DiCamillo Companion

Kew Palace (The Dutch House)

  • Built / Designed For: Samuel Fortrey

    House & Family History: Kew Palace was built in 1631 by Samuel Fortrey, a London merchant of Dutch ancestry, as a country house of red brick with curved Dutch gables. Fortrey was part of a very cosmopolitan and limited movement of the time 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 there, 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.

  • Garden & Outbuildings: The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew are listed as a World Heritage Site by the United Nations.

  • Architect: William Eden Nesfield

    Date: 1866
    Designed: Lodge for Kew Gardens

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  • 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: Not Listed

  • "Kew Palace Revealed" (2006 - BBC TV documentary on the Palace's restoration).
  • Past Seat of: Samuel Fortrey, 17th century. King George III and Queen Charlotte, 18th century.

    Current Ownership Type: Historic Royal Palaces

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Visitor Attraction

    Ownership Details: Kew Palace is 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