In 1940, after their home in London was damaged in the Blitz, Henry and Irina Moore moved to Perry Green in rural Hertfordshire.
Henry and Irina were able to rent half of a former farmhouse, by the name of Hoglands, in the centre of the hamlet. They initially shared the house with another family, but the sale of a 1939 elmwood Reclining Figure – for £300 to fellow artist Gordon Onslow Ford – soon allowed them to buy the whole house, including the gardens and outbuildings, which became Moore’s studios.
“We’re here at a village called Much Hadham in Hertfordshire. Do you know this part? It’s surprisingly pretty & unspoilt for so near to London (27 mls). I think we may stay here for some time.”
The Moores remained at Hoglands for the rest of their lives. Moore acquired more land, piece by piece, and added more studios. Irina created a beautiful and vibrant garden; a perfect backdrop to her husband’s work. Hoglands was very much the centre of both family life and Henry Moore’s business.
In 2004 we were able to acquire Hoglands from Irina and Henry Moore’s daughter Mary and, after careful restoration, it was opened to visitors in 2007. The house now contains many artefacts, books and works of art that were part of Henry and Irina Moore’s personal collection. These have been kindly loaned to the Foundation by the Moore family.
Unfortunately, we were unable to open Hoglands to visitors in 2020. Moore's home is a listed building with small rooms and narrow doorways, which made it impossible to run tours of the house while keeping our visitors and staff safe during the peak of the pandemic. We hope to reopen Hoglands, with a lower capacity and distancing measures in place, later in 2021.