Discover the Victorian parterre which is filled with 8,000 bedding plants.
The stunning Dutch Garden with its geometric design, lies behind the house.
From the Hall, meander through the Pleasure Grounds to the Walled Garden. Rebuilt by William Emes in 1790s, it is surrounded by herbaceous borders and fruit trees.
Wimpole Hall has a chequered history. Since 1650, the estate has been sold four times because of debt while five landscape designers were asked to update the gardens within seventy years.
National Trust members visit for free.
Thomas Chicheley built the ‘new’ house and laid out the formal gardens in 1650. Forced to sell because of financial difficulties, the estate was bought by Sir John Cutler.
Elizabeth Cutler married Charles Robartes, 2nd Earl of Radnor but because of financial pressure, he was forced to sell the estate in 1710.
Wimpole Hall was bought by John Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle but after his premature death, the estate was inherited by Lady Henrietta Cavendish-Holles. She married Edward Harley, 2nd Earl of Oxford and Mortimer. Harley amassed a huge collection of books – they formed the foundation of the British Library – and also commissioned Charles Bridgeman to update the landscape. But with rising debts, Wimpole was sold again and bought by Philip Yorke, 1st Earl of Hardwicke.
Hardwicke appointed Robert Greening in 1750s to update the gardens. Greening replaced the straight walks and parterres with lawns and a pleasure garden near the house.
The 2nd Earl of Hardwicke commissioned ‘Capability’ Brown to redesign the landscape while the gardens were changed again by William Emes. Not all Emes’s suggestions were implemented as in 1801, the third Earl asked Humphry Repton to prepare a Red Book with further changes.
By the end of the 19th century, the 5th Earl of Hardwick was forced by the Agar-Robartes Bank to put the estate up for sale. The reserve price was not met, and the chairman of the Bank, Lord Robartes, 6th Viscount Clifden assumed ownership. After 200 years, Wimpole Hall had returned to the Robartes family.
In 1930, the 7th Viscount chose Lanhydrock as his family home and Wimpole Hall was deserted and let to tenants.
It was finally rescued by George Bambridge and his wife Elsie, daughter of Rudyard Kipling. They first rented and then bought the property in 1938.
On her death in 1976, Mrs Bambridge left the estate to the National Trust.