Getting to know... Ham House

  • 10 October 2011

Ham House is one of our most popular National Art Pass venues, combining beautiful views of the Thames and lavish architecture with a rich history and atmosphere. We found out about its royal flirtations and binned beds in our Q&A...

Ham House © NTPL/John Hammond

Ham House

Ham House is one of our favourite National Art Pass venues, combining beautiful views of the Thames and lavish architecture with a rich history and atmosphere. But how much do we really know about this 17th-century treasure? Find out about royal flirtations and binned beds in our Q&A...

Age... A lady never tells (but I was built in 1610)

Describe yourself in three words… Exotic, ostentatious, gilded

Most treasured possession? My recently restored silk wall hangings

Most famous visitor is… Oh, there have been so many… but when George III requested a peek I wasn't in the mood. ("Whenever my house becomes a public spectacle," said the earl, "His Majesty shall certainly have the first view.")

Best café creation? This has to be the recreation of the Chocolate Lyonnese cake that we ran during my 400th birthday celebrations last year

Any museum pets? Elizabeth Dysart,who owned me in the mid-1600s, loved her little spaniels. They're all dead now, but some still visit from time to time...

One thing that could make you better is... I wish we'd never thrown away the Queen's bed

You have a Museum crush on... Knole in Sevenoaks. Far too young for me, of course, but it has some beautiful old textiles – nearly as nice as mine, but they were all pass-me-downs from the King...

What do you most dislike about your appearance? My fancy roofline, lost when I got a new roof 300 years back

You’re most happy when… Showing off to my interested visitors

Get free entry to Ham House with a National Art Pass.