Bramdean, near Alresford, Hampshire SO24 0LA
Hinton Ampner house in Hampshire was restored in 1960
after a serious fire by Ralph Dutton, the 8th and last Lord Sherborne.
They contain a large collection of furniture as well as pictures from
Italy and other antiques. The garden was also designed by Ralph Dutton
after being inspired by Hidcote Manor and are seen as a 20th-century
View of the rear of the house showing the different terraces
The Hidcote concept of rooms can be seen at Hinton
but they are less enclosed and on more of a linear plan. You don't get
the sense of surprise at every corner as you do at Hidcote but nonetheless
it is a garden which entices, nay forces you to explore. The rear terrace
has magnificent topiary and this is where the iconic umbrella topped
specimens can be seen lined up in neat rows.
Hinton's famous yew umbrellas
The planting at Hinton seems to complement the topiary,
or some may say the topiary complements the planting as the two seem
to be designed around the other. Often topiary seems to be put in as
an after thought but not here.
Flower beds set off by topiary. Heaven
Stately box hedging lining the walks
Away from the formal terraces are walks lined with
large box hedges which positively encourage you to explore to see what
monsters or fabulous delights you will find at the end of them. These
are punctuated by pillars which give a military precision to the whole
avenue and make you feel safe and important to the same degree.
Fine domed pillars
Here domed pillars compliment other garden ornaments
and there is a sense of overall design to the gardens.
Yew cones stand sentinel at stages along the box hedges
At the front of the house the avenues are punctuated
by domed pillars which lead away to the kitchen gardens and other hidden
treasures. These give a slight sense of the orient or Ali Baba which
is amusing in what is definitely an English Stately home. Throughout
the specimens have different shapes which continue the sense of interest
and surprise. I went on a sweltering day and I can thoroughly recommend
the tea rooms!
Circular pillars continue the infinite variety
All photographs by Anthony Blagg.
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