My visit to Hinton Ampner leaves mixed memories. An enjoyable visit no doubt – helped by the friendliness of the National Trust folk there – but melancholy nevertheless.
Hinton Ampner is the creation of one man – Ralph Dutton, 8th Lord Sherborne, who died without issue and bequeathed his estate in its entirety to the National Trust – an estate that includes the hamlet of Hinton Ampner, the house, the gardens and all his collections.
He built the house twice (he pulled one down and his first rebuild was burnt down in 1960) and he re-started his collections.
An aesthete, living through two World Wars, his style was 18th century Georgian – and this creation feels certainly like an escape to a more gentle time – an escape maybe from the turmoil of the century.
At certain points during the visit, I could almost feel his presence, taking breakfast in his bedroom, pulling on his boots and even pointing out the vistas over my shoulder – views that run down to the Hampshire downs through a series of clever plantings and avenues.
In some ways, it’s a shame that he didn’t have a family to take this estate forward but the National Trust is certainly doing their best by him – and through them, he’s given us his house and estate to enjoy. Do go visit. His vision is worth sharing.
Hinton Ampner (part of the National Trust – http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hinton-ampner), Petersfield Road, Hinton Ampner, Bramdean, Hampshire, SO24 0LA
Contributor & photographer: Sue Lowry. Follow A3Traveller on Twitter: @A3Traveller; and Sue Lowry on Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, Flickr and Pinterest. I also operate another blog for my company MagellanPR – http://www.magellanstraits.com. They can be followed on Twitter: @MagellanPR, on Google+, on Pinterest, on YouTube and on Facebook.
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