Inverforth House

Hampstead NW3
Residential building

Key Details

North End Way, London NW3 7EU
52000 sq ft
Use Classes


Inverforth House is a Grade II listed house in Hampstead, London NW3.

The estate dates back to 1804 when it was known as Hill House. The current Queen Anne revival style stately home was built in 1895, designed by architects Grayson & Ould, for the millionaire auction house owner George Fisher, the head of Robertson & Fisher. Fisher lived at Inverforth House until 1904 when he sold the property to legendary soap manufacturing tycoon William Hesketh Lever.

William Hesketh Lever, the 1st Viscount Leverhulme (1851-1925), in 1886 had established Lever Brothers Soap Co. whose main brand was Sunlight soap (Lever Brothers grew into what is now global giant Unilever). Between 1910-1925 Lord Leverhulme used Grayson & Ould to extend the stately home into a 60-room mega-mansion adding a ballroom, library, art gallery and a spectacular curved staircase that soars through the entire property. Lord Leverhulme used masterplan architect Thomas Mawson to design a classical garden immediately around the main house including lavish paved terraces, manicured hedges and a large ornamental pond.

In 1906 Lord Leverhulme bought and demolished two neighbouring houses an extended the estate beyond the classical gardens immediately around the house. In 1906-1925 he used landscape architect Thomas Mawson to turn the two cleared plots into the spectacular 8-acre Hill Garden and 800 ft long Grade II listed Pergola.

During the summers, Lord Leverhulme held grand parties for hundreds of people, with daytime events held in the Hill Garden and Pergola and evening dinner parties held in the stately home. It was here in truly ‘Great Gatsby’ style that Lord Leverhulme and his wife Lady Elizabeth entertained London high society of the 1920s including Princess Helena, Duchess of Albany, Queen Mary, actress Phyllis Dare and Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone.

Lord Leverhulme died in 1925 and the estate was bought by Lord Inverforth (1865-1955), the shipping magnate who gave the stately home its current name Inverforth House. Between 1919 and 1922 Lord Inverforth served as a cabinet minister under Prime Minister David Lloyd George, and under Lord Inverforth and his wife Lady Anne guests at Inverforth House included David Lloyd George, Winston Churchill, Lord Dewar, Sir Harry Lauder and Sir Austen Chamberlain.

After Lord Inverforth’s death, his estate bequeathed the vast mega-mansion and gardens to the Industrial Orthopaedic Society and the stately home became the 100-bed women’s section of Manor House Hospital. In 1960 the celebrated 8-acre Hill Garden and 800 ft long Grade II listed Pergola (located beyond the immediate gardens around the house) were gifted to the nation and became a public park adjoining Hampstead Heath and were later refurbished by the City of London Corporation.

In the late 1990s, it was decided that the stately home was surplus to hospital requirements and it was purchased by award-winning luxury developer Frogmore. Between 1999-2001 Inverforth House was restored and returned to its residential origins as one of the finest residential addresses in Hampstead.

The two principal wings of Inverforth House were each turned into grand five-bedroom mansions, with other parts of the stately home converted to provide a further seven spectacular apartments. In 2002 the stately home was given two Blue Plaques by English Heritage, one for Sir Ronald Fisher, who owned the estate between 1896-1904, and the second for Lord Leverhulme.

Historic England list entry no. 1113185 was first listed on 7th September 1988.

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Site & Location

Inverforth House sits next to Hill Garden and Pergola in Hampstead Heath, London NW3.




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