Fenton House is a charming Georgian house, built in around 1686 by William Eades, the son of a bricklayer. It was bequeathed to the National Trust by Katherine Salting (1871–1952), Lady Binning, niece of the great collector George Salting (1835–1909), who left most of his Old Master paintings to the National Gallery. Katherine had bought it in 1936, but let it to tenants until she moved in 1939. The Isenbrandt, ‘A Donor with Saint Christopher and the Christ Child’ (possibly part of a diptych), and some of the porcelain, came from her uncle. The bulk of what she bequeathed however came from her mother, his sister-in-law, Mrs William Salting, née Millicent Browne (d.1924), who was a collector in her own right. Major Benton Fletcher gave the musical instruments and a few related pictures, particularly the delicate painting of ‘Saint Cecilia Playing the Organ’, to the National Trust in 1937 with Old Devonshire House, Bloomsbury, and these were installed in Fenton House in 1952. A few of the paintings by William Nicholson that were on loan from the sons of his patron, T. W. Bacon (1873–1950), have remained. Pictures, including a study of ‘Cumulus Clouds over a Landscape’ (1822), by the former resident of Well Walk, John Constable and other twentieth-century oils, from the estate of the actor and long-time resident of Flask Walk, Peter Barkworth (1929–2006), are a welcome delight.
National Trust, Fenton House
Hampstead Grove, Hampstead, London, Greater London NW3 6SP England
020 7435 3471http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/fenton-house/
Please remember to double-check the opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit