Ham House is a 17th-century house set in formal gardens on the bank of the River Thames in Ham, south of Richmond in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. The original house was completed by 1610 by Thomas Vavasour, an Elizabethan courtier and Knight Marshal to James I, but was later leased to William Murray, a courtier and close friend to Charles I. The estate came to prominence during the 1670s as the home of Elizabeth (Murray) Maitland, Duchess of Lauderdale and Countess of Dysart and her second husband John Maitland, Duke of Lauderdale. At that time, the house was expanded and furnished to the highest standards of courtly taste for the comfort of the Lauderdales' eminent guests. The Lauderdales decorated the house lavishly with artwork, tapestries and furniture from around the world and the formal gardens also reflected the status of the owners and their visitors.
After the Duchess's death, the property passed through the line of her descendants, some of whom made large alterations, such as Lionel Tollemache, 4th Earl of Dysart, who commissioned major repairs in the 1730s. For the most part, the generations of owners sought to preserve the house and collection to a high standard. In 1948, the house was donated to the National Trust by Sir Lyonel Tollemache and his son Major (Cecil) Lyonel Tollemache. During the second half of the 20th century, the house and gardens were opened to the public, as well as being restored and researched extensively.
|Monday||10:00 AM – 4:00 PM|
|Tuesday||10:00 AM – 4:00 PM|
|Wednesday||10:00 AM – 4:00 PM|
|Thursday||10:00 AM – 4:00 PM|
|Friday||10:00 AM – 4:00 PM|
|Saturday||10:00 AM – 4:00 PM|
|Sunday||10:00 AM – 4:00 PM|
IVALINA GOGIYSKA | Mar 19, 2018
One of our favourite weekend destinations. Beautiful house by the river Themes. Lovely gardens for the kids to run wild and when they get tired you can recharge at the cafe with delicious soup admiring the vegetable garden they grow their products. For the little art lovers head to the kitchen part of the house where there is always an interesting project while the adults can learn about beer production and even taste it. Enchanting place where you can relax on the weekend.
Jigar Thakkar | Jan 7, 2018
Ham house is an amazing place to visit. Beautiful setting. Stunning views Plenty of parking available Next to the river Thames with a river god statue in front of the house. The house is full of history. Staff in each room to explain the importance of each items in the house. They have tried their best keep the integrity of the house intact. Gardens are really beautiful amazing way of maintenance. Loved the passion of the Gardner Cafe is good too has a small menu but the food is good. Cats all over the cafe Seating outside the cafe having food and looking at the house is very relaxing. I loved and kids enjoyed too.. I will certainly visit again soon
Douglas Searle | Feb 19, 2018
A nice little National Trust place. There is a house with the usual stuff for a historic home and a kitchen and early bathroom that is unusual. The gardens are nicely laid out and there is a good tea room. There is free parking nearby and you can also walk into Richmond along the Thames.
Raffaele Sala | Mar 20, 2018
Wonderful house with beautiful gardens on the banks of the Thames. I recommend the visit. The interiors of the house are rich in history and art.
Jane Hobday | Jan 18, 2018
I am sure Ham house is beautiful, but in order to conserve the contents the rooms are so very dark. It makes it difficult to see. Only the ground floor rooms are open as the state rooms are closed for conservation. Some of the downstairs kitchens were also open. Despite it being winter the gardens were lovely to walk in
IVALINA GOGIYSKA | Apr 13, 2018
One of our favourite weekend destinations. Beautiful house by the river Themes. Lovely gardens for the kids to run wild and when they get tired you can recharge at the cafe with delicious soup admiring the vegetable garden where they grow their products. For the little art lovers head to the kitchen part of the house where there is always an interesting project while the adults can learn about beer production and even taste it. Enchanting place where you can relax on the weekend.
Sobhash Jethwa | Apr 3, 2018
Nice place to visit. They have some historical costumes on display. Plan for upto 1hour inside house. Downstairs they have the historical kitchen. If you are lucky they will be some baking going on. Whilst we were there an orange cake was cooling ready to be sliced up. Outside there is a good cafe serving what seems to be home cooked meals. English scones and tea. You many sup and read as there is a reading corner with books on shelves. Used books for sale cheap. Also very nice gardens to explore. The cherry orchard was being replanted by volunteers. Nearby is the Thames path if you wish to extend your time there. Parking is free no more than 5min walk. For kids there seems to be stable where you can get horse riding lessons. Not on the usual tourist track
Leonid Ge | Apr 20, 2018
As a tourist I first thought they sell ham there, so I went in as I was hungry. But the spiritual food I got whilst passing through the marvelous rooms of this antique house made me completely forget of my stomach and thoroughly enjoy what I saw. Many thanks to the trust preserving this ancient place, which is very much worth seeing!!!
Anne Atkinson | Apr 7, 2018
Volunteers excellent and helpful. Loved the "Stitch in Time" exhibition. Wheelchair access through a door and along a path too narrow for a standard wheelchair. Also had to ask for the ramp to be put out for refreshment room & got soaked in rain whilst waiting.
Julie Jewitt | Apr 19, 2018
Ham House is most interesting place, set in beautiful surroundings, however, despite being assured it was wheelchair friendly we discovered it most definitely was not. Cobblestones, gravel, narrow flagstones and an extremely difficult, slippery metal ramp made it very difficult - this was before we got in the house. The lift was too small for one chair to fit, rendering top and basement floors unviewable. Narrow passages and steps inside also difficult. Certainly, without a wheelchair, a lovely and interesting place to visit and the gardens are beautiful.
Nicholas Morss | May 17, 2018
The gardens are beautiful and a wonderful place to spend a sunny afternoon. The Orangery tea room offers a delicious Victoria sponge and a very tasty home made sausage roll! The house is great and has some fascinating things to see but my god the downstairs Chapel has a creepy vibe! Overall a great place to visit and I’d highly recommend it.
Dina Erlich | May 17, 2018
Ham house is a beautiful setting for so many different occasions. Whether you just want to relax, Or learn a little but about the history of the house, Or have a picnic, It's the perfect afternoon out! It's beautiful surroundings are calming and serene and can't think of a better way to enjoy my day.
Elizabeth Dale-Priestley | May 21, 2018
Much nicer than we expected. Several of the gardens were in the process of renovation and won't be in the best condition until a few years from now. The interior of the house was more complex than we first thought. Only because a guide mentioned that there was access to a kitchen area encouraged us to keep searching to find this area!
Anne Edwards | Jul 1, 2018
Brilliant experience. Such a friendly and helpful greeting at the gate that set the tone for all the amazing staff and volunteers we meet for the rest of our visit. Not only is it an amazing place but also amazing dedicated people.
Bill Clee | Jun 3, 2018
It’s not actually made of Ham, and has no porcine connection at all. But it’s a lovely period house with a great Garden that our kids can spend hours in playing chase. It has a lots of nooks and hideaways that’s great for hide and seek and ways to escape capture. The house is, apparently, used often in period dramas and if you like all that, as my wife does, look it up.
Mez Power | Jun 9, 2018
Beautiful place, great british history with a beautiful secret garden, where you can enjoy the natural surroundings. Also they welcome picnics there, I found a great spot with my picnic basket. Very family friendly, very clean facilities including toilets. The staff ...... well they are the loveliest people ever, they speak to you, smile, tell you the history ...... it is just a lovely atmosphere to be in. Oh an they are very welcoming to my very young kids too.
Rob Butler | Jul 25, 2018
Very interesting and unusual house and wonderful gardens despite the dry weather. We went on a Wednesday and it was very quiet. You can't really hear any traffic noise as the grounds are so extensive. A real haven in such a built-up area. We got a train to Richmond station and did a round walk up the hill to Richmond Park and Henry's Mound then down to the house and back along the river. Nice cafe. The food was very good although they don't really do any full meals. Try the spinach frittatas.
joan small | Jul 15, 2018
Interesting house, beautiful gardens, good cafe BUT... Significant health and safety issues. Beware that on some staff/ volunteer shifts there are no capable, sensible or trained first aiders should you need one. Beware if you have an accident near to their closing time they will try and hurry you out and make excuses not to call an ambulance. They need to be aware that being eager to get you up and on your way without attention to the severity of your pain, inability to move could cause more serious injuries. I was even suggested I could still have a quick visit round the house when I could barely walk or use my arm after tripping on a metal door mat at the entrance which couldn't be seen as people walked in front of us . They totally underestimated my pain and injuries , I was an inconvenience they didn't want to be seen. Getting to our car was awful, a long way in an indoor wheelchair over cobbles, the staff guy hadn't got a clue even how to push a wheelchair, let alone do first aid or understand the principle of not moving someone with a back injury. I spent hours in A and E being told I should have had an ambulance. Waiting for one would have meant the staff leaving for home late. I shouldn't have moved, I'd hurt my back, hip, pelvis and ribs and arm. I'm not impressed. This is a health and safety issue. I've read other reviews online which criticise staff/volunteers. I went there a year ago. I thought the place was great, until I met the volunteer outside of the library. I was temporarily wearing an eye patch. She did not want me to go near the precious library but let my companion in.... I said I'd like to go in, so she kicked up a fuss saying I mustn't touch anything, and to hurry, watching my every move, but letting my companion enjoy looking. She then shadowed my every move on that floor in an unfriendly manner. Did she think I was a geriatric pirate about to pull out a sword and steal things!!? Great house and gardens, Shame about some staff/ volunteers and their lack of health and safety training. And they couldn't find the incident book to report my accident instead writing my name and address on something like a folded envelope that could quite easily be lost. I've heard nothing since. They have not asked how I am or my injuries . This is worrying for a venue which can have hundreds of visitors around on busy days.
Ken Wright | Jul 12, 2018
Lovely old house and a lot of it open to view, the national trust guides as always are brilliant. didn't do the garden or grounds but they looked great from the windows. There is a good video on a loop telling more about those who lived there, didn't make use of the cafe as time ran away with us.
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