Hinton Ampner, with its magnificent twentieth-century garden and views, was once a haunted Tudor manor of the Stewkeley and the Stawell families but was adapted into a Georgian villa in 1793. The Honourable Mary Bilson-Legge, daughter of Henry (1757–1820), 2nd Lord Stawell, brought Hinton Ampner into the Dutton family, by her marriage to John (1779–1862), 2nd Lord Sherborne. The previous two generations are amusingly portrayed in a version of Zoffany’s painting, ‘The Dutton Family’. The couple lived, however, at the Dutton seat, Sherborne House, Gloucestershire. It was not until 1857 that their second son, the Honourable John Thomas Dutton (1810–1884), came to live at Hinton Ampner. He married Lavinia, sixth daughter of the 5th Earl of Macclesfield, in 1834, thanks to which Grisoni’s superb Baroque portrait of the 1st Earl and Lord High Chancellor came to the house. The House was left to the National Trust by Ralph Dutton (1898–1985), 8th Baron Sherborne, who, after a devastating fire in 1960, returned the house to its Georgian form, without the extraneous Victorian exterior additions. He also supplemented the painting collection with seventeenth-century Italian Baroque works, many by Venetian artists, like Pellegrini, Ricci, Pittoni and Fontebasso.
National Trust, Hinton Ampner
Bramdean, near Alresford, Hampshire SO24 0LA England
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