Garden Portrait: Spring at Hinton Ampner

This Georgian house stands on a ridge of chalk above well-treed farmland in Bramdean, Hampshire. It was inherited by Ralph Dutton, the 8th and last Lord Sherborne, in 1935 and he devoted the next fifty years to improving it. Author of ‘The English Garden’ he produced a very elegant house, landscaped gardens and parkland.

On one side of the house is a walled kitchen garden which runs into a cherry orchard, backed by a Norman church. The trees are planted within four formal enclosures and is the pattern for many compartmentalised planting within the grounds and long sweeping axes lined by topiary.

Further terraces were created using the lines of the Georgian facade to form the central space and the cross-paths. It is beautifully designed and holds a whole host of shrubs including the smoke-bush, hydrangeas, pittisporum, philidalphus, berberis, cotoneaster and many different shrub roses.

In spring the attention is given to the trees, the shrubs and the topiary. With spring bulbs and blossom adding colour.

The Long Walk runs through an avenue of thirty clipped Irish yews in one direction and through oramental shrubberies in the other. Both culminating with a classic ornament. One backed by trees, the other by open parkland.

An opening in the hedge opposite the house brings you to the ha-ha and a grass bastion. Ahead the park merges into the Hampshire countryside past stands of beech, lime, oak and pine trees.

The garden is beautifully designed, further enhanced by a flight of stone steps providing a change of level and at an intersection a classical temple has been erected, offering a shady spot to rest and admire the views. Dutton was a huge fan of trees and made sure they were rigorously thinned to ensure the specimens had room to develop. The garden and the parkland provide a sense of history and spaciousness with plenty of room for a pleasant stroll.

Size: 13 acres (5.3 hectares)

  • Street:   Hinton Ampner
  • Postcode:   SO24 OLA
  • City:   Bramdean, Alresford
  • County:   Hampshire
  • Country:  United Kingdom

41 thoughts on “Garden Portrait: Spring at Hinton Ampner

  1. Spring is my favourite time of the year, I suppose it’s got to do with growing up in Norway with very long and bitterly cold winters (then). Spring is knocking on the door in North Norfolk in the middle of February and it’s absolutely wonderful to be out in the garden caring for all the beloved plants and shrubs and herbs again. I have never heard of Hinton Ampner. It looks like a wonderful place to visit, very nice images, Jude. Have a lovely Sunday, greetings from sunny ☀️ Cley 🙋🙋‍♂️👭

    • This is probably not a well known NT garden, but we used to pass regularly on our way north from Surrey/Hampshire. A nice quiet spot. Spring is my favourite season too: I love to see what is awakening. Though today I can’t even see Alice as we are shrouded in hill fog!! Enjoy your sunshine Dina and KB and girls 🙂

      • I hope it will clear up soon. We have been doing spring cleaning in the kitchen today. That’s serious work, believe me. It was great, with open windows and classic FM and we did all the windows in and out too and scared all the slumbering spiders. Next week in Norway it will be a return to winter, some parts in the south got some amazing 3-4 meters snow last week, Fredrikstad unfortunately not. 😉

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