Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Hinton Ampner blaze memories sought for exhibition

An exhibition is to be held marking the 50th anniversary of the restoration of an 18th Century Hampshire house following a blaze in 1960.

Hinton Ampner in Bramdean was remodelled by former owner Lord Ralph Dutton and reopened in 1963.

The exhibition will include photographs of the fire and restoration work and goes on display at the house on 25 May.

The National Trust, which now manages the building, is asking members of the public to contribute their memories.

Image caption The exhibition will open at the house on 25 May
Image caption The National Trust is asking members of the public to share their memories of the fire
Image caption The house was reopened in May 1963 following restoration work
Image caption The restored library's 3,400 books were "hand selected" by Lord Ralph Dutton

'Hand selected'

Gladys Trickle, 81, and her family worked at Hinton Ampner for most of their lives.

Image caption Lord Dutton "hand selected" many of the items in the house

She remembers the fire vividly.

"When I saw the devastation I felt sick to the stomach," she said.

"Ralph Dutton stayed with a local family for the first few days, but he was not downcast. In fact, I heard him say he wanted the builders to get straight back in."

Louise Washington, from the trust, said the exhibition would focus on the reconstruction of the house, which includes Georgian items, such as Blue John stone pieces.

"Lord Dutton chose every single item in the house himself," she said.

"In fact, he hand selected 3,400 books to replace the ones which were destroyed in the library."

The house, which was originally built in 1793, was bequeathed to the National Trust following the death of Lord Dutton, the 8th and last Lord of Sherborne, in 1985.

Hinton Ampner's gardens were created by Lord Dutton between 1937 and the 1960s.

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