“It is open to question whether any other garden the world over contains features of such peculiar interest” – The Strand Magazine on Lamport, 1900
The Hall is set in approximately 10 acres of tranquil gardens, the result of over 450 years of love and dedication, enclosed by a spacious park. Although their size and location are the same as when they were first laid out, their design has been strongly influenced by the interests and tastes of successive owners.
The gardens offer a fascinating history and a beautiful backdrop for stunning photography as demonstrated by The English Garden magazine who published an article in August 2016. Click on this text to read the English Garden article written by Annette Warren and photography by Clive Nichols
History of the Gardens
Sir Thomas entrusted the development of the gardens to his land agent, Gilbert Clerke, while he was in Europe between 1676 and 1679 and the surrounding banks and large wrought iron gates survive from this time. One of the main changes of the 18th century was in 1750, when Sir Edmund planted box edgings to seven groups of shrubs. Later in the twentieth century Lord Ludlow would remove all but one in the far corner which Sir Charles had enjoyed as a retreat and now encloses a summer house.
It was the keen eye of Mary, Lady Isham in the 1820s and later the passion of her son Sir Charles, which gave the gardens their present layout. Sir Charles planted the Irish yews to make the Eagle Walk, so called because it then led to a cage of eagle owls. He also created the Italian garden in front of the Drawing Room windows and planted the climbing wisteria which still thrives today. Sir Charles’ pride and joy however was his remarkable rockery. Rising like a ruined castle and 24 feet tall, Sir Charles populated it with miniature figures – the world’s first garden gnomes. The only remaining original is on view in the Hall.
Today the gardens include extensive herbaceous borders and shrubbery walks containing some rare and interesting plants, providing year round interest. The walled garden was replanted in 2010 and is full of unusual tall perennial plants, many sourced from Piet Oudolf’s nursery. A vibrant array of colour and variety of plants are intersected by gravelled pathways with hidden doors and relaxing benches to be found.
To the south-west of the Church lies the corner spinney which has been brought back to life with the restoration of the paths and a summerhouse. The planting has been carefully chosen to complement the masses of snowdrops and other bulbs and to remain in keeping with the essentially wild nature of the woodland garden.
Garden Tours and Gardening for Wildlife Tours
If you are interested in the history of the gardens and fascinated to see a sample of the wildlife in our gardens join us for one of our tours, included in the admission fee. Tours of the garden are lead by our dedicated volunteers who take you on a 45-60 minute walk around the gardens.
The monthly garden tour offers a glimpse into the social history of the gardens while the seasonal Gardening for Wildlife Tour highlights the abundance of wildlife where you may even spot a sample of the 80 different species of birds and 22 species of butterflies. For more information on these tours please visit our events page.