The house was built during 1814–15 and was probably completed between November 1815 and February 1816. By October 1816, Charles Wentworth Dilke and his friend Charles Brown had moved in. Other members of the Dilke family occupied two other adjacent houses. John Keats began visiting the house in 1817 after he had been introduced to Dilke by John Hamilton Reynolds, who was part of Leigh Hunt's circle of friends. In December 1818, after Keats's brother Tom died of tuberculosis, Brown invited Keats to "keep house" with him. Keats paid £5 per month, equivalent to about £350 in 2015 prices, and half the liquor bill. John Keats lodged there from December 1818 to September 1820. These were perhaps Keats's most productive years. According to Brown, "Ode to a Nightingale" was written under a plum tree in the garden. While living in the house, Keats fell in love with and became engaged to Fanny Brawne, who lived with her family in the adjacent house. Keats became increasingly ill with tuberculosis and was advised to move to a warmer climate. He left London in 1820 and died, unmarried, in Italy the following year. Dilke and his family left on 3 April 1819 and let the house, probably furnished, to Mrs Brawne, a widow, and her family, who had briefly occupied Brown's half of the house when Keats and Brown were on their walking tour of Scotland. Brown transferred his part of Wentworth Place to Dilke's father on 18 June 1822 and left for Italy in the same year. After Keats's death, his sister Fanny became friends with Fanny Brawne. Fanny Keats and her husband Valentin Llanos occupied what had been Brown's half of the house from 1828 until 1831.
The two houses were joined together in 1838–9 and a drawing-room was added. The house was in nearly continuous occupation until the 20th century, when it was threatened with demolition. The house was saved by subscription and opened to the public as the Keats Memorial House on 9 May 1925. There were several notable occupants of the house during the 19th century: the painter and illustrator Henry Courtney Selous (1835–1838); Miss Chester (1838–1848), a retired actress, who had once been a favourite of George IV, who converted the house into one dwelling and added a dining room and conservatory; the piano manufacturer Charles Cadby (1858–1865); the physiologist Dr William Sharpey (1867–1875); and finally the Rev Dr George Currey, Master of Charterhouse (1876). In the garden is a Common or Black Mulberry tree believed to date from the 17th century. Mulberry trees have been cultivated in England since at least the early 16th century but are not native to Great Britain. As there were other fruit trees in the grounds of Keats House, the mulberry tree may have been part of an orchard. If the tree is as old as it is thought to be, then John Keats would have seen it, although he did not mention it in his writings. Keats did mention a white mulberry tree once in a July 1818 letter to his friend John Hamilton Reynolds. Artifacts on display in the house include the engagement ring Keats offered to Fanny Brawne and a copy of Keats's death mask. The museum runs regular poetry and literary events, and offers a range of educational facilities. The ground floor of Keats House is accessible for wheelchair users. Unfortunately due to the listed status of the building there is no lift access to the first floor or basement. However a touch screen in the orientation area contains images and content relating to these floors. All of our events are accessible for wheelchair users unless otherwise stated in the event description. There is level access to events in the Nightingale Room (next door in the library building). Access to events in the Chester Room (inside Keats House) is via a portable ramp into the conservatory. Guide dogs are welcome. There are Audio points.
Location : Keats House, 10 Keats Grove, Hampstead NW3 2RR
Transport: Belsize Park (Northern Line). Hampstead Heath (London Overground). London Buses routes 24, 46, 168 and C11 stop nearby.
Opening Times: Friday, Saturday, Sunday 11:00 to 17:00.
Tickets : Adults £6.50. Seniors £5.50
Concessions £4.50, Under 17 Free
Garden Admission Free
Tickets Valid for Readmission for 1 year.
Tel: 020 7332 3868