Completed in 1854 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971, Kensington Mansion is an architectural and historical treasure. Kensington is an Italiante Revival house furnished with the Scarborough-Hamer Collection of decorative arts from the Victorian period. International Paper, owner of Kensington Mansion, and the Scarborough-Hamer Foundation have formed a working partnership to provide tours of Kensington for the general public.
Matthew Richard Singleton (1817-1854) built Kensington Mansion on the Wateree River in Richland County, directly across the river from the Singleton family seat in Sumter County. Charleston architect Edward C. Jones and Francis D. Lee designed Kensington Mansion. It has 29 rooms and 12,000 square feet of floor space. The raised basement contains a massive cistern that held 10,000 gallons of water for household use. The original kitchen building stands beside the main house.
International Paper, formerly Union Camp, acquired Kensington Mansion in 1981 and restored the house to its former glory. The Scarborough-Hamer Foundation furnished the mansion in 1996 with antiques from the Scarborough, Hamer and related families. Robert Pickett Hamer (1863-1911) purchased Kensington Plantation in 1910.