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Featured Print

Holland House library after an air raid BB83_04456

HOLLAND HOUSE, Kensington, London. An interior view of the bombed library at Holland House with readers apparently choosing books regardless of the damage. Photographed in 1940. The House was heavily bombed during World War II and remained derelict until 1952 when parts of the remains were preserved.
Holland House, originally known as Cope Castle, was a great house in Kensington in London, situated in what is now Holland Park. Created in 1605 in the Elizabethan or Jacobean style for the diplomat Sir Walter Cope, the building later passed to the powerful Rich family, then the Fox family, under whose ownership it became a noted gathering-place for Whigs in the 19th century. The house was largely destroyed by German firebombing during the Blitz in 1940; today only the east wing and some ruins of the ground floor still remain.
In 1940, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth attended the last great ball held at the house. A few weeks later, on 7 September, the German bombing raids on London that would come to be known as the Blitz began. During the night of 27 September, Holland House was hit by twenty-two incendiary bombs during a ten-hour raid. The house was largely destroyed, with only the east wing, and, miraculously, almost all of the library remaining undamaged. Surviving volumes included the sixteenth-century Boxer Codex.
Holland House was granted Grade I listed building status in 1949, under the auspices of the Town and Country Planning Act 1947; the Act sought to identify and preserve buildings of special historic importance, prompted by the damage caused by wartime bombing. The building remained a burned-out ruin until 1952, when its owner, Giles Fox-Strangways, 6th Earl of Ilchester, sold it to the London County Council (LCC). The remains of the building passed from the LCC to its successor, the Greater London Council (GLC) in 1965, and upon the dissolution of the GLC in 1986 to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
Today, the remains of Holland House form a backdrop for the open air Holland Park Theatre, home of Opera Holland Park. The YHA (England and Wales) "London Holland Park" youth hostel is now located in the house. The Orangery is now an exhibition and function space, with the adjoining former Summer Ballroom now a restaurant, The Belvedere. The former ice house is now a gallery space.

© Historic England Archive

Featured Print

Lords Cricket Ground 24418_024

LORDS CRICKET GROUND, St Johns Wood, London. Founded on this site in 1814 the "Home of Cricket" is owned by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), and is host to Middlesex County Cricket and the England and Wales Cricket Board. The match in progress is the first day of Middlesex versus Hampshire in the County Championship. Photographed 8th August 2006.

© Historic England

Featured Print

Trent Bridge, Nottingham 20520_009

TRENT BRIDGE CRICKET GROUND, Nottingham. Trent Bridge was first used for cricket in 1838 and is the third oldest cricket ground in the world. It is the home of Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club. The first test match at Trent Bridge between England and Australia in 1899 ended in a draw. Since then it has hosted numerous Test matches as well as one-day and Twenty20 international matches. From the 1860s until 1910 it was also used for staging football matches by the town's two team - Notts County and Nottingham Forest. These two clubs later moved to Meadow Lane and the City Ground respectively, both of which are visible in this shot.

© Historic England