Ham House and Garden
Opening dates and times:For NGS: Wed 10 July (11-5)
For other opening times and information, please see garden website
Admission:Adm £4.50, chd £2.25
Description:The beautiful C17 gardens incl Cherry Garden, featuring lavender parterres flanked by hornbeam arbours; S terrace with clipped yew cones, hibiscus and pomegranate trees; eight grass plats; maze-like wilderness; C17 orangery with working kitchen garden and licensed café and terrace
Disability information:Gravel paths and some cobbles
Further details:After dinner I walked to Ham to see the House and Garden of the Duke of Lauderdale, which is indeed inferior to few of the best villas in Italy itself; the House furnished like a great Prince's; the Parterres, Flower Gardens, Orangeries, Groves, Avenues, Courts, Statues, Perspectives, Fountains, Aviaries and all this at the banks of the Sweetest river in the World, must needs be surprising. John Evelyn's description, written in 1678, evokes the splendour of the gardens at Ham at the end of a decade of prodigious expenditure by the Lauderdales. The restoration of the east and south compartments of the gardens in 1975 began the process of re-establishing this layout. Work remains to be done to return more of the elaborate features admired by Evelyn, and the National Trust hopes that this will help visitors understand and enjoy the gardens as they appeared in their heyday. Today this unique garden is significant for its survival within the area known to be the cradle of the English Landscape Movement. Outhouses include the oldest free-standing Orangery in Britain, the ice-house, the dairy, (with early Wedgwood hand painted tiles and unusual cast iron ‘cows-legs’ supporting marble slabs) and the earliest recorded purpose-built still house.