Knebworth House

Knebworth House is a country house, located in Knebworth. It has been the home of the Lytton family since 1490, when Thomas Bourchier sold the reversion of the manor to Sir Robert Lytton. Knebworth House was originally a red-brick Late Gothic manor house, built round a central court as an open square. In 1813-16 the house was reduced to its west wing, which was remodelled in a Tudor Gothic style by John Biagio Rebecca for Mrs Bulwer-Lytton, and then was transformed in 1843-45 by Henry Edward Kendall Jr. into the present Tudor Gothic structure. Much of the interior was redesigned by Sir Edwin Lutyens, who simplified the main parterre. A herb garden was drawn by Gertrude Jekyll in 1907 but not planted until 1982. In short: every generation of the Lytton family added something of their own style and taste, making the building a walk through over 500 years of British history.

Its most famous resident was Edward Bulwer-Lytton, the Victorian author, dramatist and statesman, who embellished the gardens in a formal Italianate fashion. He used to host parties in Knebworth House with famous guests such as Oscar Wilde. Other characters who have visited the building since then were people like Charles Dickens, Winston Churchill and Noel Gallagher.

The grounds include tourist attractions such as an adventure playground, mini railway (closed in 2012) and dinosaur park and host various events including classic car rallies, the annual Salvo Fair of architectural salvage and, since 1974, major open air rock and pop concerts from the likes of The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Queen, Paul McCartney, Genesis, Mike Oldfield, The Beach Boys, Deep Purple, Eric Clapton, Elton John, Dire Straits, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Iron Maiden and Oasis.

Kim’s family has celebrated various events at Knebworth House, including Kim’s 21st birthday. In 2014 and 2015, Kim Wilde, Ricky Wilde, Scarlett Wilde, Neil Jones and Mark Rapson performed a handful of Christmas concerts at Knebworth House in front of just 100 people each.