The Original Garden Visitor's Guide

Athelhampton House & Gardens

Athelhampton House dates from 1485 and the Great Hall is a magnificent example of early Tudor architecture with heraldic glass, linenfold panelling and carved roof timbers. The house has an array of fine furniture from the Jacobean to Victorian periods and the West Wing gallery hosts an exhibition of paintings and sketches by the Russian artist Marevna who lived at Athelhampton during the 1940’s.

In 1891 Alfred Carte de Lafontaine commissioned the building of the formal gardens. Francis Inigo Thomas designed four ham stone courts in the Elizabethan style. The Grade I listed gardens, which have won the HHA ‘Garden of the Year’ award, are full of variety.

The famous 30 feet high yew pyramids dominate the Great Court, and the 15th century Dovecote is still home to a colony of beautiful white fantail doves. Water forms a recurring feature with fountains and pools throughout the characteristic themed compartments of the garden which link creating a labyrinth of rooms.

Restoration work has recently begun on our Kitchen Garden, which is now open to the public as the team begin to replant and restore the garden. It will be an ongoing project, no doubt a 'labour of love', gradually evolving into a beautiful addition to the existing gardens here at Athelhampton.

Fact File

Opening Times: Open 1st March - 31st October, Sunday - Thursday 10.00am until 5.00pm. Open 1st November - 28th February, Sunday’s only 10.00am until dusk.
Admission Rates: House and Gardens Adults £13.95 Seniors £12.75 Children £3.00 Gardens Only £9.95
Group Rates: £9.50 per person - minimum group size 12
Facilites: Plant sales, gift shop, kitchen garden, art gallery, restaurant serving morning coffee, cake, hot and cold lunches and afternoon tea
Guided Tours: Yes for groups, booking is required
Special Events: DVCA Classic Car Auction - Thursday 8th March 2018. Plant Heritage Plant Sale - Sunday 6th May.
Flower Festival - Sunday 20th - Thursday 24th May 2018.
DVCA Classic Car Auction - Thursday 7th June 2018.
MG Owners Day - Sunday 12th August 2018.
Outdoor Theatre - Friday 24th August 2018
Plant Heritage Autumn Plant Sale - Sunday 9th September 2018.
DVCA Classic Car Auction - Thursday 13th September 2018.
Dorset Food and Drink Christmas Fair - Saturday 24th & Sunday 25th November 2018.
Disabled Access: Yes (Limited - please contact us for further information). Booking advised for hire of a wheelchair.
Toilets: Yes including a disabled toilet
Coach/Car Parking: Yes FOC
Length of Visit: 2 hours minimum
Booking Contact: Laura Pitman or Natasha Lillington
Athelhampton House and Gardens, Athelhampton, Dorchester, Dorset, DT2 7LG
Tel No: 01305 848363
Location: Located 5 miles east of Dorchester. Turn off A35 at Puddletown Northbrook junction.

Updated 06/12/2017

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