In honour of 100 years of heritage protection, English Heritage is hosting a black tie dinner on 4 December, which the Prince of Wales will be attending.
Along with the centenary celebration, the dinner will commemorate the reopening of Kenwood House. Home to one of the country’s internationally recognised and significant art collections, the historic Kenwood House “has recently undergone a £5.95m Heritage Lottery Fund supported repair and conservation programme” say Clarence House.
Sir Laurie Magnus Chairman of English Heritage and Dr Simon Thurley, Chief Executive will meet Prince Charles upon his arrival, and afterwards he will attend the reception for patrons of English Heritage.
Charles will tour the revamped rooms that were furnished in 18th century style, the restored Robert Adam rooms and view the art collection of Kenwood House. He will also be introduced to some of the staff and volunteers who were part of the restoration.
A celebratory speech to honour the 100 year milestone will be presented by Charles to the 200 dinner guests.
“Kenwood House is one of the great buildings of Britain and one of London’s most special places,” commented Simon Thurley, Chief Executive of English Heritage, on the English Heritage website. “It combines one of the nation’s greatest collections of art set in now painstakingly restored historic interiors. Thanks to our restoration, it once more has the feel of an 18th century gentleman’s residence. We want people to experience Kenwood as a home, to sit back and enjoy the views, both inside and outside the house,” concluded Thurley.
In 1913 The Ancient Monuments Consolidation and Amendments Act acknowledged that whatever remnants of history are left behind, shall be protected and cherished.
“English Heritage’s origins stretch back to this Act which from Stonehenge to Dover Castle to Kenwood effectively established the National Heritage Collection and created many of the powers used to safeguard the country’s unique legacy of historic buildings, monuments and landscapes,” noted Clarence House.
English Heritage advises the Government and local authorities on historic locations and is the caretaker and facilitator of the monuments and historic sites, such as Kenwood House, that comprise the National Heritage Collection.
Kenwood House was closed in 2011 to undergo the restoration programme. It reopened to the public on 28 November.
Robert Adam, whose rooms Charles will tour, remodelled Kenwood from 1764-1779. He created a grandiose home for the first Earl of Mansfield.
Edward Cecil Guinness, the first Earl of Iveagh and of brewing fame, purchased the house in 1925. Guinness desired a place for his one of a kind painting and furniture collection. Upon his death in 1927, Guinness and Kenwood’s art collection which contained masterpieces by Vermeer, Gainsborough and Rembrandt were left to the British nation.
Charles is well known as a champion for the preservation and celebration of English heritage. One just needs to look at his years of work on the restoration of Highgrove or Dumfries House to understand.