Discover Ham House

The Great Hall at Ham House, with its original black and white marble floor

Nestled on the banks of the River Thames, Ham House was the 17th century creation of the tenacious Duchess of Lauderdale and her husband the Duke. Together they transformed Ham into one of the grandest Stuart houses in England. Soak up the atmosphere as you discover each ornately decorated room in turn.

Elizabeth Murray was a remarkable woman for her time, a leader in fashions and a prominent member of the royal court. Her home was designed to impress a parade of prestigious guests. Look for astonishingly well-preserved wall hangings, paintings and furniture with deep rich reds and browns, picked out with gold. 

Explore well-preserved interiors designed to impress

Start your visit in the Great Hall, a grand and impressive reception space. Tread in historic footsteps as you cross the original 1610 black and white marble floor. Then glide up the Great Staircase with its fine balustrade panels carved with trophies of arms. There are views of the formal garden here too, allowing you to enjoy its beauty from a different perspective this winter.

Linger in The Round Gallery for a stunning view of the Hall from above, here the Duke and Duchess’s esteemed guests would meet and socialise before an evening of food and entertainment.

Descend the Great Staircase to further explore the Ground Floor and the private spaces of the Duke and Duchess. Pass through a hidden door to the Duchess’s Closet and then through into the White Closet and Volury. 

Gilt X-frame sofa, c1730 in the Volury Room at Ham House, Richmond-upon-Thames
Gilt X-frame sofa, c1730 in the Volury Room at Ham House, Richmond-upon-Thames
Gilt X-frame sofa, c1730 in the Volury Room at Ham House, Richmond-upon-Thames

Adding to the opulent beauty is the Marble Dining Room where carved oak panelling, a parquetry floor and gilt leather on the walls would have provided the perfect stage for the elegant banquets and entertainment in the heart of the house in its heyday. Close by you will find the Duke’s Dressing Room, the Duchess’ Bedchamber and Duke’s Closet.

The interior of the Duke's Dressing Room at Ham House, Richmond-upon-Thames, London
The interior of the Duke's Dressing Room at Ham House, Richmond-upon-Thames, London
The interior of the Duke's Dressing Room at Ham House, Richmond-upon-Thames, London

Downstairs you can explore the Beer Cellar, the Duchess’ Bathroom, and the Kitchen, where our volunteers run regular baking demonstrations. 

Above or below stairs, you’ll find treasures around every corner of Ham House. Why not explore the house’s hidden charms for yourself, meet our welcoming room guides or take one of our house tours?

Experience conservation in action

At this time of year some rooms on the upper floor of the house - including the Long Gallery and Green Closet - have been ‘put to bed’ to allow for much needed conservation work.

You may spot us in other rooms too, examining objects and using specialist cleaning equipment. Feel free to ask us what we are working on. It’s a privilege for us to get so close to these extraordinary 400 year old treasures and even better to share with someone. 

Winter walks in Ham House's formal garden

After your adventure indoors, you can wrap up warm to take in the delights outside, in Ham House’s atmospheric 17th century walled garden.

The historic kitchen is currently one of the most productive in London. Tended using organic principles, it provides our café with home-grown produce all year round.

To the north of Ham’s historic house lies the Cherry Garden. There, beyond tall yew hedges you’ll discover a maze of clipped box-hedged compartments, with domes of clipped lavender which will burst into a haze of colour and scent when summer finally returns.

" Glide up the Great Staircase with its fine balustrade panels carved with trophies of arms. There are views of the formal garden too."
- Ham House, Richmond