Mystery of Johnson’s Summer House

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  • Post published:November 27, 2005
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When I was in London in 1984, I spotted the “Johnson Summer House” in the garden of Kenwood House on the edge of Hampstead Heath. It had been a favourite resting and contemplating place of Johnson’s during his visits to the Thrales at Streatham Park. Found, almost derelict in a suburban back garden in the early 1960s, it was restored and presented to the London County Council, and then placed in the Kenwood grounds.


On our recent visit, I looked for it, in vain. Attendants at Kenwood were vague about its fate. One told me she thought it may have been destroyed by fire; another thought it may have been damaged beyond repair during a storm in 1987. I rang the curator of Kenwood many times, but could never catch her in her office. Does any JSA member know its fate?