The house, built in 1605 for Sir Walter Cope, was originally surrounded by a large estate. By the time it was bought by Henry Fox, first Baron Holland, in 1768 it still extended westwards as far as the Kensington Olympia railway line and north-south between Holland Park Avenue and Kensington High Street. Through Henry’s son, Charles James Fox, it became the social centre of the Whig party in the 19th century.
The disposal and development of some sections are covered by British History Online and again. The house was largely destroyed by bombs in 1940 and in 1952 the London County Council bought the remains and the grounds and they became a public park. Only the east wing and the arcades have been restored.
The Library Time Machine features some delightful murals painted 1994-5 in the Orangerie Arcade, showing a garden party in Holland House in the 1870s.
2017: Michael John directed us to Historic England who hold a photo of the bombed out Holland House library still well-used by readers. And British Pathe have a film of the damaged building.