P R O F I L E
opposite Hampton Court Palace
Telephone: 020 8943 0889
Hampton Court House was designed by Thomas Wright of Durham. He was an astronomer who turned to architecture and landscape design. It is located at Hampton, opposite Hampton Court Palace. The Rococo style of the house was one of Wright's notable creations. It was built in 1757 for the 2nd Earl of Halifax's mistress, the opera singer Anna Maria Donaldson.
Hampton Court House grounds contain a mid 18th century Shell House Grotto. It is listed by English Heritage as Grade II*. Located at the edge of a heart shaped lake, it would have been superb for picnics and includes a fireplace. Many of the shells came from the West Indies, said to have been sent back by Mrs Donaldson's husband, a sea captain. Decorating the walls was the sought after holey limestone similar to Painshill.
A Grotto this, by Mortal Hand!
O no - we tread in fairy Land,
'Tis raised by Mab's enchanted Wand,
So rare, so elegant, so bright,
It dazzles, while it charms the sight.
So says David Garrick in a poem entitled "Upon a certain Grotto near Hampton" 1769
GREAT BRITISH GROTTO GRADING
Not open to the public, On private property
Access all Year, Access by Road, Grotto - just one, Weddings venue
Park or Garden, Urban
England - Southern
THE FEATURES PRESENT
+Cared for and maintained in good condition, +Crystals and/or minerals, either natural or simulated, +Dark and mysterious chambers and cave like spaces, +External rock structures, either real or simulated, +Fossils and/or shells incorporated into the decor, +Internal stonework that is natural, recycled or simulated to give a subterranean decor, +Sacred spring or integral water feature, +Stunning setting and location, GRADED NINE