Building Name

Kenwood Towers (Caen Wood Towers) Hampstead Lane Highgate London N6

1870 - 1872
Hampstead Lane
Highgate, London N6
Greater London, England
E Brooke of Manchester
New build
Jackson and Shaw

Initially called Kenwood Towers but renamed during the course of construction, the house was designed by Salomons in partnership with John Philpot Jones and built for Edward Brooke on the site of Fitzroy Farm and Dufferin Lodge at Highgate. Brooke was a drysalter and chemical manufacturer who had already commissioned Salomons to build a warehouse on Portland Street, Manchester in 1866. He had been nominated by the Lord Mayor to be Sheriff of London in the next election and appears to have been anxious to create an aura of apparent historical lineage.  Building News commented on the drawing exhibited at the Royal Academy - No. 745, Kenwood Tower, Highgate, now erecting for E. Brooke, Esq., by Messrs Salomons and Jones, is a very ordinary Elizabethan jumble of pseudo Gothic outline and pseudo Classic details, which, if it did not here seek architectural criticism, might otherwise inoffensively fall beneath it if the utilitarian wants of its owner are duly fulfilled. [Building News 13 May 1870 p351 - Architecture at the Royal Academy]

Externally, the house was constructed of Loughborough red facing bricks with recessed black mortar joints and rubbed Reading red brick quoins. Stone dressings were of Doulton freestone while the roof was covered with ornamental red and grey tiles.  Ornamental chimney stacks in a variety of patterns replicating historical examples using small moulded bricks supplied by Mr Gunton of Cossey near Norwich. All internal woodwork on the ground floor was wainscot with pitch pine to the bedroom floors. Drawing room ceiling by Pollit of Manchester. Walls to the morning room were lined with old Cordova leather brought from a house in Antwerp. On either side of the dining room chimney piece were windows looking into a fernery complete with fountains. Off the dining room was a picture gallery leading to a conservatory 80 feet long in ironwork. At the end of the conservatory was a pavilion with decorative roof covered with ornamental patterned zinc topped with a weather vane depicting Mercury 50 feet above the ground. The floors of the conservatory, pavilion and verandah were laid with ornamental tiles supplied by Simpson & Sons of the Strand.  Upper parts of the ground floor windows were filled with stained glass by Heaton Butler and Byrne, their subjects reflecting the function of each room. The window to the principal stair featured the armorial bearings of the Brooke family in stained glass.

In 1977 the building was still standing but in a much altered form. Known as Athlone House, it was owned by the Middlesex Hospital.

Reference    Builder 7 May 1870 Page 374 (tenders)   
Reference    The Builder. 18 June 1870 Page 485-7. Plans and perspective of main elevation
Reference    The Builder 1 June 1872. Page 429 - perspective of garden side