (1) to Dr. Thomas Hodges , and Margaret, his wife, 1696, top part missing; (2) to Moses Giraudeau, 1712, born at Fontenay, and others of the same family added 1722 and later; (3) to Christopher Bea(l ?)e, 1675, with shield-of-arms; (4) to Mark Gray, 1710; (5) to Isabella, wife of John [Hartstonge], Bishop of Ossory, 1713. Plate: includes cup of 1683; a cup of 1769, with a foot of 1683; a flagon, silver-gilt, of 1619, embossed with fruit, flowers, etc., and with panels of dolphins, a winged cherub-head on top of handle; a seal-topped strainer - spoon of 1657. The rest of the old plate (Plate 104) is now lent to the Victoria and Albert Museum and includes: (a) a standing-cup embossed with scallop-shells and with a baluster stem, 1599, silver-gilt; (b) a large plain flagon of 1684, inscribed "This Flaggon was bought in ye year of Our Lord 1685—John Dickins, William Munden, churchwardens"; (c) standing-cup of 1697, with baluster stem, inscribed "Christiana Verney," with shield-of-arms and crest; (d) paten of 1697, with crest of Verney; (e) a plate of 1697, inscribed "The gift of Eliz. Knightley to Kensington Church April 98", with the Knightley arms; (f) circular rosewater dish, possibly of 1537, ornamented with fruit, etc. Pulpit: hexagonal, with moulded foot, panelled stem and moulded base enriched with flutings; angles enriched with foliage, moulded and carved cornice. Each side with panel with carved border enclosing inlaid work, with the monogram of William and Mary, variously designed, accompanied by crown, Tudor rose, star, etc., and on one panel the date 1697; painted and grained, stairs modern. Miscellanea: In vestry—fragment in stone or plaster, gilt, of irradiated triangle with Hebrew word Jehovah, late 17th or early 18th-century.
(2) Kensington Palace, house, outbuildings, orangery, etc., stands at the W. end of Kensington Gardens, about 300 yards N. of Kensington Road. The walls are of brick and the roofs are covered with slates and tiles. In 1661 Sir Heneage Finch, afterwards first Earl of Nottingham, bought from his younger brother a house which stood on the site and appears to have rebuilt it. In 1689 Nottingham House was purchased by William III and renamed Kensington House. Work was begun at once on the new palace of which the building accounts have been preserved. From these it would appear that Nottingham House stood on the N. side of Clock Court, and was altered and transformed into lodgings. The new buildings begun in 1689 consisted of the main block at the E. end of Clock Court, called "the five new pavilions" (referring to the central and four angle blocks of which it consisted), the S. range of Clock Court called the "Long Gallery Range" and the W. range of the same court called the "building next the road." The portico on the road was completed in 1690. The Queen's Gallery, being the range running N. from the main block, was finished in 1691. In 1695 the large new block at the E. end of the S. front was begun and with it the existing great staircase at the back; the latter impinging on one of the angle pavilions of the building of 1689. The architect for the whole of this work was Sir Christopher Wren. Between 1718 and 1726 the palace was considerably altered; the main block E. of Clock Court was rebuilt, its angle pavilions refaced or rebuilt, and the great staircase refaced. Nottingham House with Prince of Wales' Court at the back was entirely reconstructed. Other additions included buildings of one or more storeys built against the N., E. and S. sides of the Princesses' Court. The group of buildings to the W. of the old S.W. corner of the palace are also modern, though they incorporate some fragments of the older projecting W. wing. The roofs, more particularly those to the State Apartments, are for the greater part modern.
The building is of interest as having been mainly built as a Royal Palace, but the elevations, except for those to the King's Gallery block at the S.E. corner of the building, are of a character found in the smaller domestic building of the period, and the interior has been much altered in the 18th century and later times.
The S. elevation (Plate 105) has at the E. end the King's Gallery wing. This wing is of three storeys, with attics to the middle part, and is of rubbed brick with some stone dressings and is covered with a hipped roof of slates; it is in eleven bays with plain pilasters at the angles and to the three middle bays; at the first-floor level is a plain stone band, moulded across the three middle bays and projecting round the pilasters as does also the entablature below the eaves; the frieze is enriched with acanthus brackets; above the three middle bays is an attic with plain pilaster strips superimposed over the main pilasters, plain raised brick panels between and a plastered dentilled cornice and four ornamental stone vases. All the windows are square-headed with small roll-mouldings at the angles, and on the string above each of the three middle windows on the ground-floor are three key-stones, the middle one carved with a classical head. The W. end of the S. front, together with the projecting S.W. wing, is of two storeys with basement and attics. At the first-floor level is a projecting brick band, and at the eaves a modillioned cornice; the basement windows are segmental-headed, and those above have flat arches; the dormers and chimney-stacks are modern, and the E. end of the wall has been considerably rebuilt and the first-floor windows enlarged. There are several rain-water pipes with the crowned W and M monogram. The E. elevation of the return front of the King's Gallery block is similar to the S. elevation of that wing. The remaining walls on the E. and return front of the S.E. block have been rebuilt. The S. end of the wall running N. from this block is of somewhat earlier date than the remaining wall and has a lower roof. The windows are squareheaded and at the floor-levels are projecting bands of rubbed brick. The remaining block is of two storeys with attics and basement, and has square-headed windows, projecting brick bands at the ground and first-floor levels, and a modillioned eaves-cornice of wood. Brick pilasters accentuate the staircase-block at the N. end of this wing, and there are two similar pilasters towards the S. end of the wall. The lower part of the wall to the basement has been refaced, and the first-floor windows appear to have had aprons which have since been removed, the walls having been refaced with modern brick. The entrance doorway (Plates 99, 100) to the Queen's Staircase at the N. end of the front is square-headed, and is flanked by panelled pilasters with fluted consoles supporting a curved pediment enclosing in the tympanum carved swags of fruit and flowers and a foliated cartouche ensigned with the royal monogram of William and Mary; the doorway is of wood but rests on a stone plinth; the door itself is modern. Above the doorway, between the first-floor windows, is a round-headed niche, semi-circular on plan, of rubbed brick; the lower part is filled with a panelled pedestal with a carved scroll-bracket projecting from the front which supports an urn. There are four square rain-water pipes on this front with W and M monograms on the junction bands. The W. elevation has modern additions built against the southernmost end, and the buildings N. of the Clock Court are the work of Kent and his successors. The remaining buildings, with the exception of the Clock Tower (Plate 106), which forms a central feature to the entrance to the Court, are of two storeys with attics and basements. At the first-floor level is a projecting brick band and at the eaves is a wooden modillioned cornice; the windows are square-headed and the attics are lighted by flat-topped dormers. To the S. of the entrance to the Court the lower walling has been refaced, and two windows to the basement have been inserted; N. of the entrance the wall has a plain plinth of brick. The Clock Tower is of three storeys, with a concave-sided roof surmounted by a cupola or bell-turret; in the ground-stage is the entrance-archway of rusticated masonry, with a three-centred arch, moulded imposts and a scrolled key-stone surmounted by a moulded string at the first-floor level; the archway is flanked by brick pilasters which rise to the modillioned cornice at the attic-floor level; the cornice is carried across the front of the tower and is surmounted by a pediment; in the second storey, above the archway, is a square-headed window uniform with those in the wings on either side; the attic-storey has brick pilasters at the angles, and is finished with a modillioned cornice of wood; in the W. front is an oval window; the bell-turret has in the lower part a modern clock-face, above which, on each side, is a round-headed opening with moulded archivolt and plain key and impost blocks; each opening is flanked by plain pilasters with moulded caps and surmounted by a moulded cornice and pediment; the bell-turret is finished with a square lead-covered dome with a weather-vane of the William and Mary monogram. The bell in the turret is by William and Philip Wightman, 1690. S. of the Clock Tower, and at right angles to the main W. range, is a projecting onestoreyed wing terminating at the W. end in a colonnaded portico; the wing has been largely rebuilt, but the lower part of the shafts to the columns and the moulded bases are old and of Portland stone. The N. elevation is at the E. end similar to the return wall of the E. front, but has a modern doorway and some of the basement windows blocked, while the W. end is the work of Kent and his successors.
Clock Court (Plate 65)—The elevations to the S. and W. ranges are generally similar to the respective external elevations of these wings; in the tympanum of the pediment over the entrance-archway in the W. range is an oval-shaped shield of the royal arms of William and Mary within a garter, with supporters surmounted by a crown. Towards the E. end of the S. side the wall projects slightly to form a bay over which the cornice is carried in a pointed pediment; the entrance-porch to the ground-floor of the bay is modern, but the windows on this front retain their original wood frames, each window being divided into two lights by a solid mullion and transom; the roof is tiled and the dormer-windows are original and have moulded cornices and pediments. The elevation to the E. block is mostly the work of Kent, but the block in the N.E. corner is of 17th-century origin with a modern second floor; the lower parts of the walls are plastered and the entrance porch is modern. The elevation to the N. range E. of the break towards the middle of the court is of 17th-century date, and is similar in character to the S. and W. ranges; the windows, however, have double hung sashes. The western half of the elevation is of 18th-century date.
Princesses' Court (Plates 107, 108)—The N. range is of three storeys, but has the lower part covered by a modern arched passage; at the first and second-floor levels are projecting brick bands, and at the eaves a wooden modillioned cornice; to the first floor is a range of five segmental-headed windows and to the floor above five flat-headed windows, one of which is blocked, while two retain their original frames and sashes. The E. range has had modern additions built against the whole of its length, of one and two storeys at the S. end, and of three storeys at the N. end; that part of the original wall which is visible has a projecting band of brick at the second-floor level, a wooden modillioned cornice at the eaves and three segmental-headed windows to the second floor. The W. range from the N.W. corner of the courtyard to the break in the wall is modern; the middle part of the front is mainly of c. 1690, and has an original panelled door at the N. end and a flat projecting band of brick at the first-floor level. The S. end of the wall has a projecting brick plinth, a flat projecting band at the first-floor level and four gabled dormers to the attics; two rain-water pipes have the W and M monogram on the bands. The S. range is of three storeys with attic and basement at the E. end and one storey lower at the W. end; against the ground-floor has been built a modern passage; the eastern part of the elevation has a projecting brick band at the second-floor level and a wooden modillioned cornice at the eaves, as has also the W. end of the wall; one of the first-floor windows in the W. end, though now blocked, retains its original frame.
Main S.E. block—On the first floor the King's Gallery (96 ft. by 21½ ft.) is the principal room (Plate 110); it has a dado with bolection-moulded panels with moulded rail and skirting and a moulded and enriched cornice, but the painted ceiling above is modern; in the S. wall are nine windows with panelled shutters; the doorways (Plate 100) have moulded and enriched architraves, carved friezes, and enriched cornices, and the doors are panelled and have enriched mouldings; one of the doors in the E. wall is a dummy, and there are similar dummy doors in the N. and W. walls. Above the modern fireplace (Plate 111), within a square frame with enriched gilt mouldings, is a map of N.W. Europe, by Robert Norden, 1694; the map is surrounded by a circular band marked with the compass-points, and the spandrels are painted; in the centre of the map is a pointer showing the direction of the wind and working in conjunction with the weather-vane which still exists above the roof.
The Presence Chamber (26¾ ft. by 26¾ ft.) has a low panelled dado and a richly carved and moulded cornice; the fireplace (Plate 111), though now blocked, has a bolection-moulded marble surround, and the overmantel has applied carving of drapery, festoons and swags, with carved fruit, flowers, birds, cherub-heads, etc.; it is arranged round a panel for a picture, and is the work of Grinling Gibbons. The King's Grand Staircase (Plates 109, 113), in the S.E. angle of Clock Court, has had the walls, as built by Wren, refaced by Kent, who also inserted an arcade of two arches on the S. side supporting a gallery above; the steps themselves are of black Irish marble, and each of the three landings is laid out in squares of black and white marble; the balustrading is of open wrought-iron work, with panels of scroll-design and a moulded wood handrail. The projecting block in the N.E. corner of Clock Court on the first floor has a room with a panelled dado and moulded and enriched cornice and a fireplace with a moulded surround.
Clock Court—In the W. range, part of the early staircase to the Tower remains; it has a moulded string and handrail and twisted balusters. In the S.W. angle is a staircase of similar type which is said to have been removed (except the treads) from the S.E. corner of the Princesses' Court. The S. range has towards the E. end an original staircase with twisted balusters, moulded string and handrail and shaped newel-posts and, above, rising to the attics, is another staircase with twisted balusters. The gallery on the first floor has two fireplaces with moulded surrounds, now covered with paint but probably original; a few old panelled doors remain. The N. end has, at the junction of the original building with Kent's later wing, an original staircase with square balusters and newels, moulded string and handrail. The walls of the hall and main staircase are panelled and the latter has moulded string and handrail, turned balusters and square newels with moulded cappings and ball-finials. On the first floor is a powder-closet with original panelling and cornice, and one room at the E. end of this range is also lined with panelling and has a fireplace with a moulded surround of marble and two original panelled doors. The attics above are lined with panelling, and the dormer-windows retain their old sashes.
Princesses' Court—Queen Mary's Gallery (84 ft. by 21½ ft.) occupies the greater part of the E. range on the first floor (Plate 112). It is lined with bolection-moulded panelling divided into two heights by a moulded dado-rail, and has a moulded skirting and moulded and enriched modillioned cornice; the doorways have bolection-moulded architraves, friezes carved with acanthus leaves and enriched cornices; the northernmost fireplace in the W. wall has a bolection-moulded surround of coloured marble, but the S. fireplace is modern; above each fireplace is a gilded overmantel with Vauxhall mirror-plates divided by moulded glazing bars, and all within a frame of carved drapery and scroll-work; they are the work of Gerard Johnson and Robert Streeter, executed 1689–91. The windows in the E. wall have two window-seats and panelled shutters. The Queen's Closet (23 ft. by 12 ft.), which adjoins the Gallery on the S., has been considerably altered, but the windows have moulded architraves and panelled shutters. Queen Anne's Dining Room (17½ ft. by 14 ft.) has a panelled dado with moulded rail and skirting, moulded and enriched cornice, moulded architraves to the doorways and a fireplace similar to that in the Gallery. Queen Mary's Privy Chamber (25½ ft. by 16 ft.) has a panelled dado and an enriched cornice carved with acanthus leaves alternating with the W and M monogram surmounted by a crown. The staircase to the W. of the Queen's Closet has the original treads, but the balusters have been removed to the staircase by the S.W. corner of the Clock Court. The Queen's Staircase (Plate 113) at the N. end of the range rises from the ground to the first floor in three flights; the walls are lined with bolection-moulded panelling, and have a moulded dado-rail and skirting; the doors to the staircase-hall are panelled, and have moulded architraves; all the windows have panelled shutters, and those on the first floor have moulded architraves and window-seats with moulded edges; the first-floor windows on the E. side have original sashes; the stairs have turned balusters, square newels, moulded handrail and moulded treads returned round the outer face of each step; the steps are of bracket-form and supported on a plain string, and the soffit below the third flight is panelled. The N. range has an early 18th-century staircase with moulded string and handrail, twisted balusters and square newel-posts; the walls have a panelled dado and are partly panelled above; some of the old doors and doorways remain, and at the N.W. corner of the Court is a staircase (Plate 7) taken from some other part of the palace and reconstructed; it has a heavy moulded string and handrail, turned balusters and square newel-posts with panelled sides. The W. wing has, in the older part, an early 18th-century staircase with moulded string and handrail and twisted balusters, and a fireplace with moulded stone surround.
Outbuildings, etc.—Two cottages, a few yards N. of the palace are each of one storey with attics; the walls are of brick and the roofs are covered with tiles and slates. They are of early 18th-century date but have been much altered. The Stables stand to the S.W. of the palace and are of two storeys with attics; the walls are of brick and the roofs are tiled. They form a long rectangular block facing the N., with gabled crosswings at either end projecting slightly towards the S.; through the middle of the building is a passage. At the eaves is a moulded wood cornice, and at the first-floor level a projecting brick band. The central passage on both floors is entered through an elliptical arched opening with plain stone imposts; the windows and doorways have rubbed brick dressings and are square-headed except those to the ground-floor on the S. front, which have segmental arches. There are flat dormer-windows lighting the attics at either end of the building and some of the window-frames at the back are original. There are two old panelled doors hung on strap-hinges and one lead rainwaterpipe has the W and M monogram. Inside, the building has been much altered, but a little old panelling and one old panelled door in the attics remain.
At the E. end of the main stables is a brick building, probably the coach-house. The N. front has pilasters at the corners with Doric capitals, and both N. and S. wall have moulded cornices and pediments of wood; the lower part of the S. wall has been cut away and has had modern doors inserted.
N. of the cottages are two gate-posts, probably the work of Wren. They are square and built of brick with rubbed brick angles, stone plinth and moulded stone cornice; above the cornice each pier has a large stone acorn with acanthus-leaf base.
The Orangery stands about 100 yards N. of the palace. It faces the S., and is a symmetrically designed building of one storey; the walls are of brick with rubbed brick and Portland - stone dressings, and the roof is covered with slates; in front of the building is a raised terrace of Portland stone. It was built from the designs of Sir Christopher Wren in 1704 and, internally, consists of one long rectangular compartment with circular pavilions at either end. The S., or principal, front (Plate 114) has a central feature, marking the entrance to the main compartment, and slightly projecting features at either end; the central feature is of three bays with attached Doric columns of rusticated brickwork flanking the middle bay and corresponding square piers flanking the side bays; both columns and piers have plain stone bases and moulded capitals and support an entablature which is recessed over the middle bay; the entablature is partly of cement but the cornice is of wood and continued along the whole front at the eaves-level; above the cornice is a stone blocking course, and over the middle bay is a semi-circular window flanked by brick piers above the columns with moulded caps and a curved pediment; above the side bays are carved stone trusses flanking the piers to the pediment; the lower part of the entrance has panelled doors, and above is a sash-window; there are sash-windows to the bays on either side, and between the heads of the windows and the entablature are wood panels. The end features are each of three bays; the middle bay projects slightly and has a large sash-window set between rusticated brick piers, recessed back with concave jambs to the windows and having plain stone bases, moulded imposts and a semi-circular arch with a carved mask key-stone; the tympanum above the window is of wood with radiating panels, and above the cornice is an attic recessed back in the middle in a curve and supported on either side by carved stone trusses; the side bays have each a semi-circular niche with a round head and, above, a shallow round-headed recess with stone sill and brick apron. The walls between the central and end features are each pierced by a range of four large square-headed windows with moulded stone sills and plain triple key-stones.
The E. and W. elevations have slightly projecting brick pilasters at either end round which the main cornice is returned and forming a base for the pediment of the gable. In the middle of each front is a large sash-window with panelled doors below and a semi-circular tympanum above with radiating panels; the jambs are of rusticated brickwork with plain stone bases, and the semi-circular arch is also rusticated with a plain keystone and stone impost mouldings; on either side are shallow round-headed recesses with squareheaded recesses above having stone sills and brick aprons; above the window in the gable is a shallow round-headed recess.
Interior (Plate 115).—The E. and W. ends of the main hall are similar; each has a central round-headed opening of two orders; the inner has a panelled soffit and springs from responds panelled on the inner faces and with moulded and enriched imposts, and the outer is panelled and springs from panelled pilasters with enriched imposts and moulded bases; above the archway are carved festoons of flowers with a central cherub-head, and the archway is flanked on either side by a round-headed, semi-circular niche with moulded archivolt, enriched imposts and seats. Below the ceiling is an enriched modillioned cornice which is continued round the side walls. The N. wall is panelled to more than half its height, the panelling having an enriched cornice; in the middle is a central feature divided and flanked by fluted Corinthian columns supporting an enriched entablature; in the middle bay is a square-headed doorway with enriched architrave, entablature and pediment; the door is in two leaves with raised panels; the side bays have each a round-headed niche similar to those in the end walls. The S. wall has in the middle a central feature of three bays generally corresponding to that in the N. wall; the windows have moulded and enriched architraves and windowseats, and between the four windows on either side of the central feature are bolection-moulded panels. The end blocks are internally circular on plan; in the S. and external side walls are combined doors and windows; in the N. walls squareheaded recesses and in the wall adjoining the main hall round-headed openings; between these features are round-headed niches similar to those in the main hall and flanked by attached and fluted Corinthian columns supporting an enriched entablature. The semi-circular chamber at the back of the main hall has a semi-circular niche and a blocked window.
W. of the N. wall are two gate-posts flanking the path leading to the N. end of the garden; they are of brick with moulded stone bases and cappings, and are each surmounted by a carved stone vase; they do not appear to be in situ.
The lower part of the garden-wall running W. from these posts still remains, and there is also some original brickwork to the wall running S. The stables at the W. end of the N. garden-wall have been considerably rebuilt but the greater part of the E. wall still remains.
The Alcove, at entrance to the gardens S. of the S.W. wing, is for the greater part modern, but incorporates, in the attic surmounting the entablature, three panels probably of plastered wood and of late 17th-century date. The middle panel is the largest, and has a cartouche surmounted by a crown supported by two amorini who are sitting astride branches of foliage; the side panels have vases and conventional foliage.
(3) Holland House stands nearly ½ m. W. of the parish church. The central portion is of three storeys with basement and attics, the E. wing is of three storeys, and the W. wing of two storeys and basement. The walls are of red brick with stone dressings; the roofs are covered with tiles or slates. It was built for Sir Walter Cope, of Kensington, early in the 17th century, and an original plan (now in the Soane Museum) shows the side wings drawn in different ink to the main block and bears a note by John Thorpe that it was " perfected " by him. The central block was begun in 1605 and completed in 1607, and the side wings, including the towers, were designed and perhaps added soon after. Surviving building-accounts of 1638–40 relate to an extensive addition to the house and to the erection of new stables, etc. It is uncertain if the addition referred to was a large wing formerly projecting to the W. of the house and destroyed in 1704, or to the existing E. wing. In any case the existing E. front appears to be of about the date of the accounts. These works were done for Henry Rich, K.G., first Earl of Holland and son-inlaw to the original owner, to whom the decoration of the Gilt Room, the fireplace and chimney-piece in the China Room, and the panelling in the White Parlour may be attributed. The house was repaired in 1748 and 1796, and during the 19th century a large addition was made adjoining the W. wing, and both wings were altered and much repaired.
Though 18th-century and modern additions and repairs have to a great extent destroyed the original character of the building it yet remains a good example of the larger type of Jacobean mansion. To-day (1925) it is the finest remaining example of the country-house in the county of London. The main staircase, the Gilt Room, the White Parlour and the chimney-piece in the China Room are noteworthy.
Elevations—The elevations throughout have been greatly restored; many of the walls have been almost entirely refaced, others patched and in places renewed, and the whole of the stone dressings completely renewed or restored in cement. The windows throughout,unless otherwise described, are square-headed with moulded jambs, heads and mullions; the larger ones are divided by transoms; those in the gables are modern.
The S. Front (Plate 116) is symmetrical; in the middle is a projecting block of three bays with a central semi-hexagonal feature of three storeys surmounted by an ogee-shaped roof and flanked on either side on the ground and first floor by bay-windows, each of four lights with four-centred heads on the front and one similar light on the return. The semi-hexagonal bay forms a porch on the ground-floor and has at the angles enriched Doric, Ionic and terminal pilasters standing on panelled or enriched pedestals and supporting entablatures which are continued across the bay-windows of the two lower floors; the porch has round arches, enriched key-stones and oval panels; the first floor has round-headed windows and the top floor an enriched blind balustrade below the windows. All the dressings below the first-floor level are of cement, and, above, of modern stone, but probably reproducing the original design. The walls on either side of the projecting bay are carried up in shaped gables in which are windows to the attics, and the return walls have pointed gables. In the angles between the central projecting block and the main building are small bays which stop below the second-floor level. The walls behind are carried up in shaped gables and have, on the first floor, bay-windows surmounted by cresting. Above the staircase-blocks at either end of the main building are square towers having pyramidal roofs with concave sides covered with modern slates. The S. fronts of the side wings have each a three-sided stone bay with enriched Ionic pilasters at the angles and pierced cresting to the two upper floors; on the ground-floor in the middle of the bay is a round-headed arch with moulded imposts; the bay to the top storey is of less projection than to the floors below; it is of brick from the floor to sill-level. Flanking the central block and returned along the side wings is an open loggia with round-headed arches carried on enriched Doric piers and pedestals; the arches have shaped key-blocks, and, above, is a frieze surmounted by an entablature with pierced cresting of large attached fleurs-de-lis; the arches at the S. ends of the side arcades have on either side enriched Doric pilasters rising the full height, and there is a similar pilaster on the return faces of the southern angle piers. The whole work has been thoroughly restored in cement, though it probably reproduces the original detail. The walls within the arcade are cemented, and below the ceiling on the W. wall of the E. wing is a corbelled cornice of arcaded form, possibly of 17th-century date. The paving in the arcade next the E. wing is possibly original and of stone flags set diagonally with small squares at the corners; against the W. wall of the E. wing is a portion of a 17th-century bench with shaped front and turned legs.
The E. Front is of three storeys; it is divided into eight bays by enriched Doric, Ionic and Corinthian pilasters, superimposed, which stand on pedestals and support continuous entablatures at the floor-levels; above the top cornice each bay is carried up in a shaped gable, one dated 1888. With the exception of the southernmost, each bay on the ground-floor has a round-headed opening with ' jewelled' key-blocks, moulded archivolts and panelled imposts.
The N. Front (Plate 117) is of three storeys, with attics to the central portion and with the projecting side wings of two storeys each; the storeys are divided by moulded string-courses, and the walls are finished with stone copings and have shaped gables to each of the projecting bays and two similar gables over the recessed central portion. The bay-windows to the end wings and adjoining blocks are each of two storeys; that to the E. wing on the ground-floor has been rebuilt square on plan; those to the projecting ends of the central block are surmounted by Jacobean cresting. There are six lead rainwater-heads of various shapes and possibly all of early 17th-century date; one bears the date 1607, and another the initials W.D.
Interior. The Breakfast Room (41 ft. by 18½ ft.), formerly the Entrance Hall (Plate 118), has an ornamented plaster ceiling with intersecting quatrefoils of flat bands of ' strapwork ', and scroll-enrichment in low relief; in the middle of the alternate quatrefoils are pierced pendants and square panels containing the letter H and a coronet. The doorways have semi-circular heads with moulded archivolts divided into sections by square, panelled blocks and console-shaped key-blocks; the jambs have long and short raised panels. The doorways (Plate 119) in the side walls are filled with elaborate wooden screens having in the middle a round-headed door with carved arabesque head, fluted jambs, archivolt with carved key-block and spandrels filled with arabesque carving; the door is flanked by coupled and fluted Doric pilasters standing on panelled pedestals and supporting a continuous entablature; the frieze is carved with arabesque ornament and the tympanum above the cornice is filled with carved strapwork. The doorway (Plate 119) into the Journal Room is round-headed and has applied decoration in the form of an enriched arch, flanking pilasters, enriched entablature and cresting. In the window-recesses are portions of original benches with segmental-headed arched fronts and half-turned baluster legs. The Journal Room contains no original work. The China Room (24 ft. by 13 ft.) has an original oak chimney-piece (Plate 120), refixed in its present position in the 19th century; the stone fireplace is modern; it is flanked by tapering Ionic pilasters; above the fireplace is an arabesque frieze surmounted by a fluted cornice with lion-head masks; the overmantel is divided into three bays by coupled Doric columns standing on panelled pedestals, each carved with a mask and supporting an entablature with arabesque frieze and dentilled cornice; between the columns the middle bay has an elaborate panel enclosed within a carved frame and having in the centre an inlaid H; the side bays have each an enriched round-headed niche containing carved figures representing Peace and Plenty. The E. doorway is round-headed with architrave and archivolt similar to that on the side to the Breakfast Room; the door on the inside is plain and is flanked by pairs of enriched Doric pilasters supporting an architrave and frieze with triglyphs; the tympanum above is filled with radiating fluting with carved half rose in the centre. The White Parlour (28 ft. by 20 ft.) is lined with panelling for three quarters of its height (Plate 121); it is divided into bays by fluted Doric pilasters standing on pedestals and supporting a continuous entablature with arabesque frieze and dentilled cornice, and in the middle of each bay is an architectural composition enclosing the letter H. The doors are of similar character to the panelling, and over the doorway to the staircase is a convex shelf with strapwork surmounted by small pedestals with vases. The fireplace has a black marble surround with moulded head and jambs; it is flanked by tapering Doric pilasters; they stand on panelled pedestals and are enriched with arabesque work and support a continuous entablature with enriched straps. The overmantel is in three bays, the middle one similar to a bay of the wall-panelling; the side bays are narrow and have pairs of enriched Ionic columns standing on carved and shaped pedestals and supporting a continuous entablature with a dentilled cornice, and enriched frieze; beneath the columns are shallow niches and round recesses containing vases. The bay on the E. side of the room is lined with modern panelling. The Staircase Hall has on the N. and W. sides remains of continuous seating with arched fronts and turned legs; it is now set close to the walls and forms a base to the panelling above; this is in two heights, the lower rectangular, the upper with semi-circular arches and 'jewelled' imposts; it is divided into bays by Doric pilasters carrying a continuous entablature. The door-frame to the White Parlour has a moulded head, jambs and stops.
Basement. The Servants' Hall has panelling similar to that in the Staircase Hall. In the W. wall is a round-headed alcove (Plate 119) of black marble; it is set within a rectangular surround of rusticated slabs and has a semi-domed head; in the alcove is a fountain-jet of white stone carved in the form of a lion's head. In the opposite wall is a wide semi-circular arched opening with jambs and head of similar rusticated blocks.
First Floor. The Gilt Room (41½ ft. by 22 ft.) is lined with panelling in four heights with fluted Ionic pilasters at intervals standing on panelled pedestals and supporting a continuous entablature (Plate 122); the panels have cut and shaped borders, and in the middle of each are quatrefoils charged alternately with crosslets (from the arms of Rich) and fleurs-de-lis (from the arms of Cope); each quatrefoil is set within two palm-branches surmounted by a coronet; the main cornice is enriched with triglyphs and the frieze between them with ornamental panels in relief; the doors in the E. and W. walls are formed out of the panelling and are without architraves; the doors in the N. wall are in two leaves each of six panels similar to those lining the walls; the semi-circular arch has the soffit painted with scroll-work panels with female figures, the spandrels have painted angels, and in the tympanum is a fan of radiating fluting; the opening to the recess opposite is of similar character; the two chimney-pieces in the N. wall are of slightly different design; the W. fireplace is flanked by attached and coupled Doric columns, standing on pedestals and supporting a shelf of convex section ornamented with cross palm-branches and cartouches enclosing painted female figures; the overmantel is in two bays with attached coupled Doric columns at either end and two single columns in the middle flanking a narrow rounded-headed panel with painted enrichment surrounding the letter H; in each of the side bays is a round-headed panel with the painted figure of a woman (probably Peace and Justice) seated on a pedestal; the pedestals below the columns are painted with female figures and a group of dancers; the enriched panels between the pedestals are painted and have in the middle of each a small medallion painted with the heads of James I and Charles I; the painting on the E. fireplace differs slightly from those on the western one; in the angle of the room, on the middle of the side walls and above the N. doorway, are carved cartouches, surmounted by coronets and painted with the following shields-of-arms, etc.—(a) Rich impaling Cope, (b) Rich quartering Baldry, (c) the wyvern crest of Rich, surrounded by a garter, (d) Rich, (e) Rich impaling Cope, (f) the motto " DITIOR EST QUI SE", and (g) Cope. The room is painted a creamy stone colour, blue and gilt, and the decoration is attributed to Francis Clein.
The Long Gallery (100½ ft. by 17½ ft.), now the Library (Plate 123), has in the W. wall two original chimney-pieces alike in design and detail; the surround to the fireplace is enriched and the lintel carved with arabesque work; it is flanked by enriched and tapering Doric pilasters on either side which support an entablature with a convex corniceshelf; on the shelf are two medallions painted with cherubs; the overmantel is divided into two bays by fluted Ionic columns supporting an entablature enriched with strapwork and arabesque ornament; between the columns are four panels enclosing an elliptical cartouche painted with a female figure. In the passage next to the Library are two panels made up of fragments of glass including two shields-of-arms, a fleur-de-lis, two quarries with badges, a round box or trunk, and a wheatsheaf, two Dutch inscriptions and fragments; all 16th-century and of English work except the inscriptions. On the second floor one of the bedrooms is lined with early 17th-century panelling with two original doors, and in the attic is another door of the same date.
The Principal Staircase (Plate 124) is in three flights from floor to floor and rises from the ground to the second floor; the strings and handrail are moulded, the newels are square and rusticated and have shaped and pierced pendants and the balusters are in the form of rusticated piers with raking capitals and bases and support small arches with shaped key-blocks; the newels were originally surmounted by finials, but only one, on the second floor, remains. On the first-floor landing, the doorway to the Gilt Room has a moulded frame and is flanked by Ionic pilasters, standing on pedestals and supporting an ornamental entablature; the doorway on the N. side is similar but has no pilasters.
The Gate Piers (Plate 125) in the garden near the E. side of the house are of Portland stone, and were built from the designs of Inigo Jones by Nicholas Stone in 1629; each pier has on the S. side two attached Doric columns, standing on panelled pedestals and supporting an entablature and pediment; between the columns is a semi-circular niche surmounted by a plain recessed panel and a carved cartouche and coronet; above each pediment is a pedestal with a carved griffin, the one holding a shield of the arms of Rich impaling Cope and the other Rich quartering Cope, and the cartouches above the niches are carved with the same shields; the N. sides of the piers are similar to the S. sides but have pilasters in place of columns.
At the W. end of the formal garden, to the W. of the house, is a range of round brick arches, partly of the 17th century, but much repaired with modern brick. They formed part of the old stables, probably those built in 1638–40.
(4) Kensington Square. Houses, Nos. 11 and 12, at E. end of S. side of the square, 300 yards S.S.E. of the parish church, are of three storeys with attics and basements; the walls are of brick and the roofs are tiled. They were built in 1700, each on a rectangular plan with small blocks projecting on the S. The front wall of each house has been covered with stucco up to the level of the first floor and the windows have modern stucco architraves; between the storeys are projecting bands and, at the eaves, is an enriched modillioned cornice; the attics are lighted by dormer-windows with moulded cornices and pediments; the doorway to No. 11 has an enriched coved hood supported on carved brackets. Inside the building many of the rooms are panelled and retain their original coved or moulded cornices. The staircase to No. 11 is original and has moulded string and handrail, square newels and turned balusters, and the staircase to No. 12 is similar, but the ends of the steps of the lower flights have carved brackets.
Some of the other houses in the square are probably of about the same date but, with the exception of those described above, they have been so extensively altered both internally and externally as to present no original features.
(5) Houses, Nos. 10 and 12, Holland Street, on N. side of road, 100 yards N. of the parish church, are of three storeys with cellars. They were built early in the 18th century but have since been altered and the ground-floors have been converted into modern shops. The front elevation has a projecting brick band at the level of the second floor and a brick parapet; the groundfloors have modern shop-fronts, but, above, the windows have flat brick arches and No. 10 retains its old flush frames. Inside the buildings many of the rooms retain their original panelling. No. 10 has an early 18th-century staircase with moulded string and handrail, turned balusters, and newels in the form of small Doric columns.
(6) Row of Five Cottages, Nos. 8–12, King Street, on W. side of road, 200 yards S. of the parish church, are of two storeys with cellars; the walls are of brick and the roofs are tiled. They were built early in the 18th century but have since been restored and altered. The front windows to Nos. 8–12 have segmental-heads and those to Nos. 11 and 12 have flat arches; some of the windows retain their old frames.