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Athelhampton House and Gardens in Dorset

This page is about Athelhampton House and Gardens in Dorchester, Dorset

Alot of Athelhampton house has been in place for over five hundred years, the history of which, and its related families dates back over a thousand years. Numerous owners have carried out works on the building to make it what it is today. The site was inhabited from 1086 and built on in 1485 was the Great hall, Solar and Buttery.

In 1485 a 160 acre deer park was established with the Gatehouse and West Wing being built in 1550. The building to the back of house was split into four seperate house holds.

In 1862 the Church of St. John is built and the Gatehouse demolished. Restoration to the gardens and creation of formal gardens took place in 1891. Also in 1920-1 the north wing at the back of the house was built.

The history surronding the ghost of Athelhampton is of an Ape, which belonged to the Martyn family in the sixteenth century. The ape is also the emblem on their coat of arms on the stained glass of the Great Hall. The ape is rumoured to to roam the house looking for its new owner, finding four daughters. The haunting heard is said to be the Ape attempting to escape from the stairways and cellar it became trapped in.

Contact details

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telephone: 01305 848363
address:  Dorchester

Map | Driving Directions

Opening Times

Summer Opening Hours (March – October)

Sundays – Thursdays 10.30am – 5.00pm.

Closed on Fridays & Saturdays. Open Good Friday

Topiary restaurant opens from 10am for Coffee & Pastries. Sunday Carvery served from 12 noon – 3.00pm.

Winter Opening Hours (November – February)

Sundays Only 10.30am – dusk. Topiary restaurant opens from 10am for Coffee & Pastries.

Other times may be available by appointment, please call 01305 848363

Sunday Carvery served from 12 noon – 2.30pm

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Adult: £12.50
Senior: £10.50
Children under 16 (includes a children’s trail): £2.50
Disabled: £7.50
Student (with id): £7.50
Dogs (on a lead): £1.00

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