Hampton Court Castle

Visiting Hampton Court Castle

Hampton Court Castle stands in Herefordshire in the parish of Hope under Dinmore. This fine example of a castellated country house dates from 1427, and the original owner and builder was Sir Rowland Lenthall. Today, visitors may enjoy the castle and gardens in summer or use it as a wedding venue.

Parking

Visitors may access Hampton castle off the A417 close to the junction with the A49 between Leominster and Hereford. Enter through the main gate and follow the road right into the castle car park, which is signposted. 

Once in the parking lot, follow the gravel path that leads directly to the ticket office.  

 

Price

Gardens and Castle

Adult

£14.50

Senior (65+)

£13.00

Child (4-15)

£8.50

Under 4s

Free

 

Opening

Hampton castle is open every day from Spring to Autumn, when they close for the season. The last day is typically in the second week of September. 

The operating hours are from 11 am until 5 pm for self-guided tours only with the last entry at 4 pm.


Visitors should check the castle website in case of private functions that may affect the visiting days.

Location and Access

Visitors may locate Hampton castle at:

Hampton Court Castle

Hope under Dinmore

Herefordshire

HR6 0PN.

Access to the Castle is via the Arkwright Courtyard. Unfortunately, the castle doesn’t have a lift, but there are photographs for viewing for those unable to use the stairs to the upper floors.

Know Before You Go

  • Hampton Court castle offers an exclusive use wedding venue, with 24 unique castle bedrooms for wedding accommodation.
  • The castle is set in award-winning gardens that are over 80% wheelchair-friendly.
  • The Orangery cafe has a selection of freshly baked foods and drinks.
  • Tickets to the castle are only available for those who have also purchased access to the gardens.
  • The castle custodians don’t allow dogs anywhere on the estate, except for assistance dogs.
  • The espalier tree on the castle grounds grows over twenty varieties of heirloom apples and pears.
  • Drone flying is prohibited on the castle site and gardens.

Places To Stay Nearby

Premier Inn Hereford Holmer Hotel

The Premier Inn Hereford Holmer Hotel is a great base to explore the Hampton Castle and attractions around the area. Hereford Cathedral is nearby, where you can view the historically monumental Mappa Mundi or sample some local cider at the much-loved Cider Museum.

The inn offers wifi and ensuite rooms with Hypnos beds for comfortable rest after your castle hunting. You also have an option of unlimited breakfast for a nominal fee. 

Room prices range from £84.50 for a standard room.

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Hampton Castle Wedding Accommodation

The beautiful and historical setting of Hampton Castle and Gardens is a lovely option for exclusive wedding hire. It has 24 rooms, including the luxury Arkwright Suite experience with a games room, dining room, and Brewhouse Bar. 

The bridal suite is in a separate wing of the castle and provides everything the bride and groom need to prepare for their big day. The wedding packages differ in terms of the number of guests and specific wedding requirements.

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Aylestone Court Hotel

Aylestone Court Hotel is set only 10 minutes from the city centre, and this lovingly restored Georgian townhouse offers six bespoke bedrooms. This family-run hotel offers tastefully decorated bedrooms with wifi TVs and ensuite baths and showers. 

They also boast a restaurant, which includes an afternoon tea served in family china. 

Prices for a Twin/ Superking room are £88. Expect to pay around £105 for a Master Room.

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History of Hampton Court Castle 

Sir Rowland Lenthall built Hampton Court Castle in 1427 after gaining King Henry IV’s favour. The castle was the seat of the Conninsbys for 270 years before passing a succession of owners, including Richard Arkwright, the son of the famous industrialist and inventor of the same name.

Time Line


-The early 1400s-

Henry IV began building the castle before handing the estate to Sir Rowland Lenthall at his marriage to Margaret Fitzalan, daughter of the King’s cousin Earl of Arundel.

-1427

The King granted Lenthall a knighthood for his service in the Battle of Agincourt, and twelve years later, Lenthall built the manor house on the site. 

-1434

Henry IV granted Lenthall the licence to crenellate (fortify) his manor this year. 

-1510

The castle passed to Lenthall’s daughter, who married Baron Burford. Their grandson then sold it to Sir Humphrey Coningsby.

-1781

The castle continued in the Coningsby line until George Capel, the Viscount of Malden, inherited it and its estates. He extensively remodelled Hampton Court according to the architect James Wyyatts designs.

-1795

The celebrated artist JMW Turner visited Hampton Court Castle and did a series of watercolours and sketches of the site. Many of these watercolours survived in the Whitworth Art Gallery at the University of Manchester.

-1810

Richard Arkwright purchased the estate and castle at the time. The purchase price of £220,000 would be around £6 million today. In fact, some historians believed it to be the most costly house sold in England in the 19th century. 

Arkwright was a celebrated industrialist who made his fortune by revolutionising the spinning and weaving industries.

The 1830s-1840s (Remodelled)

John Arkwright, Richard’s son, extensively remodelled Hampton Court to appear more castle-like in a Victorian Gothic style designed by Charles Tracey. In addition, the remodelling included battlements to make it look more medieval. 

The architect Charles Tracey oversaw the remodelling, and the relations between John and Tracey were acrimonious. By the turn of the 20th century, John was in financial ruin aptly due to the elaborate expense accrued in remodelling Hampton Court Castle. 

-1848

Joseph Paxton designed an ornate conservatory that now houses the cafe behind the house. 

-1910

John Stanhope Arkwright sold the castle, which had fallen into a state of disrepair. Paxton’s Greenhouse was falling down, and the beautiful gardens were overgrown and neglected. 

The castle then passed through several hands until 1924.

-1924-1972 

The Viscount of Hereford made his seat at Hampton Court. 

-1994

American Businessman Robert Van Kampen and his wife Judith bought Hampton Court. After Robert's death in 1999, the Kampen family opened the formal gardens featuring a celebration with a sacred choir.

-2008

The Van Kampen family sold the castle.

-2016

The house and estate were listed for sale at £12 million, though the site doesn’t divulge the current owners’ details. 

Hampton Court Castle Occupants

  • 1427- Sir Rowland Lenthall and his wife Margaret Fitzalan occupied Hampton Castle.
  • 1510- Lenthall's daughter married Baron Burford and occupied the castle until her grandson sold it to Sir Humphrey Coningsby.
  • 1510-1781- The Coningsby family occupied the castle for this timespan.  
  • 1810- Richard occupied, and then it passed Hampton Court to his son, John Arkwright.
  • 1924-1972- The Viscount of Hereford occupied the castle.
  • 1994-The American Businessman Robert Van Kampen and his wife Judith occupied the castle.

Images of Hampton Court Castle

Hampton Court Castle Hampton Court Castle Hampton Court Castle Hampton Court Castle
Hampton Court Castle Hampton Court Castle Hampton Court Castle Hampton Court Castle

Images Supplied and licensed from Shutterstock Standard Licence Package

Hampton Court Castle Facts

  • Richard Arkwright was the wealthiest commoner in England and purchased the castle and estate for £220,000, equivalent to £6 million by today’s standards. 
  • Hampton Court gardens have Dutch parterres and canals and a 150-year-old wisteria tunnel in front of the house. The gardens offer a giant yew maze of over 1000 individual trees.
  • Lord Coningsby supported the dutch Willaim Prince of Orange in his marriage to Mary, daughter of James II, and added many Dutch features to the castle gardens as homage.
  • The same Lord Ciningsby added the word ‘court” to the Hampton Castle title in homage to Hampton Court Willam and Mary's favourite residence.
  • Historians believe that Some of the original oak panelling from Hampton Court Castle was taken during the 17th century to Wickton Court near Leominster and is still a feature of the stately manor’s living room.
  • Joseph Paxton the famous English gardener and architect, designed the ornate conservatory behind the houses that now houses the cafe. He’s also famous for cultivating the Cavendish banana, the most widely eaten banana in the world. 
  • The Hampton Court house and grounds featured on the first season of BBC Televisions 1975 series called Survivors
  • Visits to the castle interior are by guided tour only and include several key rooms, including the chapel, library ballroom and state bedrooms.

Hampton Court Castle Q&A

What Kind of Castle Is Hampton Court?

Hampton Castle isn’t a proper castle despite its appearance. It was never built for military function but rather as a show of power and wealth. 

Castle features, such as battlements, were later additions to resemble a military castle. Hampton Court is instead a castellated country house. 

How Old Is Hampton Court Castle?

The oldest sections of Hampton Castle, including the chapel, date back to 1427, making it 100 years older than the Hampton Court Palace. The castle underwent extensive remodelling in the 1830s and was restored in the 1990s by Robert Van Kampen. As a result, it is 594 years old this year.

Who Built Hampton Court Castle?

Sir Rowland Lenthall built the original house on the estates he accrued in marriage to the king’s cousin Margaret Fitzalan. He built a quadrangular courtyard house which has retained its basic form in subsequent builds. 

Sir Rowland Lenthall fought with Henry V in the Battle of Agincourt and accrued so many prisoners in the conflict that it financed his new home at Hampton Court. 

Can Hampton Court Castle Be Used as a Wedding Venue?

Hampton Court Castle offers a unique wedding venue with several iconic rooms set for that special day. Hampton has medieval halls, a bar and South lawns and a picturesque garden that serves as a backdrop for unforgettable moments. The castle enables you to host up to 600 people.

Their Grand Ballroom seats 120 guests with space enough for evening festivities and an elaborate wedding breakfast for the happy couple and their guests.  

Hampton provides exclusive hire of their 24 unique castle bedrooms and has a dedicated team to guide prospective brides through every aspect of the ceremony. They also offer expertise in larger marquee weddings up to 600 guests in the historic surroundings. 

Can We Stay in Hampton Court Castle?

The owners of Hampton Court Castle aim to bring to life some of the older buildings in a quiet area of the property. They aim to restore and preserve these buildings by tastefully updating them while leaving their old-world charm intact. The first cottage will open in 2022.

This will allow visitors a chance to stay on the castle grounds and explore the beautiful surrounding Herefordshire countryside. They hope to provide visitors with tranquil and historical settings to explore the deep history of the area.

Location of Hampton Court Castle

 

Hampton Court Castle is a historic 15th-century castle on the side of the River Lugg in rural Herefordshire. Often confused with the Hampton Court Palace, the castle predates the Palace in some sections, such as the chapel, by 100 years. 

The Hampton estate dates back to the early 1500s when Hampton Mappnor and Hampton Richard joined into one large estate. 

Rowland Lenthal didn’t build the castellated country house to serve a primarily military function. Instead, it was a show of the wealth and power of the owners. The castle underwent extensive remodelling through the years, but the castle still occupies the original site. 

The gardens offer beautiful water features, a pond and a 150-year-old Wisteria arch. 

Children will love the garden maze and exploring the Secret Tunnel. The Gothic Tower is a great draw for the young or young at heart, and it stands in a maze of over 1000 Yew trees. You may climb the tower for stunning views of the surrounding countryside. 

Visitors can take advantage of the Riverwalk to explore the castle grounds and enjoy the views of the castle from across the ha-ha walls. 

There are numerous seating areas and benches to relax and enjoy the sound of birds in the fragrant castle gardens. Otherwise, you may enjoy The Orangery Cafe, which offers a great menu with both inside and outside seating.

Other Places To Visit Near Hampton Court Castle

Hereford Cathedral

The site of the Hereford Cathedral has been a place of worship since at least the 8th century, although only the 11th century Bishop’s Chapel survives. 

The Cathedral contains the Mappa Mundi, the only complete map of the world from medieval times. Attributed to Rihard of Holdingham it depicts an encyclopedia of the medieval world. 

Hooldhingham drew the map on a single calfskin, and the map is 700 years old and one of the most important historical maps in the world. 

In its tumultuous history, Hereford Cathedral was destroyed by Welsh rebels and the site of Henry the VIII slighting of churches during the reformation. 

The beautiful architecture still hosts church services to this day. 

Leominster Museum 

The Leominster Museum offers a variety of historical artefacts from the area, including Bronze Age burial artefacts, antique postcards and documents and paintings by famous local artist John Scarlett Davis. 

The museum is independent and run by volunteers passionate about the history of the area. 

Monkland, All Saints Church

The Benedcitine cell of the Abbey of Conches in France founded Monkland All Saints Church in the 11th century. The famous architect GE Street extensively remodelled the church interior, including a beautifully painted ceiling and colourful stained glass. 

The 14th-century Sedalia and piscina survive in the south chancel wall, as well as a 12-century font and several 14th-century tiles. 

The church is also home to an 1866 Organ built by JW Walker, which is still in use today. 

Leominster Priory 

Also known as St Peter and St Pauls, the Leominster Priory dates back to the 13th century and was originally part of a larger Benedectine priory. Unfortunately, the priory was destroyed under Henry VIII Dissolution of the Monasteries.

The church offers notable 12th-century carvings on the west doorway, including the wild man of the woods linked to pagan fertility rites.

Leominster also houses the last ducking stool in England, which was a form of punishment usually dealt out to women. Offences could vary from scolding, gossip or sexual impropriety, or the chair could be more deadly. If the offence was witchcraft, the stools would be immersed underwater, sometimes fatally. 

Visitors will find the ducking chair wheeled because often the victim of the supposed transgression would be paraded through the town, held fast to the ducking chair in irons, much like a mobile stock. 

St Cosmas & St Damian Church

This quaint historical monument is often overlooked by travellers located as it’s on a farmyard in Herefordshire. The St Cosmas & St Damian Church is unusual in that it’s almost as wide as it’s long. 

The church is dedicated to two lesser-known saints St Cosmas and St Damian, the patron saints of physicians. Another unusual aspect is that the church contains two naves and two chancels under one roof. 

Part of the church dates to the 12th century and the nave arcades from the 13th century.

The church also contains a pair of 16th-century wooden rood screens and a jacobean pulpit. Also on view is a husband and wife memorial effigy likely to depict the 14th-century Delabere family. 

Sources