DiCamillo Companion
England

Kew Palace (The Dutch House)

  • Earlier Houses: The undercroft of an earlier 16th century house was incorporated into the current house.

    Built / Designed For: Samuel Fortrey

    House & Family History: Kew Palace is the only significant remaining building of a large complex of royal buildings that once existed here. Built in 1631 by Samuel Fortrey, a London merchant of Flemish ancestry, Kew began life as a modest country house of red brick with curved Dutch gables. Fortrey was part of a cosmopolitan and limited movement that disdained the Tudor architecture style that was then popular, but also found the rising Palladian style too cold and severe. Kew Palace and other buildings like it (Swakeleys, Uxbridge, and Cromwell House, Highgate) blended the Renaissance with Inigo Jones, a little panache, and the architectural flavor of the Low Countries. Kew Palace was first used by the royal family in 1728; the House was purchased by George III in 1781 as an annex to The White House. His wife, Queen Charlotte, died here in 1818, George IV was born at Kew, and George III recuperated from his devastating bouts of porphyria (referred to at the time as bouts of insanity) at Kew Palace, the smallest of England's royal palaces. The spiral staircase from the Palace is now installed in Cheekwood, built in the 1930s in the suburbs of Nashville, Tennessee, and called "one of the last great manor houses built in the United States." Cheekwood today houses the Cheekwood Museum of Art. In 2003 Kew Palace received a £1.5 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund toward the project to conserve and reopen the Palace to the public. On April 21, 2006 Queen Elizabeth II and the royal family celebrated the queen's 80th birthday with a fireworks display above the Palace and then dinned in the King's Drawing Room. On April 27, 2006, the Palace reopened to the public following a decade-long £6.6 million conservation and representation project. A famous 1733 musical portrait that shows Frederick, Prince of Wales, and his three eldest sisters features The Dutch House. Painted by the prince's librarian and art agent, Philippe Mercier, the portrait shows the Prince of Wales playing the cello, Princess Anne at the harpsichord, Princess Caroline playing the lute, and Princess Amelia reading from Milton. There are three known versions of the painting, two of which show The Dutch House in the background (National Portrait Gallery and the National Trust), and a third version, in the Royal Collection, that shows the same group in an unknown interior. In the early 19th century James Wyatt designed the Castellated Palace for George III.

  • Garden & Outbuildings: The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (see "Images" section), are listed as a World Heritage Site by the United Nations.

  • Architect: William Oldham Chambers

    Date: 1762
    Designed: The Great Pagoda

    View all houses

    Architect: James Wyatt

    Date: 1801-11
    Designed: Castellated Palace (demolished) for George III

    View all houses

    Architect: Thomas Hardwick

    Date: 1824-27
    Designed: Lodges (demolished) for George IV

    View all houses

    Architect: William Eden Nesfield

    Date: 1866
    Designed: Lodge for Kew Gardens

    View all houses
  • Title: Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, A - HARDBACK
    Author: Colvin, Howard
    Year Published: 2008
    Reference: pgs. 482, 1188
    Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
    ISBN: 9780300125085
    Book Type: Hardback

    Title: Newsletter of the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain
    Author: NA
    Year Published: NA
    Reference: No. 83, Autumn 2004, pg. 8
    Publisher: UK: The Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain
    ISBN: NA
    Book Type: Magazine

    Title: Country Life (magazine)
    Author: NA
    Year Published: NA
    Reference: Jul 17, 2003, pg. 57
    Publisher: London: TI Media
    ISBN: NA
    Book Type: Magazine

    Title: Victorian Country House, The
    Author: Girouard, Mark
    Year Published: 1990
    Reference: pg. 321
    Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
    ISBN: 0300034725
    Book Type: Softback

    Title: Living By Design: Leslie Cheek and the Arts
    Author: Rouse, Parke, Jr.
    Year Published: 1985
    Reference: pgs. 40-42
    Publisher: Virginia: The College of William and Mary
    ISBN: 0961567007
    Book Type: Hardback

  • House Listed: Grade I

    Park Listed: Grade I

  • "Kew Palace Revealed" (2006 - BBC TV documentary on the Palace's restoration).
  • Past Seat of: SEATED AT EARLIER HOUSE: Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester, 16th century. SEATED AT CURRENT HOUSE: Samuel Fortrey (Forterie), 1631-81. Sir Richard Levett, 1697-1711. Queen Caroline of Brandenburg-Ansbach, consort of George II, 1720s. King George III and Queen Charlotte, 18th century.

    Current Ownership Type: The Crown / Royal Family

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Visitor Attraction

    Ownership Details: Kew Palace is a crown property administered by Historic Royal Palaces. The gardens, in which the Palace is located, are administered by Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. You pay to enter the Gardens and then pay again to access the Palace.

  • House Open to Public: Yes

    Phone: 02031-666-000

    Fax: HOUSE: 02083-325-197. GARDENS: 02083-325-197

    Email: kewpalace@hrp.org.uk

    Website: http://www.hrp.org.uk

    Historic Houses Member: No