Fenton House dates from the late 17th century. Although nothing is known of the architect or the family who commissioned the building, it was known in the early 18th century as Ostend House, suggesting that its first owner may have been a City merchant with Flemish trading connections. The house takes its present name from a family of Baltic merchants who owned it from the 1790s until around 1830. The house is 2 storeys with attic and dormers and is built from a deep brown brick, with rubbed red-brick window frames and quoins. The original entrance to the house was on the south front, where a central door is framed by Doric pilasters carrying a pediment. In the early 19th century, the entrance was moved to to the east front when James Fenton installed a colonnade between 2 projecting wings.