Hamwood is the birthplace of exceptionally talented women artists, and writers such as Eva, Letitia, and Caroline Hamilton. Amy Hamilton helped set up the Yorshire WI in the War years. Pioneering men such as George Hamilton headed to Canada and set up family timber mills at Hawkesbury near Quebec. His house in Quebec was also called Hamwood. Other family members became Senators, John sat on the Board of Directors of the Bank of Montreal…

House Tours

Visitors to this intriguing house will be surprised to be welcomed via a front door which is unusually placed at the end of the West wing in a hexagonal hall, rather than in the middle of the façade. This was to suppress the draughts in what was an exceptionally exposed position before the trees grew up.

One of Caroline’s anecdotes tells of an occasion where seven strong men were required to shut the front door in such a storm! Equally surprising perhaps is the Canadian moose head that greets the visitor as they enter. Uniquely the drawing room stretches the entire length of the façade -some 45 ft – with four large Georgian windows allowing in all the morning light. Here Caroline designed a music room which still holds many musical gathering even today, with many commenting on the extraordinary acoustics.

Throughout the house are examples of fine Irish furniture, beautifully ornate built-in display cabinets, and of course works of art by the many generations of Hamilton artists and many more such as the great Sir William Orpen. The garden and grounds are well recorded in their prime thanks to the colourful watercolour’s painted by Letitia in the pre-First world war period.

Garden & Trail

The walled garden began in 1777 when Charles Hamilton I built its walls. Part of the wall existed as stone but was later added to in brick. To make it look like a seamless brick wall, the stone walls were rendered, and the brickwork painted on. At the time, the walled garden was mainly used to grow fruit, vegetables and flowers for the household. Charles II created the rock garden and with his wife Caroline designed the triangular shaped Knot garden. Charles III, otherwise known as Charles William, was an amateur artist as was his wife Letitia Armstrong and created to the front and rear of the house a parterre – an intricate design of flowers in beds which would resemble a cluster of fine jewels at a distance…