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Holland House library after an air raid BB83_04456
Holland House library after an air raid BB83_04456
Jervas - Elizabeth and Henrietta Finch J030048
Jervas - Elizabeth and Henrietta Finch J030048
Chinoiserie wallpaper J050121
Chinoiserie wallpaper J050121
Mengs - Infant Christ and St Anthony of Padua K080008
Mengs - Infant Christ and St Anthony of Padua K080008
Site of Wimbledon tennis 24441_006
Site of Wimbledon tennis 24441_006
Chinoiserie wallpaper J050124
Chinoiserie wallpaper J050124
Lawrence - Duke of Wellington J040044
Lawrence - Duke of Wellington J040044
Upton Park, West Ham 26448_011
Upton Park, West Ham 26448_011
Stencil graffiti by Banksy N070361
Stencil graffiti by Banksy N070361
Stamford Bridge, Chelsea 24410_016
Stamford Bridge, Chelsea 24410_016
Richmond - Charles Darwin J980057
Richmond - Charles Darwin J980057
Steep Street Bristol OP08887
Steep Street Bristol OP08887
Holland House library after an air raid BB83_04456 Featured Image

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

Evstafieff - A R Wallace J970179
Evstafieff - A R Wallace J970179
Stencil graffiti by Banksy N070360
Stencil graffiti by Banksy N070360
Pickering Castle J850151
Pickering Castle J850151
Nunney Castle N061017
Nunney Castle N061017
Charles Darwin K980123
Charles Darwin K980123
Janet - Royal Family in the Dining Room at Osborne House K020862
Janet - Royal Family in the Dining Room at Osborne House K020862
Anne Elizabeth Darwin N990003
Anne Elizabeth Darwin N990003
Glastonbury Tor IC141_002
Glastonbury Tor IC141_002
Battle of Hastings IC008_018
Battle of Hastings IC008_018
Old Wardour Castle in the Middle Ages J990030
Old Wardour Castle in the Middle Ages J990030
Hadrians Wall J940488
Hadrians Wall J940488
Charles Darwin and his son N990002
Charles Darwin and his son N990002
Evstafieff - A R Wallace J970179 Featured Image

Evstafieff - A R Wallace J970179

DOWN HOUSE, Kent. "A R Wallace" by Victor Evstafieff ( Eustaphieff, Evstafiev ). Alfred Russel Wallace was a proponent of natural selection whose paper on the subject (1858) prompted Darwin to publish "On the Origin of Species" (1859). Wallace was a keen supporter of Darwin's theory and later published "Darwinism" (1889)

© Historic England

Van Dyck - Henrietta of Lorraine J920322
Van Dyck - Henrietta of Lorraine J920322
Gloucester Cathedral OP11081
Gloucester Cathedral OP11081
French Lancer J840005
French Lancer J840005
Battle of Waterloo map J020089
Battle of Waterloo map J020089
Canova - Bust of Napoleon N080945
Canova - Bust of Napoleon N080945
Gormley - Angel of the North DP059218
Gormley - Angel of the North DP059218
Emirates Stadium, Arsenal 24985_021
Emirates Stadium, Arsenal 24985_021
Goodison Park, Everton EAW162060
Goodison Park, Everton EAW162060
Sutton Hoo ship burial J910330
Sutton Hoo ship burial J910330
Darwins Microscope J970114
Darwins Microscope J970114
Wilkin - Battle of Hastings K021254
Wilkin - Battle of Hastings K021254
Van Ostade - Courtyard of an inn... N070679
Van Ostade - Courtyard of an inn... N070679
French Lancer J840005 Featured Image

French Lancer J840005

Engraving of a French Napoleonic soldier produced in Paris. Lancer of the French Imperial Guard. In 1815 at the Battle of Waterloo this unit formed part of General Lefebvre-Desnouettes Guard Light Cavalry Division, which took part in Marshal Ney's massed cavalry attack on the British lines. They had also been engaged at the Battle of Quatre Bras on 16th June as scouts ahead of Marshal Ney's main body

© Historic England

Dog AA086653
Dog AA086653
Queen Elizabeth I and Robert Dudley J950051
Queen Elizabeth I and Robert Dudley J950051
William the Conqueror J980082
William the Conqueror J980082
Osborne House, Durbar Room, 1892. K010285
Osborne House, Durbar Room, 1892. K010285
Sharples - Charles Darwin (aged six) and Catherine K971925
Sharples - Charles Darwin (aged six) and Catherine K971925
Henry VIII J010074
Henry VIII J010074
Exeter Cathedral 27886_016
Exeter Cathedral 27886_016
Hand bells DP130731
Hand bells DP130731
Sleeping angel statue, Highgate Cemetery AA073906
Sleeping angel statue, Highgate Cemetery AA073906
St Pancras Hotel DD59_00075
St Pancras Hotel DD59_00075
Selhurst Park, Crystal Palace EAW654371
Selhurst Park, Crystal Palace EAW654371
Gertrude Jekyll c.1901 OP01502
Gertrude Jekyll c.1901 OP01502