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Cabinets Unlocked

Explore the beautiful craftsmanship and exquisite interiors of Ham House's collection of decorative cabinets in the Cabinets Unlocked event, 11-24 May 2024.

  • Booking not needed
  • Free event (admission applies)

Join us for Cabinets Unlocked, a rare opportunity to see inside these highly decorative pieces.

Opened just twice a year, the cabinets are normally kept closed to protect the pristine interiors from overexposure to light, and to avoid excessive wear on hinges and locks. These special bi-annual events coincide with the conservation team’s careful condition checks of the collection.

Twenty prized cabinets and writing desks will be opened, as well as strongboxes and a harpsichord. Some never-before-seen objects from our stores will also be on display.

Ham’s collection of cabinets includes examples of marquetry, lacquer, and exquisite veneers from countries around the world including Japan, China, and Holland as well as England.

Highlights include the Ivory Cabinet in the North Drawing Room which dates from around 1660.

In the Long Gallery, see inside three cabinets including the Marquetry Cabinet. Installed in Ham House around 1675, it is the earliest recorded example of floral marquetry in England.

Our volunteer guides will also give short pop-up talks in the Long Gallery (subject to volunteer availability).

Other examples will be on display in the Duchess of Lauderdale’s Bedchamber and Private Closet, the Queen’s Apartments and the Duke’s Dressing Room.

Cabinets Unlocked runs during the house’s visiting hours. Ham House is open daily 12-4 (last entry 3.30). Please note the Long Gallery is accessed via stairs.



Event ticket prices

This event is free, but normal admission charges apply for the venue.

Check admission prices

The basics


There is a ramp to the ground floor of the house. Please note, the upper floors are accessed via stairs.

Contact info

Ham House and Garden

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