Holland House library after an air raid BB83_04456
HOLLAND HOUSE, Kensington, London. An interior view of the bombed library at Holland House with readers apparently choosing books regardless of the damage. Photographed in 1940. The House was heavily bombed during World War II and remained derelict until 1952 when parts of the remains were preserved.
Holland House, originally known as Cope Castle, was a great house in Kensington in London, situated in what is now Holland Park. Created in 1605 in the Elizabethan or Jacobean style for the diplomat Sir Walter Cope, the building later passed to the powerful Rich family, then the Fox family, under whose ownership it became a noted gathering-place for Whigs in the 19th century. The house was largely destroyed by German firebombing during the Blitz in 1940; today only the east wing and some ruins of the ground floor still remain.
In 1940, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth attended the last great ball held at the house. A few weeks later, on 7 September, the German bombing raids on London that would come to be known as the Blitz began. During the night of 27 September, Holland House was hit by twenty-two incendiary bombs during a ten-hour raid. The house was largely destroyed, with only the east wing, and, miraculously, almost all of the library remaining undamaged. Surviving volumes included the sixteenth-century Boxer Codex.
Holland House was granted Grade I listed building status in 1949, under the auspices of the Town and Country Planning Act 1947; the Act sought to identify and preserve buildings of special historic importance, prompted by the damage caused by wartime bombing. The building remained a burned-out ruin until 1952, when its owner, Giles Fox-Strangways, 6th Earl of Ilchester, sold it to the London County Council (LCC). The remains of the building passed from the LCC to its successor, the Greater London Council (GLC) in 1965, and upon the dissolution of the GLC in 1986 to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
Today, the remains of Holland House form a backdrop for the open air Holland Park Theatre, home of Opera Holland Park. The YHA (England and Wales) "London Holland Park" youth hostel is now located in the house. The Orangery is now an exhibition and function space, with the adjoining former Summer Ballroom now a restaurant, The Belvedere. The former ice house is now a gallery space
© Historic England Archive
HMS Warspite EAW005978
HMS WARSPITE, Prussia Cove, Cornwall. Warspite was launched in 1913 and saw action with the Royal Navy at the Battle of Jutland in 1916. During the second world war she saw service off Norway, Italy, in the Indian Ocean, Sicily and Normandy. Plagued by steering problems almost from the outset this Queen Elizabeth class battleship was finally sold for scrap in 1947. Photographed here in May 1947, she is seen here having run her anchor during a storm and run aground while on her way to be broken up. Aerofilms Collection (see Links)
© Historic England
Richard Feynman, caricature C015/6715
Richard Feynman (1918-1988). Caricature of the American theoretical physicist Richard Phillips Feynman. As a young man, Feynman worked on the American atomic bomb project at Los Alamos. In the late 1940s, he developed the theory of quantum electrodynamics (QED), the quantum mechanical view of the interaction of particles subject to the electromagnetic force. He shared the 1965 Nobel Prize for Physics for this work. Feynman was a popular lecturer, a colourful character and a renowned entertainer
© GARY BROWN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY