Holland House, built in 1605 for Sir Walter Cope and originally known as Cope Castle, was one of the first great houses built in Kensington, UK. The 500 acre (2.0 km²) estate stretched from Holland Park Avenue to the current site of Earl's Court tube station. His son-in-law, Henry Rich, 1st Earl of Holland eventually inherited the house.
The Earl was beheaded for his Royalist activities during the Civil War and the house was then used as an army headquarters and regularly visited by Oliver Cromwell. After the war, it was owned by various members of the family, renamed Holland House and passed to the Edwardes family in 1721. In 1874, the estate was transferred to the Earl of Ilchester.
Under the 3rd Lord Holland the house became noted as a glittering social, literary and political centre with many celebrated visitors such as Byron, Thomas Macaulay, Benjamin Disraeli, Charles Dickens and Sir Walter Scott. Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother and King George VI attended the last great ball held at the house a few weeks before the outbreak of World War II.
In September 1940, the building was badly hit during a ten hour bombing raid and largely destroyed. Today the remains form a backdrop for the open air Holland Park Theatre, home of Opera Holland Park.