Monday, 21 August 2017

Sunday Morning at Kenwood House

A week ago on Sunday I had an early morning walk around the
beautiful grounds of Kenwood in Hampstead. And being such a
fine and sunny morning I was able to take a few pictures.
But more importantly I wanted to try and make another short
video (below).
And while I was there I had another look around inside the
actual Kenwood House.
Surprisingly many of the rooms were a little dark with many of
the window blinds pulled down. I can only imagine that it was
probably for the protection of the valuable paintings and artifacts
on display as it was a very sunny morning.

For more pictures of all the rooms inside the House you can see them
in my first posting of Kenwood House HERE.

Below is a short video I made on that Sunday morning visit.

This is the view you get of the open area of Kenwood once you pass through
the Kenwood Ivy tunnel. And during the days of the famous Kenwood
Concerts this would be your first view of the throngs of crowds waiting
for the Saturday night performances to begin.
And it was on the far side of the pond where the stage area was set up.
And on nights when fireworks were set off, the water created some dramatic
The position and the noise of the stage area became quite a controversy
with locals living right behind it starting to complain, eventually forming
a campaign group which included our very own Alf Garnett, actor
Warren Mitchell who was the most vociferous. In the end they got what they
wanted and the permanent stage was dismantled and set up much further
to the other end of the Kenwood open space.

In June 2008 Brian Wilson came to London and performed at Kenwood on
a spectacular Summer evening and sung many Beach Boy classics. It almost
felt like a private show in my backgarden being that I don't live that far
from Kenwood and Hampstead Heath. After that concert I was literally
buzzing for a whole week.
But sadly the concerts ended a few years later and I've not read about any plans
to have them back again.
It seems like every time outdoor events in London become too popular,
then that usually secures it's demise.

Above: Brian Wilson performing at Kenwood in 2008.


  1. It's rather a busy place. Your remark about events becoming too successful makes me think of the problem that Notting Hill Carnival has become. One suburb near us holds the annual St Kilda Festival. It used to be a small event embraced by locals but now locals try to get away on the main day, Sunday, as tens of thousands turn up.

    1. Andrew, It certainly was busy by the time I left Kenwood. We Brits start panicking once the clock starts ticking away with the last throes of Summer around the corner.
      Your ever growing St Kilda Festival sounds just like the story of our Hampstead Christmas Village Festival. It simply became too big... maybe something to do with Hampstead celebrities switching on the festive lights. Everyone wanted to come along and see them. Then eventually due to the large crowds the annual event was cancelled.

      Yes Notting Hill coming soon. Quite a few locals are dreading it. I didn't realize until seeing the news last year in how many of the nearby properties are all boarded up. Many of them want it held at somewhere like Hyde Park.

      And last year our evening newspaper The Evening Standard reported on several robberies as well as stabbings, and yet the BBC weren't interested on reporting about it. It would take a near riot for them to have it mentioned on their news program.

  2. You show us so much of Hampstead yet I've never been there during my handful of visits to London. Will have to rectify that during my next visit. As for Cornwall, I feel as though I've seen it all. There is a winery on the outskirts of Brisbane a couple of miles from my brother's house which hosts the occasional musical event. He never goes as he can hear it from his place. - Ian

  3. Ian, well there's still lots more of West Cornwall to explore. My partner holds me back from exploring the area. Which is why I always enjoyed it more when going alone. There are days when we cant get out of the holiday flat until mid afternoon. But on my own I would be out and about each early morning. It also takes a great effort to get him to join me on the boat trip to the Islands (Scilly Isles), a trip that requires an early start.

    I always remember that when the original Kenwood stage was on the pond, the sound would fluctuate with the wind, almost blowing the sound around. I once went to a performance of the opera Othello during a rain storm. It was the perfect setting as there is actually a storm in act one. But they pulled the plug on it and sent us home.
    But I do have to pinch myself living here. I've lived in worse parts of London. But this is my home area now.

  4. Blow, blow, thou winter wind,
    Thou art not so unkind
    As man’s ingratitude.

    As You Like It - Act 2, Scene VII. - Ian by way of Bill Shakespeare.