Hinton Ampner - History and Facts | History Hit

Hinton Ampner

Alresford, England, United Kingdom

Peta Stamper

10 May 2021
Image Credit: CC / Rwendland

About Hinton Ampner

Hinton Ampner House (known as Hinton Ampner) is a historic country estate in Hampshire, England. The history of Hinton Ampner stretches back nearly 500 years. Despite its Neo-Georgian exterior today, a keen eye can make out features from the different eras that have shaped the property.

During the early modern period, the house was rumoured to have a poltergeist, although the strange noises may have been water from a well found under the kitchen floor in the 1930s.

Today, the property is owned and managed by the National Trust.

Hinton Ampner history

The first house built at Hinton Ampner was a large Tudor manor believed to have been constructed in the 1540s. Thomas Stewkeley took over the lease in 1597 from the Dean of Winchester. In 1649, a survey described the house as being E-shaped with 2 floor that included attic rooms for the servants – some 21 bedrooms and a range of outbuildings.

When Sir Hugh Stewkeley died in 1719, the Ampner estate passed to his daughter Mary who married Edward Steawell that year. The estate stayed within the Stawell family until 1793 when it was demolished by Henry Stawell Bilson-Legge. Several remnants of the Tudor era survived, including the stables and walled garden with its lime tree avenue.

Stawell built a Georgian house from yellow brick 30 metres from the Tudor site. In 1803, the heiress of Hinton Ampner married John Dutton, inheriting both her father’s and the Sherbourne estate of her husband, earning her title of ‘The Hampshire Heiress’. Mary only used Hinton occasionally but her second son, John Thomas Dutton, moved there permanently in 1857.

Through the Victorian era a local builder wrapped the entire Georgian building in a Gothic extension, making the original Georgian structure a glorified entrance hall. During the 1930s, Hinton Ampner underwent further renovations when then owner Ralph Dutton uncovered the Georgian home, added the bay windows and multiple bathrooms – of which Ampner had none until then.

During World War Two, Hinton Ampner became a temporary home for the Portsmouth Day School for Girls. After the war ended, the house was slowly redecorated, keeping the Tudor-style plaster ceilings but updating the library in the Regency style. In 1960 however, disaster struck and Hinton Ampner caught fire. By 1963, the house was habitable again.

Hinton Ampner today

Today, Hinton Ampner is open for public visiting and remains largely as Ralph Dutton left it, with tall elegant windows and greenery climbing the walls. For trust members entry is free otherwise there is a charge for entry.

The estate is a beautiful place to take a walk through the parkland or the extensive gardens with fine vistas lined with topiary and lime trees – some of which date back to the early 18th century.

Getting to Hinton Ampner

The easiest way to reach Hinton Ampner is by car. Located on thr A272 1 mile west of Bramdean village, Hinton Ampner is 8 miles east of Winchester. Leave the M3 at exit 9 and follow signs to Petersfield. Parking is free on site. Otherwise you can get the Winchester to Petersfield bus – the number 67 Velvet bus – and there is a stop 10 minutes walk from Hinton Ampner.