Hampstead Heath

Home   Ponds   Winter    Kenwood  Rhododendrons Barrow  Lauderdale House Highgate Cemetery   Info

The Rhododendrons at Kenwood

On the side of Kenwood house, is a lawn (once formal gardens) that are surrounded by the most magnificent rhododendrons. In the spring they make a most magnificent spectacle.

Click on the image for a larger photo



At the centre of the rhododendron clump is this fine statue by Barbara hepworth.


It is entitled 'Empyrean' and was sculpted in 1953. It was commissioned by the London County Council, and was sculpted at a time when she was at the height of her powers.


Eric Robinson, geologist extraordinaire, writes:

The name literally means “Heavenly stone” and was sculpted by Hepworth in her characteristically abstract style in 1953.

The sculpture is made of Carboniferous Limestone probably from Derbyshire (Hopton Wood Stone from Cromford in Derbyshire was often chosen by Barbara Hepworth for her outdoor work). The most interesting feature of this rock, however, is its fossil content.
Carboniferous Limestone is a hard, grey crystalline and well-jointed rock that contains numerous fossils including corals, crinoids and brachiopods. These indicate that the rock formed in a warm, clear sea suggesting that Britain once lay in warmer latitudes. Carboniferous limestone is predominant in the Peak District and Yorkshire Dales where it forms a distinctive landscape known as karst.

Although no corals are visible in the sculpture, numerous crinoids and brachiopods can be seen.



This is a view from the rhododendron shrubbery back to the side of Kenwood House. The magnificent South front is to the right, the entrance to the left.


Adjacent to the rhododendrons are banks of other flowers: here is a sample, in magnificent profusion.


P.S. I don't understand flowers. If you can tell me anything about these flowers, I would be most grateful if you could email me at Webmaster


Back to Kenwood