Lamport Hall, with that striking
classical frontage, was the home of the Isham family from
1560 to 1976 and is the finest example of Grade I Listed
Houses in England.
Did you know?
The first recorded appearance of a Garden Gnome in England was around 1840 at the estate of Sir Charles Isham, the 10th Baronet of Lamport Hall in Northamptonshire. Lampy, as he is known is insured for one million pounds simply because he is England's first gnome.
Sir Charles Isham was considered something of an eccentric. In the mid 1840's, Charles decided he wanted to design a garden on the grounds at Lamport. Being a bit offbeat, he chose to build an Alpine garden with a rockery and imported over 20 lawn gnomes from Germany. Sir Charles gave them tools as if they were working the rock garden as a mine.
The Isham family lived at
Lamport for over 400 years, until Sir Gyles Isham, a
Holywood actor and the 12th Baronet, died in 1976. In his
will he bequeathed the Hall, with its contents and
Estate, to the Lamport Hall Trust. The Hall is set in
tranquil gardens, enclosed by a spacious park. Sir
Charles Isham is responsible for the present day
appearance of the gardens with a small Italian garden and
the remarkable rockery. This is the earliest alpine
garden in England, rising to a height of 24 feet where
Sir Charles put England's first garden gnomes. The only
remaining original is on view in the Hall.
John Isham, a successful wool merchant, built a new manor house in 1568, and assisted by his son Thomas, accumulated a fine library of Elizabethan literature.
In 1608, Thomas's only son, John, was knighted by James I, becoming the first baronet in 1627, and was responsible for extending the house between 1610 and 1611. All that remains of that house is a section of the present stable wing. By 1741, a north and south extension had been added and 100 years later, the wife of the eighth baronet undertook a major reconstruction, turning the Jacobean manor house into a neo-Tudor building. In 1842 she was responsible for the rebuilding of the south-east front overlooking the garden. Sir Charles Isham, the tenth baronet, commissioned a new facade with porch to the north-west front, which became the main entrance to the Hall. During the 1970's, after a period of neglect, Sir Gyles Isham, the last baronet, undertook some extensive restoration work and allowed the ground floor to be opened to the public by 1974, two years before his death.
The Hall and gardens are available for hire on an exclusive basis for marriages and receptions (Two of its rooms are licensed for the occasion), corporate events and seminars and even filming. The Hall gardens also plays host to theatre and musical events during the summer months.