Hinton Ampner House is a stately home with gardens within the civil parish of Bramdean and Hinton Ampner, near Alresford, Hampshire. The garden was created by Ralph Stawell Dutton (1898–1985), the 8th and last Baron Sherborne, starting in 1930, making this a modern 20th-century garden. The property is now more noted for its garden than the house. Previously, the parkland came directly up to the house, which was designed to be a hunting lodge. An earlier Tudor house stood close to the current site, before the current house was built. This elegant country manor and tranquil garden sit so harmoniously within the landscape that one cannot exist without the other. The house was lovingly rebuilt by its last owner, Ralph Dutton, after a catastrophic fire in 1960. Enjoy the beautifully proportioned rooms which house his exquisite collection of ceramics and art, each window offering undisturbed views to the tranquil countryside beyond. Beautifully manicured lawns lead the eye down avenues of sculptured topiary, past borders full of the heady scent of roses, to breathtaking views across the South Downs.
The current house was built in 1790 but remodelled extensively in 1867. It was remodelled again in the Neo-Georgian style by Trenwith Wills and Lord Gerald Wellesley for Ralph Dutton between 1936 and 1939 to his vision of what it would have been like had it been built on its current scale in 1790 – a Georgian country house. It was badly damaged by fire in 1960, and restored again much as it had appeared in 1936. The house contains a number of fine paintings. There is a set of paintings of the four seasons by Jacob de Wit, depicting cherubs painted in a three-dimensional monochrome style. Ralph Dutton, with no direct heirs, gave the estate to the National Trust, on his death in 1985.
The old Tudor house attained notoriety, in the 18th century, after it became uninhabitable due to a severe haunting. The tenant, one Mary Ricketts, wrote extensively on the subject for her children's benefit, after having been literally forced to flee the property with a few remaining retainers (many had already left in terror). The house was pulled down in 1793, after its replacement had been built about 50 meters (160 feet) to the south.
There is Mobility parking with marked bays, separate parking available by arrangement. There is an Adapted toilet near the tea-room. Braille and large print guide availiable in the house. Grounds - map of accessible route available from visitor reception. House - ramped entrance and accessible ground floor, press door bell at the main house entrance for assistance. Wheelchairs available to borrow. Assistance dogs are welcome.
Location : Hinton Ampner, near Alresford, Hampshire, SO24 0LA
Transport : Winchester OR Petersfield (National Rail) OR Alresford (Mid-Hants Steam Railway) then bus(67). Bus Routes : 67 stops 1/2 mile away.
Opening Times : Daily House 11:00 to 16:30; Gardens 10:00 to 17:00
Tickets : Adults £11.30; Children £5.65
Tel. : 01962 771305