Tour of the house
Remains much as the Tudor builders left it. Although, there have been modest changes to windows and chimneys over the years.
Inside, Kentwell presents an interesting mix of periods within what is still an essentially Tudor layout.
The West Wing
Originally added to provide service and lodging accommodation is least altered. The Great Kitchen - with huge fireplace, stove and faggot ovens; the Panelled Bedchamber, with its Ante-room and Garderobe (which still drains into the Moat); and a fine timber-framed and brick-lined Corridor.
The Centre Block
Is very Gothick, the work of Thomas Hopper in the 1820s, and very striking. The rich red of the Jacobethan Dining Room - a perfect cube and a Hopper tour de force - formed out of the original Pantry & Buttery; via Hopper's Baronial Style Great Hall with mock hammer beam roof, fine stained glass, Screens' Passage and Minstrels' Gallery; to the Parlour, somewhat Georgianized by Hopper and now bearing the Breughel Style Four Seasons ceiling painted by Paul Dufficey.
The East Wing
Houses the main oak Stair of about 1675, the New Library/Billiard Room created by Hopper with its Green Man detailing, now echoed by new bookcases, and the Old Library/Drawing Room very much a classical room with many Hopper features, most noticeably the scagliola screen.
The most striking feature is the State Bedroom (created by Hopper for a visit by the then Duke of York) and its Boudoir; two rooms formed out of the original Tudor Great Chamber. Each has been 'improved' by the Phillipses. The Bedroom has had many of Hopper's features re-instated, including Hopper's rich wall paper which has been re-printed from a surviving fragment. The transformation of his Boudoir into a Roman style Bathroom featuring Pompeian & Herculaneum influenced murals by Paul Dufficey and a Byzantine inspired floorcloth painted by Sophie Sarin, has even outdone Hopper.
Each of the other Bedrooms on view has its own Phillips created theme: Chinese, in one case, with a large screen commissioned from China hiding the elements of a bathroom; Jacobethan in the next and Victorian in another emphasizing its reputation as the haunted room.
The Moat House
Kentwell's (just) separate Service Building dates from about 1500. This is a rare survivor, in substance little altered. It houses the Dairy, Bakehouse & Brewhouse with Solar above completely decorated by Simon Fleming in the 1980s in a late 15th Century style. Time and the attention of visitors have so distressed it that it now appears as if it had been executed then.
Hall & Gardens
The House and Gardens are now closed for this year. Please check again in the New Year for opening dates.
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