18th Century Georgian Mansion

18th Century Georgian Mansion

Built in 1757 by the 2nd Earl of Halifax, Hampton Court House was intended as an extravagant gift for his beautiful mistress, Anna Maria Donaldson. The Earl, a lovable cad if ever there was one, met Anna Maria while she was singing at London’s Marylebone Gardens. Rumour has it that the Earl was so impressed by her, he reportedly “fainted with ecstasy”.

The house was designed by the renowned architect of the time Thomas Wright, who was also responsible for a number of other very special period features, such as the heart shaped lake and the exquisitely decorated shell grotto. The grotto served as a banqueting house and no doubt was the venue of many moonlit parties. Today the grotto is a rare blend of two upper class obsessions of the time: Rococo garden design and shell collecting.

Halifax Family

Within Easy Reach From The Centre Of London

Anna Maria left Hampton Court House following the Earl’s death in 1771. Since then it has been the home to numerous distinguished (and not so distinguished) owners, including the 4th Earl of Sandwich. Best remembered as a compulsive gambler and inventor of the sandwich, the Earl would save having to leave the card table to take a meal, by calling for a piece of beef to be brought over to him, between two slices of bread.

Within easy reach from the centre of London, whether by car, train, helicopter or boat, today Hampton Court House and its grounds is as spectacular as ever and has hosted some fabulous weddings, private parties and corporate events throughout the years.

Stag near Hampton Court House

The Shell Grotto And The Gardens

The landscaped sunken gardens were designed by the famous astronomer and architect Thomas Wright. Providing a wonderfully private and romantic environment, the gardens contain several magnificent features, including a winter garden with palm trees, a heart shaped lake and an enchanting shell-lined grotto, one of the last of its kind left in tact in England.

Bride and groom posing for photo in the Shell Grotto
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