The Garden Landscape Guide

Ham House Garden

The gardens of Ham House were restored by the National Trust to a 17th century layout to mark European Architectural Heritage Year (1975). The Trust used a plan by John Slezer and Jan Wyck (c.1671-2) as the basis for restoring the garden. This plan was partly inspired Robert Smythson's plan c1610.  Plants which would have been available at the time have been carefully selected and have faithfully recreated the atmosphere of the period. There is now a parterre (with questionable planting) and a 'wilderness'  which is not very wild: it is a wilderness in the sense defined in Philip Miller’s Gardener’s dictionary (1735) . Miller wrote that 'The usual Method of contriving Wildernesses is, to divide the whole Compass of Ground, either into Squares' Angles, Circles, or other Figures, …  the Walks are commonly made to intersect each other in Angles, which also shews too formal and trite for such Plantations, and are by no means comparable to such Walks as have the Appearance of Meanders or Labyrinths, where the Eye can't discover more than twenty or thirty Yards in Length; and the more these Walks are turned, the greater Pleasure they will afford. These should now and then lead into an open circular Piece of Grass; in the Center of which may be placed either an Obelisk, Statue, or Fountain'.

Richmond, London, Greater London, England, TW10 7RS

Garden open all year., Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Open 11am to 6pm.

Adult £9.00, Garden only £3.00

Visit the Ham House Garden website

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Ham House renaissance garden Ham House Garden, showing Robert Smythson's Plan, the Slezer & Wyck plan and the present-day layout
Ham house london Photograph ©
Ham house garden Photograph ©
Mercury and Venus, Ham House Garden Photograph ©
Busts, Ham House Garden Photograph ©
Wilderness, Ham House Photograph ©
Ham House Garden, Richmond Photograph ©