View of the rear of the house, from the garden
|Classification||Grade I listed|
|Town or city||Goudhurst, Kent|
|Floor area||15,387 square feet (1,429.5 m2)|
|Designated||9 June 1952|
Finchcocks is an early Georgian manor house in Goudhurst, Kent. For 45 years it housed a large, visitor-friendly museum of historical keyboard instruments, displaying a collection of harpsichords, clavichords, fortepianos, square pianos, organs and other musical instruments. The museum was run by the owners of the house, Richard and Katrina Burnett. It is now owned by Neil and Harriet Nichols who use it as a family home and a venue for residential piano courses and retreats.
In 2017, the museum was closed and the collection sold.
The house was built in 1725 and named after the family who lived on the site in the 13th century. It is noted for its brickwork and has a dramatic front elevation attributed to Thomas Archer. It is located in 13 acres (5.3 ha) of grounds. There is parkland to the front and a garden to the rear with wide lawns, mature shrub borders, an orchard for wild flowers, and a walled garden. There are extensive views over the Kentish landscape of park, farmland, and hop-gardens.
The house, with impressive facades both back and front, is deceptive – the interior is a series of interconnecting rooms without corridors and only 13 metres deep. Those rooms, with their high ceilings and oak panelling, provided an ideal setting for music performed on period instruments; the house and instruments were used regularly for recordings by leading exponents of early music such as Trevor Pinnock, Simon Preston and Nigel North. There is also a jazz club which was founded by Alastair Laurence of the Broadwood Piano company and was developed by Roan Kearsey-Lawson into a premier jazz venue where international artists have appeared including Frank Holder and Duncan Lamont. The club has also been featured on BBC One television.
The Finchcocks collection
Finchcocks was acquired by Richard Burnett, a fortepianist, in 1970. The Adlam Burnett workshop (founded by Derek Adlam and Richard Burnett) was set up at the house and enabled instrument makers to produce copies of historical keyboard instruments in an ideal environment, learning from the construction of many originals. The building housed the Katrina and Richard Burnett collection of over 100 historical keyboard instruments; about forty of which were fully restored to playing condition. These could be seen and heard whenever the house was open to the public; it was one of the few collections of historical instruments at which people were welcome to play them themselves. With the Burnetts' retirement in 2015, the museum closed and many of its instruments were auctioned off for charity. The auction catalogue documented the instruments meticulously and in the auction many fetched two or three times the estimated prices. A total of £835,462 was raised from the sale of the collection.
Historical instruments in the collection
- Lindholm and Söderström: unfretted, 1806
- Georg Friedrich Schmahl: fretted, 1807
- Joachim Antunes: single manual, 1785
- Thomas Blasser: double manual, 1744
- C.A.: bentside spinet, c.1700
- Fr. Ant. L.: single manual, 1716
- Gregori: single manual, c.1697
- Onofrio Guarracino: virginal, 1668
- Jacob Kirckman: double manual, 1756
- Joseph Mahoon: bentside spinet, 1742 (today in Geelvinck Early Piano Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands)
- Anon: chamber organ, c.1680; chamber organ, c.1790; miniature free-reed organ, c.1860
- Alexandre Père et Fils: harmonium, 1859
- Autophone Company: cob organ (portable free-reed barrel organ), c.1885
- John Avery: chamber organ, 1792
- William Ayton: barrel organ, c.1800
- John Byfield: chamber organ, 1766
- Longman and Broderip: barrel organ, c.1790
- Anon: portable square piano, c.1815; lyre piano (possibly Schleip, Berlin), c.1825; domestic barrel piano, 19th century
- Gustaf and Wilhelm Andersson: barrel piano, c.1890
- Bayes and Company: square piano, 1793
- Frederick Beale: upright euphonicon, c.1842
- Adam Beyer: square piano, 1777
- John Brinsmead and Sons: upright, c.1855
- John Broadwood and Son: grand, 1792; square, 1795; square, 1798; grand, 1801; square, c.1805
- John Broadwood and Sons: grand, c.1810; square, c.1820; grand, 1823; cabinet upright, c.1830; grand, 1846; square, 1858; grand, 1859 (now at Hammerwood Park, East Grinstead, Sussex); upright, c.1870
- Muzio Clementi and Company: grand, c.1800; upright grand, 1804; square, c.1815; square, c.1815; square, c.1815; grand, c.1815; grand, c.1821; grand, 1822; cabinet upright, c.1825; cabinet upright, c.1825
- Collard and Collard: square, c.1835; grand, c.1835; grand, c.1840
- William Edwards: cabinet upright, c.1825
- W.J. Ennever and Son: upright, c.1850
- Sébastien Érard: square, 1792
- Erard Frères: grand, 1801
- Erard: upright, c.1860; grand, 1866
- Johann Fritz: grand, c.1815
- Christopher Ganer: square, c.1780; square, 1784
- Conrad Graf: grand, c.1820; grand, 1826
- Crang Hancock: transverse grand, 1779
- Carl Henschker: grand, c.1840
- Mathias Jakesch: grand, 1832
- Jones, Round and Company: upright grand, c.1810 (today in Geelvinck Early Piano Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands and on loan at Huis Midwoud, Midwoud)
- William Kearsing: square, c.1830
- Knowles and Allen: square, c.1805
- Sebastian Lengerer: grand, 1793
- Longman, Lukey and Company: square, c.1780
- Frederick Mathuschek: square, 1873
- Sébastien Mercier: upright, 1831
- Henri Pape: upright piano-console, 1841; upright piano-console, 1843
- Ignace Pleyel et Compagnie: upright, c.1840; grand, 1842
- Michael Rosenberger: grand, c.1800
- Leopold Sauer: pyramid piano, c.1805
- William Southwell: upright square, c.1800
- Robert Stodart: grand, 1787
- William and Matthew Stodart: grand, 1802 (now at Hammerwood Park, East Grinstead, Sussex); square, 1807
- Johann Baptist Streicher: grand, 1867 (today in Geelvinck Early Piano Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands)
- Anton Walter und Sohn: square, c.1800
- Wilson: square, 1789
- Robert Woffington: upright, c.1800 (today in Geelvinck Early Piano Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands)
- Johannes Zumpe and Gabriel Buntebart: square, 1769 (today in Geelvinck Early Piano Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands)
- Anon: cylinder musical box with drum and bells, c.1895
- Busson: piano accordion, c.1850
- Chappell and Company: keyboard crystallophone (or 'pianino'), c.1815 (today in Geelvinck Music Museum, Zutphen, Netherlands); digitorium, c.1870
- Paul Lochmann: symphonion (disc musical box), c.1895
- Thomas Machell and Sons: dulcitone, c.1920 (today in Geelvinck Music Museum, Zutphen, Netherlands)
- J Tait: angelica (musical glasses), c.1815
- Burnett, R: English Pianos at Finchcocks, Early Music (1985)
- Burnett, K and R: Finchcocks Past & Present (2003)
- Dow, W: Finchcocks Collection, Catalogue: the Richard Burnett Collection of Historical Keyboard *Instruments (1989)
- "Goudhurst Parish Magazine" (PDF). Goudhurst and Kilndown Church. December 2016.
- Independent, The glorious life and times of Finchcocks – the living museum of music, 28 October 2018
- Machin, Julian (28 October 2017). "The glorious life and times of Finchcocks – the living museum of music". The Independent. London. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
- "Finchcocks Musical Museum in Goudhurst set to close its doors". Archived from the original on 22 November 2015. Retrieved 24 February 2016.
- "Drewaetts Catalogue: The Richard Burnett Collection" (PDF). Retrieved 13 May 2016.
- "Richard Burnett keyboard collection sells for £835k at auction". BBC News Online. 12 May 2016. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
- "What's New". Richard Burnett Heritage Collection. Retrieved 5 February 2018.