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  • Writer's pictureIna

London Spring Photo Diaries: 120,000 Giant Crocuses at Ham House and Garden

Updated: Sep 23, 2021

If you often fantasize about a purple field of - let's say - crocus bulbs, then The Ham House Gardens in Richmond Upon Thames near London is the place to be every spring from now on. The National Trust has planted 120,000 Ruby Giant Crocuses and every year in February-March, Londoners can admire these spectacular purple carpets in full bloom.

Ham House History in a Nutshell

Known as one of the grandest Stuart houses in England, Ham House was originally built in 1610 on the rural banks of the River Thames, 10 miles away from central London. The concept belonged entirely to the enterprising courtier, William Murray, and his daughter Elizabeth. The house, a rare 17th-century survival of grandeur and luxury was a gift from King Charles I, Murray's childhood friend and school colleague.

In 1642 the English Civil War broke out, and when the royalists lost, Charles was captured, tried for high treason, and beheaded 7 years later. Charles’ son was crowned Charles II of Scotland and had to flee England, allowing Cromwell, in 1653, to become "lord protector" of the new Commonwealth. This unexpected turn of events made lives difficult for all royalists such as the Murray family.

Fortunately, William's eldest daughter Elizabeth was determined to keep the Ham House and established an agreement with the newly-arrived Protector, while secretly sending Royalist messages to the prince exiled in France. Charles II was restored to power in 1660, allowing the Ham House to recover its reputation as a place of extravagance and entertainment.

📍 Ham St, Ham, Richmond-upon-Thames TW10 7RS

Ham House opening times: Daily between 10 am and 4 pm.

🚇 The closest London Underground Station to Ham House and Gardens is Richmond Station, on the District line and the London Overground.

📌 Nearby London Attractions:

  • Orleans House Gallery (1.2 km).

  • York House Gardens (1.6 km).

  • Marble Hill House (1.7 km).

  • Strawberry House & Garden (3 km).

  • Richmond Park (4.5 km).


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