Tuesday, March 24, 2009

historic house tour: ham house

I fell in love in England. With Ham House that is. Evocatively described as "a sleeping beauty" ~ a Jacobean sweetheart, awakened from her slumber by the National Trust in 1948. Little has changed since it was buit in 1610, as it was passed down through a single family who had neither the finances or the inclination to make dramatic modifications. In fact, the guides constantly lament the various late 17th-century redecorations (making this American chuckle just a little). A friend of mine told me emphatically that as a lover of textiles and needlework, I had to see it. Indeed, it has one of the finest textile collections of the period. In vain I have searched online for images or information about the textiles, but there seems to be none, nor is there anything much in the guide book. So, take my word for it ~ divine! Favorites include the tapestry bench covers for the Long Gallery, and an extraordinary uncut, embroidered chair cover (just as vibrant as the day it was stitched). I was also infatuated with the Green Closet, a tiny cabinet room full of the most marvelous collection of miniature paintings.

And then there are the gardens ~ the walled orangery (below), and the formal cherry garden. Oh, to see them in full bloom!

P.S. the England set on flickr (with more to come).


pve design said...

That arched entry in that wall leaves me speechless.
Just lovely.

Janet said...

...and so you see why I am in love.

Ms. Wis./Each Little World said...

I think you were there at the perfect time — when the bones of that magical garden were visible. There is nothing in the world as elegant as the hornbeam, santolina and boxwood at Ham House. Thanks for the lovely images.

Style Court said...

Janet, I can see why you fell so hard. Beautiful.

Robinonawide said...

Hi there - so pleased to have found another house traveller on the web! I'm too an architecture traveller. Stop by and say hello :) http://visitinghousesandgardens.wordpress.com