Discover what makes this family home so special and how you can enjoy the property and its grounds this summer
Parham has always been a well-loved family home, and only three families have lived here since its foundation stone was laid in 1577. Bought in 1922 by the Hon. Clive Pearson and his wife, Alicia, they found it in a sad state of repair and together revived and restored it with great sensitivity and care. They opened the doors to the public in 1948 and followed by their daughter Veronica Tritton, spent more than 60 years carefully restoring it. They filled the house with a sensitively chosen collection of furniture, paintings and textiles and also bought back items which had originally been in the house. What they created at Parham is a rare survival of mid-20th century connoisseurship within a major Elizabethan house. Sir Simon Jenkins (author, editor and chairman of the National Trust since 2008) has placed Parham in his top 20 houses (“England’s Thousand Best Houses”, 2003) and referred to it as a ‘house of magic’. Now owned by a charitable trust, Veronica Tritton’s great-niece, Lady Emma Barnard, is ‘chatelaine’ of Parham today and lives in the house with her husband and children.
Each year Parham hosts a calendar of events for visitors to enjoy and this year these include the Sussex Guild ‘Contemporary Craft Show’ on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th June. Over 30 Sussex-based designers & makers of contemporary and traditional crafts will be at Parham to show and sell their products including ceramics, furniture, glass, jewellery, metalwork, silversmithing, textiles and woodwork. Commented Lady Emma Barnard, chatelaine of Parham, “We are delighted that so many very talented Sussex Guild members are coming to Parham again this year. The beautiful objects they produce, both for display and for sale, always delight and inspire our visitors. I know this year will be no exception.”
On Friday 20th June, Midsummer’s Eve, at 7.30pm, there will be an RHS “Growing for Success” Gardening Talk. One in a series of 12 talks taking place in beautiful gardens across the country, the talk is being given by Adam Pasco, previously editor of BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine and is entitled the ‘Golden Rules of Gardening’. He will share his 16 golden rules to help gardeners achieve greater success, productivity and enjoyment in their gardens.
On the same evening, between 6-9pm, Parham is also holding a “Midsummer’s Eve Magic” event when visitors can experience the magic of Parham’s award-winning English country garden at dusk. This is a unique evening affording the opportunity to stroll through the stunning herbaceous borders full of midsummer colour and indulge in the sensations of the scented rose garden and opulent greenhouses whilst sipping on a chilled glass of Prosecco.
Moving into July, Parham will be hosting its “21ST Annual Garden Weekend” on Saturday 12th & Sunday 13th. This hugely popular Garden Weekend will be officially opened in its 21st year by the celebrity TV presenter, Joe Swift, from BBC2s Gardeners’ World programme. The Garden Weekend attracts a wide spectrum of quality specialist nurseries and is one of the best garden weekends in the South East of England for viewing and buying really top quality plants for your garden. A new attraction for children will be a selection of Traditional Village Fair games to enjoy.
In August, Parham hosts its 3rd annual “Grow Your Own Festival” on Sunday 17th August. Taking place in the summer holidays, the day is intended for visitors to come and learn about growing their own food – including fruit, vegetables, herbs and animals. Francis Quinn, the 2013 BBC2 Bake-Off programme winner is attending the event and will be running a baking and decorating demonstration. Pippa Greenwood, a plant ‘pathologist’, previous presenter on BBC2s Gardeners’ World and grow-your own expert, will also be attending the event and giving talks.
The final event in the 2014 calendar is Parham’s “Autumn Foraging & Estate Life” event on Sunday 28th September. Set in the heart of its own ancient deer-park, the household at Parham would once have been self-sufficient from produce grown and reared on the estate. The event will include attendance by food and drink exhibitors, traditional woodland crafts, there will be guided deer spotting walks into Parham Park as well as fungi walks.