Explore Wimpole Hall
The Hall is open daily, with the ground floor and basement rooms to explore on your visit. Discover more about the Hall's rich and varied history, and explore the rooms here.
Wimpole Hall has a rich history of many different owners, all putting their mark on the architecture and interior design of the building.
It is a complex house with an impressive architectural pedigree. The original building (1640-70) was almost certainly designed by its owner, Sir Thomas Chicheley. It was extended in 1713-21 by James Gibbs and decorated by Sir James Thornhill. In the mid-18th century, Philip Yorke, 1st Earl of Hardwicke, commissioned Henry Flitcroft to re-face the central block and to make various internal alterations.
Philip Yorke, The 3rd Earl of Hardwicke called in Sir John Soane to design the Yellow Drawing room, with its sophisticated arches and vaults, and an austere but beautiful bath house. Wimpole’s interior is a rich mixture of mainly 18th-century decoration, including a spectacular Baroque chapel with trompe l’eoil murals by Thornhill. There is also a library designed by Gibbs for Edward Harley, Earl of Oxford.
Furnishing the house
Captain George and Mrs Elsie Bambridge bought Wimpole in 1938, with the Hall almost entirely empty of contents. Over the next 40 years the Bambridges slowly furnished and decorated the house, seeking out pieces that were either once at Wimpole or had strong connections to the estate or previous owners.
Highlights such as the exquisite gilded sofas made especially to fit the curved walls of Sir John Soane’s Yellow Drawing Room, show how a grand country house would have looked in its heyday.
Alongside the more formal rooms sit the cosier more personal spaces that make the house a home and reflect the Bambridges’ personalities and tastes. Look out for the collection of 18th and 19th century conversation pieces that decorate the drawing rooms, delicate French porcelain figures, and collections of carriage prints.