First built in 1643 and much altered by subsequent owners, Wimpole has developed into the largest country house in Cambridgeshire. Wimpole’s owners employed noted architects of their day to make alterations to the Hall: Lord Harley, 2nd Earl of Oxford employed James Gibbs; the Earls of Hardwicke during their period of ownership from 1740- 1895 employed Henry Flitcroft, Sir John Soane and Henry Kendall. Evidence of the work of all of these architects can be seen today, but the most notable work is that of Soane. Examples include: the Bathhouse, Book Room and the striking Yellow Drawing Room.
Mrs. Elsie Bambridge, the last owner of Wimpole, who bequeathed her estate to the National Trust in 1976. Bought in 1938 Wimpole Hall was devoid of any furniture or paintings and Mrs Bambridge spent her life trying to return some of them. What you see today at Wimpole is a culmination of development of the earlier owners and the collection assembled by Captain George and Elsie Bambridge.
Wimpole provides almost a case-book history of English Gardening from 1690 to 1830. The contributions of successive generations were, broadly speaking, five main periods of activity.
Winner of Sandford Award 1988, 1993, 1999, 2004.
Leave a Reply