Hammerwood Park

Hammerwood Park, East Grinstead: Hours, Address, Hammerwood Park Reviews: 4/5

Hammerwood Park
4
Wednesday
2:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Saturday
2:00 PM - 4:30 PM
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4.0
11 reviews
Excellent
5
Very good
2
Average
2
Poor
2
Terrible
0

Rochebonnechateau
Saint-Just-Luzac, France108 contributions
eccentric
Mar 2020
Probably of great interest to musicians and musical people as there is a collection of pianos and other instruments, doubtless valuable. The owner is a talented musician and we appreciated that. However, we are not music people and it rapidly got very boring, not least because is was cold, dirty, disorganised and hugely messy. Wellies and antiques jostle for space side my side, along with dogs, umbrellas, porcelain, glass, food and all the rest. Frankly, paying to see this place is just paying for the owner's collection of musical instruments. Sorry.
Written March 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Walter J
Wadhurst, UK40 contributions
An amazing experience p
May 2019
Hammerwood Park which is about 4 miles from East Grinstead is an extraordinarily Mansion designed by an
American architect and built about 250 years ago. It occupies a great site of many acres very secluded.
It was built at enormous cost. Over the years it has seen many wealthy occupants. That was in the good times but
as time went by the expense of maintenance became to much and gradually the building fell into decay.At one time
it was purchased about 1950 by a group of musicians. The biggest problem was dry rot which attacked all the
timber. Very fortunately it was purchased by a wealthy young man who made it his mission to restore the property
to it’s former glory over a period of several years. It is now open to the public on 3 days a week during the spring and summer months. Highly recommended you should visit and if you need a restaurant there are plenty in East
Grinstead.
Written August 9, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Romina R
3 contributions
Fascinating place and history
Jun 2019 • Couples
A magnificent place with a lot of history,the tour is full of passion and enthusiasm for the house and of course? if it was built in 1782 and brings with it a fascinating history. It's worth knowing the place and hiking around on a sunny day is the best. A family home, a family environment where preserving history is a constant goal!
Written June 26, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Margaret W
Maidstone, UK94 contributions
Interesting but not what was expected!
May 2019
Visited this property with our Morgan Car Club expecting it to be about the history of the house. It was set in beautiful parkland but was a very cold day and much of the owner's talk was outside which was a little uncomfortable. Mr Pinnegar bought this house as a ruin when he was 21 after graduating from uni so his eccentricity is to be expected!! He also is an ardent collector of historic musical instruments.
Written June 16, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Elaine C
Orpington, UK64 contributions
Excellent
Jun 2018 • Couples
Very interesting and animated tour of this Grade 1 listed building. The amount of work involved in rescuing this property is mind boggling, it is also a functioning family home, not a museum. The collection of musical instruments added to the interest of the house. Tea and cakes, served in the Elgin Room, were lovely and very welcome.
Written June 10, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Pds1
Birmingham, UK331 contributions
Hhmmm where to start!!
Sep 2017 • Couples
So my husband and I have very different views of this! He found it so hilariously funny that he was rather entertained!
My view is this: we arrive at 1.45ish to the owner telling 2 other couples they were 'idiots' for parking in the wrong direction. We were told to meet at the front of the house. The owner was our guide and sadly spent the first 40 minutes of the tour talking in the blistering heat with no shade. I thought the poor old gentlemen next to us was going to pass out. We were all desperate for shade but he just kept going on about Greek gods etc. I thought once we went into the house we would actually hear more about the history but alas we didn't! This tour was not really much about the house but more the owners obsession with his musical instruments and how many he can play. The house is rather over crowded with his possessions and anyone with an obsession with tidying will fill the need to want to have a major tidy and clean up!
It ended with tea and cakes (which you have to pay extra for) but the room had very dirty / dusty chairs in it.
If you want a quirky tour about Greek gods and physics then I recommend to go. If you like just looking at the history of houses and how nice it is kept then this is not for you.
The owner is very eccentric which my husband found a high source of amusement, sadly most people either looked bored or laughing.
Written September 2, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews like this make me sympathise more with Basil Fawlty every day. The building is a Grade I part of the national heritage and with international importance. It houses significant musical instruments of national and international importance from the vestiges of the Colt Collection and the collection formerly at Finchcocks, which are demonstrated. The heritage is not worth preserving unless it makes us think. Both the historical context of the house and its unique architecture as well as the preservation of the musical instruments from classical composers' times have thoughts in different fields to give to us in the 21st century. It's rather a shame that my explanation was clearly inadequate. The house has no support from any national organisation and depends on whatever volunteers are able to give their time and devotion to the preservation of the place. We would welcome you as a volunteer. With 1/3rd acre of floorboards my wife and I do find getting around with a duster rather a challenge.
Written July 15, 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Sophiebella2013
East Grinstead, UK85 contributions
Fascinating, entertaining and interestingly different
May 2016 • Friends
A very different type of 'tour' with a start in what looks like Miss Haversham's dining room. With guided tour of this renovated property by the owner was a unique experience followed by tea/cakes and an organ recital.
Written March 1, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Zinqtraveller
6 contributions
Be prepared for an alternative to National Trust!
May 2016 • Family
Hammerwood is owned by a family that are passionate about the house. They are equally passionate about classical music and instruments.

Don't expect the smooth ordered norm of a National Trust property! Is owner is very enthusiastic but he has not attended the ultra PC training courses of today.

It's in a lovely rural location. Expansive grounds but don't expect lots of flowers. The family are kept busy with the enormous house,.

Keep an eye on their website for concerts. It's a lovely quirky venue.

Definitely worth a visit!
Written January 31, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

jubilad0
west sussex41 contributions
What a project!
Jul 2016 • Friends
You need to understand what Hammerwood is. It's an enormous house, originally built in 1792 by Benjamin Latrobe who went on to remodel the White House, set in glorious parkland, having its glory days in the 19th century, falling into disastrious disrepair and the wreck bought in 1982 to become a family home and almost limitless amatuer restoration project. It's not a stately home run by the National Trust open 9 to 5, 364 days a year any more than yours is. David Pinnegar who has made it his life's work will take you round and chat about it - any Wednesday or Saturday at 2pm from June to September. He's also a great enthusiast for musical instruments and organises concerts. He is, perhaps of necessity, something of an eccentric and you may learn more of Dionysus than you feel you need to but he knows, and loves, everything about the house. And the afternoon tea is a knockout.
Written August 1, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Lynn E
Sussex12 contributions
Great house - shame about the guide
Sep 2015 • Couples
As other reviewers have mentioned this place is not open often - and even when it is you are expected to arrive at the time it opens for a guided tour. You are not free to wander independently which would be fine if this was clear on the website. When we arrived (a good 45 minutes after the opening time we could not find anyone to show us where to go and ran into the 'tour' by accident through an open door. Far from being welcomed we were told we were late and to hurry up!!!!
What followed was, to be fair, a very enthusiastic informative tour of the building, however it was delivered by the owner whose presentation was idiosyncratic at best and verging on strange and self obsessed at worst. Neither of us appreciated the constant references to 'donations being welcome due to the expensive upkeep'. Clearly the owner has expertise in all manner of keyboard instruments and used every opportunity to demonstrate his prowess. This could have been delightful but ended up being over demanding and then boring - especially when we had to sit through a badly recorded tape of his recent concert.
This is all a terrible shame as it is clearly a wonderful house with some amazing features and history but we were made to feel very uncomfortable and would never return.
NB There was no entrance fee but a donation is requested at the end of the tour!! We didn't stay for the tea so can't comment on that - but frankly we were relieved to get away
Written December 4, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews like this make me sympathise more with Basil Fawlty every day. The website https://www.hammerwoodpark.co.uk/visit.php expressly details "The tour starts at 2:05 p.m. and lasts approximately an hour and a half. Please arrive by 2 p.m. " and it's apparent that this review is based upon having missed half the tour with resulting misunderstandings. The building is a Grade I part of the national heritage and with international importance. It houses significant musical instruments of national and international importance from the vestiges of the Colt Collection and the collection formerly at Finchcocks, which are demonstrated. The heritage is not worth preserving unless it makes us think. Both the historical context of the house and its unique architecture as well as the preservation of the musical instruments from classical composers' times have thoughts in different fields to give to us in the 21st century. The house has much to give to people open to thinking. It's rather a shame that my explanation was clearly inadequate. The house has no support from any national organisation and depends on whatever volunteers are able to give their time and devotion to the preservation of the place. We would welcome you as a volunteer. We are not a commercial operation offering a service. People who wanted to get the house for the purposes of property development sued the house for excess use of the road and aimed to bankrupt the restoration in legal fees. Access restrictions to the house preclude the house from earning its keep in any meaningful way and it exists now some decades since the dereliction of 1982 only as a result of sacrifices that many people have made in order for it to survive. Clearly in my references to donations my explanation was clearly inadequate for which I apologise. Or perhaps my explanations were adequate but you missed them because you missed the first 45 minutes of the tour. Perhaps that's why when we're generous enough to welcome you through an open door instead of locking you out entirely I might express frustration that either I have to repeat 45 minutes of tour including an all important introduction to the house, its history and its context, or else risk the major misunderstandings and lack of appreciation demonstrated by your opinion expressed. Please do come on another day for a free tour at 2pm and if you'd like please telephone 01342 850594 to ask for my wife to be doing the tour.
Written July 15, 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Hammerwood Park

Hammerwood Park is open:
  • Wed - Wed 2:00 PM - 4:30 PM
  • Sat - Sat 2:00 PM - 4:30 PM


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