Picture gallery: Scaffolding comes down to reveal Kenwood House to public once more

Kenwood Summer Garden Fete 04.08.13. Children play in a big pile of straw on the pasture ground, pic

Kenwood Summer Garden Fete 04.08.13. Children play in a big pile of straw on the pasture ground, pictured Monty aged 3 - Credit: Archant

Thousands flocked to Kenwood this weekend for a summer fete that was staged to celebrate the removal of scaffolding from the main house and the restoration of the Kenwood Dairy.

Some 7,000 people attended the free festival across Saturday and Sunday and enjoyed a packed schedule of activities and entertainment that included a cake bake-off contest, the Kenwoof Dog Show, a pop-up theatre, butter making demonstrations and even a butchery master-class.

There was also a farmers’ market, photography workshop, music and dancing, and horse and cart rides – while cattle were returned to the land in front of the dairy for the first time in about 60 years.

Organiser Charlotte Kemp, English Heritage’s general manager at Kenwood House, said: “It was absolutely fantastic.

“We welcomed about 7,000 visitors over the weekend, which was above our expectations and helped by the nice weather.

“We really thought it was important to engage the local community and excite them about Kenwood re-opening.”

Kenwood House has been shrouded in scaffolding since June last year, as part of a £6million conservation programme that has seen the 18th century building’s roof and facades repaired.

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The scaffolding was removed ahead of the fete and the house is due to fully re-open in November.

Meanwhile, the dairy cottage to the west of Kenwood House has been completely restored and will be brought back into use for the first time in decades, as a base for Hampstead Heath’s community and voluntary groups.

Ms Kemp added: “It was nice to be able to invite people down to marvel at the newly restored exterior [of Kenwood House], and to remind them that the estate is still open and they’re welcome to come and enjoy it.

“It was such a success we hope to make it an annual event.”

English Heritage is seeking volunteers for Kenwood House ahead of the re-opening in November.

Ms Kemp said about 50 people registered interest at the fete, but she is still keen to recruit more volunteers.

Visit www.english-heritage.org.uk/kenwood or call 020 8348 1286.