Parham House & Gardens

Type:Historic House / Palace

Parham Park, Parham, Pulborough, West Sussex, RH20 4HS

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Parham House & Gardens

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About

Set within an ancient deer park below the South Downs, Parham is one of the country’s finest Elizabethan Houses. Parham has always been a well-loved family home, and only three families have lived here since its foundation stone was laid in 1577.  Its tranquillity and timeless beauty have changed little over the centuries.

Inside the House you will discover a rare and precious collection of paintings, furniture and needlework. The Pearsons spent more than 40 years filling Parham with a sensitively chosen collection of furniture, paintings, books, textiles and clocks. They also acquired interesting items which had once been at Parham or had a historical or family association with the House. The portraits are particularly notable, and there are many very fine rugs and carpets.

Alicia Pearson was a skilled needlewoman, and she created at Parham one of the finest and most important collections of early needlework in the country. The range of objects embraces an unparalleled group of Stuart embroidered pictures and panels, covers for furniture, room hangings, bed hangings of the most remarkable quality, a royal saddle, samplers and many other items executed by both amateur and professional embroiderers.

In the 1940s, Alicia Pearson insisted on having flowers all through the House for the enjoyment of visitors. We still follow this tradition, and sometimes as many as thirty buckets of flowers and greenery are brought in for arranging. No flowers are ever bought, and the arrangements, done 'the Parham way', harmonise with the colours in the rooms.

Guided tours with our experienced Guides can be organised for parties of twenty people or more, while unguided groups can benefit from the knowledge of our room Guides, who are ready and willing to answer questions about the history of the House and the objects within.

The award-winning gardens consist of beautiful Pleasure Grounds and a four-acre Walled Garden. There are stunning herbaceous borders, a 1920s greenhouse, vegetable garden, orchard and Wendy House. Enjoy walks around the Pleasure Grounds and lake and explore the variety of fascinating wildlife. The Park is a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Gardens change; they develop, decay, and are altered. Their trees and plants grow and die. The one certainty is that change happens, and should be cautiously welcomed. Parham's Garden walls date from the eighteenth century but the land had been cultivated for many hundreds of years before that. The only "rule" that we follow at Parham is to work with, and not against, this ancient place, accepting and preserving its spirit. The Garden's tranquillity surely reflects the hours of labour and love put into it across the centuries.”   Lady Emma Barnard

Few documents survive which give us an idea of the past history of the four-acre Walled Garden. It certainly pre-dates the House, and it is likely that the land has been cultivated since the 14th century. The walls date from the 18th century, and the garden is laid out in the traditional manner by crossed paths that divide it into four.

All the buildings within the Walled Garden were built in the 1920s and designed by the Arts and Craft architect Victor Heal, who was also engaged in the conservation and restoration of the House. The Greenhouse and the Wendy House, which is built into the garden wall, are particularly memorable.

The Wendy House has an oak floor, a working fireplace, a balcony and several rooms.

The Greenhouse is all that now remains of a connecting series of four, built by Mackenzie and Moncur of Edinburgh in 1923.

Parham is in the Top Twenty in 'England's 1000 Best Houses' by Simon Jenkins.

Photo Credits: Sam Stephenson & Jonathan Wilson
 

Guide Prices

Ticket TypeTicket Tariff
Adult Gardens£11.50 adult
Adult House & Garden£15.50 adult
Child Gardens£5.00 child
Child House & Gardens£7.50 child
Concession Gardens£10.50 concession
Concession House & Garden£14.50 concession

Note: Prices are a guide only and may change on a daily basis.

Facilities

Accessibility

  • Accessible to Wheelchair Users
  • Disabled Accessibility
  • Facilities for the Disabled
  • Parking Areas for Disabled Visitors

Catering

  • Café
  • On-Site cafe/restaurant/catering
  • Picnic area

Children & Infants

  • Baby changing facilities

Establishment Features

  • Dogs Accepted
  • Gift shop
  • Public toilets

Parking & Transport

  • Coach Parking
  • Parking
  • Parking (free)

Payment Methods

  • Credit cards accepted (no fee)

Tours and Demonstrations

  • Guided tours

TripAdvisor

Opening Times

Season (31 Mar 2024 - 13 Oct 2024)
DayTimes
Wednesday - Saturday12:00 - 17:00

* Parham has now closed for the winter. The House and Gardens will open again to visitors on Easter Sunday, 31st March 2024.

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