Mounted on the original paper page from the album, with heading 'Benenden' at top and numbered 142 (143 on reverse). Slight tear to the top centre.
Watercolour. Image size, 17 x 13.5 inches. The initials FF, after the title, are presumably those of the artist.
The watercolour shows a view of the wooded park, taken from the interior of a rustic wooden summerhouse, with a shell ornamentation above, on the interior of the thatched roof.
Hemsted was a separate manor within the parish of Benenden, Kent and passed within many generations of the Guldeford family. It may have been rebuilt around the time of Queen Elizabeth's visit in the 1570s. It was sold to Admiral of the Fleet, Sir John Norris after 1719 and later to the Hodges family, in 1788.
At the time of the painting, which was extracted from an album used by several generations of the family at Hemsted and at Jennings, near Maidstone, the house was in the possession of Thomas Law Hodges. He was Liberal MP for Kent from 1830-32 and for West Kent from 1832 until the dissolution of Parliament in 1841; he was again elected in 1847 and sat until defeated in 1852. He died 14 May 1857. Hemsted House was subsequently sold and demolished by its new owner, Gathorne Hardy, later Lord Cranbrook, and replaced by a new building which is the basis for Benenden School, one of the top private girls' schools in the country.
A charming watercolour of a peaceful parkland scene.
[Stock No. 19761]