Trumpeters' House is situated on Crown Land, once the site of Richmond Palace, built by Henry VII in the 16th Century. Elizabeth I died in this Palace in 1603 and it remained in royal ownership till the death of Charles I, when it was sold and subsequently demolished.
The only remains of the palace are two stone statues of trumpeters that adorned the original middle gate of the palace. These were then erected at the side entrance of the new house. The gardens were restored in the 1950s after the house suffered bomb damage during the Second World War. The current owner has spent 20 years developing and improving the garden, which is now considered one of the most important in the Open Garden Squares Weekend South West London area.
The huge immaculate lawn rolls from the front columned portico of the house down to the river. On the right-hand side a series of wonderful garden ‘rooms’ emerge, many of them enclosed in clipped box hedging. Old apple, plum, pear and quince trees appear throughout the garden in orchards or singly.
A newly planted ornamental pear tree avenue follows an octagon box hedge filled with lavender and a central candy twist spiral. There are a number of formal knot gardens planted with Fairy Roses in pink and white sprays. Just when you think that you have seen it all, more of the garden reveals itself to you. A most striking feature is a pond filled with water lilies and carp which showcases some charming bronze statues. Many paths lead to the pond highlighting different views and angles.
Carved statues and urns are dotted around, providing the appearance of an Italianate garden in some areas. Planting is mostly formal and provides seasonal interest. The final area running alongside the river and accessed through an ornate metal gate is an arid garden featuring large eucalyptus trees, phormiums, cordylines and cardoons. Benches are scattered around, allowing you time to sit and enjoy the wonderful outlook taking in the white pigeon aviary, armillary sphere and sundials and discover more hidden places and a castellated working artist’s studio. This garden is seldom open to public and the opportunity of a visit is certainly not one to be missed.