Everything for the view!

Your holiday home is part of Holland House built between 1762 and 1768 by Lord Holland Right Hon. Henry Foxwho was a controversial British parliamentarian who had become rich through managing the national treasury during times of war. Not satisfied with a simple outlook onto the sea, Lord Holland created numerous stone follies (artificial historic sites) which still provide a unique atmosphere and appearance to the surroundings. These include coastal lookouts, a castle, an ancient tumulus (burial ground), a battle site called ‘Hack ’em Down‘, a convent and an inn which is now known as the Captain Digby Pub named after a friend of Lord Holland Captain Robert Digby.

Holland House was once approached from the beach through a stone arched gatekingsgate once named Barthelmas Gate and renamed Kings Gate after the forced landing of King Charles I on ‘Kingsgate’ Bay due to a storm.

Lord Holland was married to the grand daughter of Charles II, Caroline Lennox. This gate has been reconstructed in the grounds of Lord Holland’s ‘convent’ beside the golf course. The original house was inherited by Lord Holland’s son Charles James Fox who later became a founder of the Liberal Party in Westminster.

Unfortunately alongside his political affairs Fox was known for womanizing, drinking and gambling with such socialites as Georgiana Spencer, Duchess of Devonshire - an ancestor of Diana Spencer the future Princess of Wales. Unfortunately due to the excesses of Fox the house which his father built was sold and eventually divided into different dwellings in around 1810.

The historic records of both the family and the house are a fascinating addition to this very beautiful and romantic area.

Holland House 1762 Holland House and surroundings 1762 Henry Fox estate shipwreck in Kingsgate

Holland House, Kingsgate

This noble pile, originally the home of Henry Fox, the first Lord Holland, is well known to local resident and holiday-maker alike. although still a building of elegance and charm, the property differs widely from its original concept which was that of a luxurious Roman villa with an imposing Doric portico of twelve columns of Portland stone.

It was here at Kingsgate in 1762 that Henry Fox (he was created Baron Holland of Foxley the following year) added to his already vast Thanet estates by the purchase of a large tract of land from Robert Whitfield. He commissioned Thomas Wynn, an amateur architect, to restyle an rebuild the small house he had acquired in the hollow overlooking Kingsgate Bay in the shape of Tully’s Formian villa on the Bay of Baiae, Italy, and filled it with many objects including antiquities from Egypt.

On Lord Holland’s death in 1774, the house and estate passed to his third son, Charles James Fox, who quickly disposed of the estate and the contents of the mansion. The property was brought by John Powell, one of Lord Holland’s executors, and was subsequently sold, in 1807, to a couple of speculators who had grandiose plans to turn it into a hotel. Though this scheme never materialized, the house was drastically altered; the portico was eventually removed and the building divided into three dwellings.

Holland House had had many a distinguished resident Sir Luke Fildes, R.A., artist and illustrator of Dickens last novel, "The Mystery of Edwin Drood", lived there for ten years. William Makepeace Thackeray occupied the property for a short time, and Royalty too dwelt within its walls in the personages of the Duke and Duchess of Fife.

In World War II the building was occupied by the Army and the private residents living there at the time were evacuated. Now it once again provides its fortunate occupants with delightful accommodation facing the sea cradled between the Captain Digby Inn and Kingsgate Castle, both of which owe their existence to the whimsical craze for the creation of "follies" indulged in by the first Baron Holland of Foxle some two centuries ago.