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The Women of Athelhampton

Join an exclusive tour with the Estate Manager, Owen Davies. Discover the extraordinary women associated with Athelhampton from Tudor times to the modern day.

The Women of Athelhampton
The Women of Athelhampton

Tickets are valid on

02 Jul 2021, 09:30 – 13:30

Athelhampton House & Gardens, Athelhampton Rd, Puddletown, Dorchester DT2 7LG, UK

About The Event

Discover the extraordinary women associated with Athelhampton from Tudor times to the modern day. Isabel Farringdon founded the dynasty that stayed with the house for 400 years and we will show you her original stone Unicorns. Margaret Wadham’s wealth built the Elizabethan kitchen. (Not normally open to the public). 

The Four Martyn Sisters, Elizabeth, Jane, Frances and Anne were, unusually, allowed to inherit shares of the house. Two of their husbands were imprisoned in the Tower, and one executed, for plotting to assassinate Queen Elizabeth, and we will tell you their stories. Catherine Tylney Long counted Athelhampton as part of the fortune that made her the wealthiest heiress in Regency England. Her story involves early success in controlling her own destiny, a love-match that went horribly wrong and a legal case that laid the foundations for women’s rights to child custody in the U.K. and USA. We will see the room where Florence Dugdale, on one of many visits to Athelhampton, dined in August 1914 on the night the First World War was declared; she married Thomas Hardy and wrote his biography. 

Mrs Harmsworth made Athelhampton a centre of high society in the 1930s with guests including Noel Coward and Douglas Fairbanks and we will show you her bedroom laid out much as when she lived here.

Artist Maraevna painted many works here in the 1940s and 50s, we will see some of these including one of her daughter not normally on display.  

You are welcome to arrive any time from 9.30, before the house is open to the general public, with a welcome coffee/tea and croissant in the Parlour. At 10.15 the tour begins with the areas associated with the Tudor women, including the Marriage Chamber and the Elizabethan kitchen, and then on to the library to hear the tragic story of Catherine Tylney Long. At around 11.15 we break for refreshments in the Great Chamber, and then at 11.45 the second half of the tour will move on to areas associated with the twentieth century, including a visit to some of the private rooms at the back of the house. At about 12.45, A 2 course lunch* will be served in a private area in the Coach House, and after that you are welcome to spend as much time as you wish in the house and the wonderful gardens. *Alcoholic drinks not included

FLEXIBLE BOOKING and COVID GUARANTEE: Pay now, but fully refundable until three weeks before the visit when the ticket becomes non-refundable; however if we or you are forced to cancel at anytime before the day due to Covid, all charges are refundable or we will happily re-book you.

In the event that Covid restrictions prevent the House from opening, the tour will be cancelled and your ticket price refunded.


  • 45 minutes

    Arrival, Coffee / Tea & Croissants

    The Parlour

  • 1 hour

    Tour (Part 1) Tudor, Elizabethan & Regency

    Around the House
3 more items available


  • Women of Athelhampton Tour

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