Silent Space at Ham House

A summer house located in one of the Wilderness' compartments; a perfect place to relax.

This spring/ summer relax in a compartment in our Wilderness garden, away from chatter and technological distractions. Silent Space is a national initiative to provide urban dwellers with a sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of a busy life.

Many formal gardens of the period contained a ‘wilderness’ – an area of trees and shrubs crossed with hedge-lined paths that were often set out in a geometric pattern.  The woodland atmosphere the planting created was intended to be mysterious.  In contrast with the rest of the formal garden, it offered a sense of solitude and an opportunity for reflection.

The ‘wilderness’ at Ham House recreates a 1671 plan.  Hedges of hornbeam line grass paths that radiate out from its centre.  The compartments the hedges form are planted with deciduous and evergreen shrubs.  Several contain summerhouses and herbaceous planting.  It’s in one such compartment that Silent Space will be running – giving visitors the opportunity to spend a short time in reflection, just as visitors in the 17th century might have done.