A Candlelit Christmas at Ham House
During December, experience the wonderful splendour of Ham House lit by candle light. We're re-creating the 17th century atmosphere with candles and natural greenery filling the house over the festive season.
A Candlelit Christmas
Did you know Ham was always designed to be seen in the dark? We’re re-creating the atmosphere of the 17th Century and saving our collection from light damage at the same time.
Candles will guide your way through Ham House, providing soft light and a wonderful atmosphere. Though of course to keep the collection safe the candles will be battery operated- though you might need to take a second look to realise that.
While today electric lights allow us to view a whole room at once, in the 17th Century people were much more at ease with darkness, and used it to their advantage. Candlelight could only spread so far, so rooms were designed to be seen step by step. At Ham that meant that each step would reveal something even more beautiful, rare, or precious to reflect the wealth of its owners.
Shining lacquered tables, cabinets and expensive mirrors reflected the light so that visitors would marvel at the glitter that surrounded them. As they moved through the house, the dark walls, particularly in the long gallery would highlight the gilding that covered surfaces and danced in the candlelight. Adding to the opulent beauty of Ham House will be abundance of natural green wreaths, swags and garlands, draped over banisters, mantelpieces and windowsills, glowing with lights and sparkle. There will of course be a sparkling Christmas tree adorning the house, bursting with presents beneath it.
The magic continues in the gardens, where trees and hedges twinkle, creating magical spaces and great photo opportunities. So make sure you share your photos with us on twitter or Instagram @HamHouseNT. Christmas trees, as well as our own beautifully shaped formal gardens lit up to add to the festive atmosphere and spread light in the darkest part of the year.
Meet Father Christmas
Between 15 - 23 Dec, Father Christmas will be in residence at Ham House. Don't miss your chance to meet him and recieve your special Christmas gift.
Other events throughout the school holidays include a trail to find all the different breeds of dog hidden around the garden. You can even bring your dog to help you sniff them out. Enjoy some family time with our children's craft making reindeer antlers in the atmospheric servants' quarters below stairs. We'll also be cracking a joke in the dairy - come are share your funniest cracker joke on our Christmas tree. The best one from the day will be shared on our social media!
Find out more by clicking the link below.
A Christmas Ghost Tour
Experience Ham House at night with one of our atmospheric ghost tours. Reputed to be one of the most haunted houses in Britain, discover the ghostly tales scattered through the history of Ham House.