Finchcocks 4.JPG
View of the rear of the house, from the garden
Finchcocks is located in Kent
Location of Finchcocks in Kent
General information
Architectural styleGeorgian
ClassificationGrade I listed
Town or cityGoudhurst, Kent
CountryUnited Kingdom
Coordinates51°06′08″N 0°25′38″E / 51.1022°N 0.4273°E / 51.1022; 0.4273Coordinates: 51°06′08″N 0°25′38″E / 51.1022°N 0.4273°E / 51.1022; 0.4273
Technical details
Floor area15,387 square feet (1,429.5 m2)
Listed Building – Grade I
Designated9 June 1952
Reference no.1318935
TQ 7003 3646

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[1] who use it as a family home and a venue for residential piano courses.

In 2017, the museum was closed and the collection sold.[2]

The house

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.[3] 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.[4] The auction catalogue[5] 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.[6]

Fourteen instruments from the collection were retained and form the Richard Burnett Heritage Collection, to be housed in 2018 at the Burnetts' home in Tunbridge Wells.[3][7]

There is also a collection of musical pictures, prints and an exhibition on the theme of London's 18th-century pleasure gardens such as Vauxhall and Ranelagh Gardens.

Historical instruments in the collection

View of the Kent countryside from Finchcocks
View of the Kent countryside from Finchcocks






See also: Innovations in the piano

Related publications

See also


  1. ^ "Goudhurst Parish Magazine" (PDF). Goudhurst and Kilndown Church. December 2016.
  2. ^ Independent, The glorious life and times of Finchcocks – the living museum of music, 28 October 2018
  3. ^ a b Machin, Julian (28 October 2017). "The glorious life and times of Finchcocks – the living museum of music". The Independent. London. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  4. ^ "Finchcocks Musical Museum in Goudhurst set to close its doors". Archived from the original on 22 November 2015. Retrieved 24 February 2016.
  5. ^ "Drewaetts Catalogue: The Richard Burnett Collection" (PDF). Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  6. ^ "Richard Burnett keyboard collection sells for £835k at auction". BBC News Online. 12 May 2016. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  7. ^ "What's New". Richard Burnett Heritage Collection. Retrieved 5 February 2018.