Ham House

Ham House, Richmond-upon-Thames

Built in 1610, for Sir Thomas Vavasour (1560-1620), Kt., M.P., Knight Marshal of the Royal Household, and his wife Mary Dodge. It was designed by Robert Smythson (1535-1614) who is also noted as the architect of Longleat House, Hardwick House and Woollaton Hall. Ham became best associated with the Tollemache family, Earls of Dysert. It was donated by Sir Lyonel Tollemache (1854-1952) 4th Bt. to the National Trust in 1943 and has been run as a house museum since 1950. According to the National Trust, Ham House is "unique in Europe as the most complete survival of 17th century fashion and power." David Adler (1882-1949) was inspired by the north front of Ham in his design of the rear of Castle Hill in Massachusetts. 
Contributed by Mark Meredith on 28/11/2018 and last updated on 30/01/2021.


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