Finchcocks is a fine early Georgian manor in a beautiful unspoilt setting. It is noted for its outstanding brickwork, with a dramatic front elevation attributed to Thomas Archer. Named after the family who lived on the site in the 13th century, the present house was built in 1725 for the barrister Edward Bathurst, kinsman to Earl Bathurst. Despite having changed hands many times, it has suffered remarkably little alteration and retains most of its original features.
In 1970 Finchcocks was acquired by Richard Burnett, leading exponent of the early piano, and it now houses his magnificent collection of some ninety historical keyboard instruments: chamber organs, virginals, harpsichords, clavichords and a wide range of early pianos. About thirty-five of these are fully restored, together with a number of barrel organs, musical boxes and other mechanical instruments. Finchcocks is now a musical centre of international repute, and many events take place there. The house, with its high ceilings and oak panelling, provides an ideal setting for music performed on period instruments.
Pictures and Prints
There is also a fascinating collection of musical pictures and prints, and a special exhibition on the eighteenth-century Pleasure Gardens such as Vauxhall and Ranelagh.
The thirteen acres of grounds include parkland to the front of the House. The garden to the rear is now fully restored, with mature shrub borders, wide lawns, an orchard with spring bulbs, and a beautiful walled garden, planted with a circle of whitebeams and pergolas for climbers. The grounds offer extensive views over the Kentish landscape of park, farmland and hop-gardens.
Informal and entertaining demonstration/recitals on the period keyboard instruments, presented by professional musicians, often with additional guest artists. No booking is needed except for groups of more than 20 people. If you would like to play some of the instruments, please ask at the entrance gate. Teas in the cellar restaurant available all afternoon.
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