A Visit To Fenton House

Friday was a glorious sunny day, unusually hot day for late August, and I felt the need to get out and about with my camera.  As a landscape photographer, I am always looking for inspiration for projects and to this end, I decided to visit the local National Trust properties and Fenton House is my first in London.

Fenton House, built in 1693 as a merchant’s home, is easy to get to, just up the hill from Hampstead Tube Station. I read that it has a panoramic view over London from the attic balcony, but unfortunately that was not on offer at the time of my visit, so I concentrated on viewing the wide selection of musical instruments, pottery and incredible tapestries on display. I will make another visit to take a picture from the balcony.

One of the many harpsichords was being played as I wandered around, which leant atmosphere to my visit, but I was particularly drawn to the beauty of the harps on display.

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The last owner of the house, Lady Katherine Binning, bought it  in 1936 and filled it with her highly decorative collections of 18th century porcelain. These are displayed in an extensive range of cabinets  but this lone piece on a shelf caught my eye.

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I spent considerable time looking at the tapestry pictures and hangings, and imagining the hours and concentration that went in to producing such fine beautiful work. The one above the bed was my favourite.

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The gardens looked beautiful in the sun, they are laid out in different sections, with croquet and games on the lawn for adults and children to play. The flower beds were impressive and gardens enthusiasts would enjoy an afternoon here.

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In one section of the gardens is a 300 year old orchard and each September an Apple Weekend is held here when visitors can taste a variety of old English apples and drink cider, juice and teas made from the fruit grown in the orchard.

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Leaving the garden, I looked back and my eye caught a lone statue of a shepherd, cast in lead by John Cheere in 1735, which stood out against the  dark background of the hedge at the end of the lawn.

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I feel that this project on National Trust properties will prove to be both enjoyable and provide  a good source of  photographs.

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