Wessex Attractions: Hinton Ampner

Hinton Ampner is a National Trust-property near Alresford, Hampshire, noted for its beautiful gardens, The house, originally a Tudor mansion, but extensively renovated since, has been lovingly restored after a devastating fire in 1960 gutted it, leaving just a shell.

The original building was probably constructed in the 1540s, although no record survives that can date it precisely. It has been rebuilt at least three times since then, the last restoration being completed just a few months before the fire that destroyed it. It took three months before the house was habitable again.

The extensive gardens feature over 20 different varieties of dahlia, a pumpkin patch, and a lily pond. They are divided into several “rooms”, including a sunken garden, an orchard, and a walled garden.

Part of the estate at Hinton Ampner is given over to regenerative farming, avoiding the use of harmful chemicals and rotating crops to allow wildflowers to grow. The Trust plans to sell beef from its herd of Sussex cattle, as well as honey from its beehives, cereals, fruit and nuts.

The postcode for Hinton Ampner is SO24 0LA. Stagecoach bus number 67 from Winchester to Petersfield stops within 5 minutes walk of the main entrance, and transfers are available from Alresford station on the heritage Mid-Hants Steam Railway.

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