Ham House, London
At the end of the District Lane, on the edge of the Thames River is a wonderful hidden gem known as Ham House.
It is a charming 17th Century Estate amongst the "Countryside" in London with a House to visit, sprawling grounds and a delightful tea shop.
Ham House was build in 1610 for James I by Sir Thomas Vavasour. Ham House was leased by Charles I to William Murray 1st Earl of Dysart and his daughter Elizabeth, the Duchess of Lauderdale who created Ham House into the treasure trove of 17th Century Architecture that we see today.
Ham House was in danger of being lost during the English Civil War when William Murray was asked to join his childhood friend Charles I in fight against the Parliamentarians. When the war was lost his daughter Elizabeth had to negotiate Ham House's new life of being an Royalist Family through Cromwell's Commonwealth. When Charles II was restored to the Throne so was Ham House's seat of entertainment and extravagance making it one of the grandest Stuart Houses that is now a fantastic surviving example to once a grand life.
Elizabeth and her descendants spent the next 300 years collecting treasures around the world such as paintings, furniture and textiles. In 1948 when the house passed to the National Trust, many of these treasures where donated to the Victoria & Albert Museum in Kensington. Which in itself is a great day out to visit the Victoria & Albert Museum.
You may recognise Ham House being used in many Feature Films such as The Young Victoria, Never Let Me Go and Anna Karenina.
Ham House includes the House; 2 storey house lined with paintings, and original interior wall hangings as well as the Downstairs world of a kitchen, bathroom and cellar. A Large Garden with a kitchen garden and variety of maze gardens and a Orangery Cafe with delicious cakes making it a must. It is the perfect day out in London looking for beauty, greenery and peace.
How to get there:
Ham House is easily reached by Train, Bus, Boat and Car. By Train, you need to go to Richmond Station and enjoy a lovely walk through Richmond and along the Thames River to Ham House. By Bus the 65 or 371 bus goes close by Ham House with a sort walk from the bus stop to the House. By Boat there is a ferry service from Twickenham to outside the house, arriving him they see someone in need of the ferry. By Car there is a free car park close by.
Ham House cost £11.05 for an Adult and £5.50 for a Child. For National Trust and Art Fund Members it is free entry.
Opening times for the Garden are 10:00 to 17:00. The House is open from 12:00 to 16:00. But these do change from day to day and season to season. It is best to check opening times on the day of your visit using the Ham House Website.