Parham House & Gardens, the award-winning Elizabethan Country House estate located just outside Storrington in West Sussex, is re-opening to visitors on Easter Sunday, 5th April, for its 67th year.
Parham is a much-loved family home, first opened to the public in 1948 by Clive and Alicia Pearson, who had lovingly and painstakingly restored the House & Gardens.
Their sentiment and ethos has continued to echo through the decades, described as a “House of Magic” by Simon Jenkins, this fascinating and tranquil place offers a memorable day out for all ages.
Open on Easter Sunday, 5th April and Bank Holiday Monday, 6th April, visitors will be able to enjoy a weekend of Easter Fun including an Easter Trail, an Easter Bunny with chocolate treats, a hatchery to visit and garden games to play.
The Gardens are open between 12 noon and 5pm on both days and the House will be open between 2pm and 5pm with last entry at 4.30pm.
Homemade lunches, cakes and cream teas will be available in the ‘Big Kitchen’ throughout the season, and wherever possible produce from the garden is used.
Families are warmly welcome to visit and take part in the Easter Trail, where the children can find clues and answer puzzles in the House, Garden or both.
The Easter Bunny will be bouncing around with chocolate prizes for everyone who successfully completes the trail! There will also be a hatchery – courtesy of Sussex Garden Poultry – with incubators cherishing fertile eggs laid by chickens, quail and ducks. Visitors will be able to see week-old and day-old chicks, as well as (hopefully) hatching eggs.
There has been a hive of activity throughout the House and Gardens during the closed season.
The Pleasure Grounds have received an overhaul, and Head Gardener Tom Brown and his team have been creating new planting beds of native Sussex plants to encourage wildlife and create habitats.
As 2015 is the ‘Year of the Sunflower’, 90 different varieties of sunflowers will be planted in a border in the Walled Garden. All the seeds have been sourced and bought from UK seed suppliers, and the blooms will be cut and used in flower arrangements in the house from July onwards.
In the house, The Great Chamber has been newly painted and vital maintenance jobs completed, including work to the massive roof.
The furniture has been mended, as some items received a few knocks last season. The dust sheets are now coming off and our fantastic housekeeping team are busy bringing the house out of hibernation, dusting and polishing ready for Easter Sunday.
The Events Season at Parham this year includes two new events - the Parham Harvest Fair on Saturday 26th & Sunday 27th September and a Halloween Trail on Friday 30th, Saturday 31st October and Sunday 1st November.
The Parham Harvest Fair brings together the very best of homemade food, locally grown produce and small holding, as well as activities such as deer walks and seasonal cookery demonstrations.
This event is an amalgamation of the highly successful ‘Grow Your Own’ and ‘Autumn Foraging’ events, based around the burgeoning interest in cookery and food, both eaten and homegrown.
This year (on Saturday 26th) ITV’s ‘This Morning’ chef Phil Vickery will be demonstrating some of his favourite seasonal game recipes from his recent book ‘Game’ with the ingredients being sourced directly from the Parham Estate.
On Sunday 27th, Rosemary Moon will be back by popular demand, showing us how to create delicious dishes with the very best fresh produce of the season.
The Halloween Trail on 30th, 31st October and 1st November will include a spooky pumpkin trail (with pumpkins from Parham’s pumpkin patch), there will be a parliament of owls and meet the resident witch (if you dare)!
There will also be a ghost hunt and deer-stalking in the park.
The 22nd annual Garden Weekend event on the weekend of the 11th & 12th July. Gardener and Broadcaster Rachel de Thame will be opening the event on 11th. Rachel is a rose and cut flower enthusiast and champion.
Parham Plant and Garden shop will be open to visitors free of charge from 10am – 12:30pm on standard open days.
Discover over 200 specialist perennials home grown at Parham by the garden team and enjoy a complimentary coffee. The members of the Garden Team will be available to give advice. Season Ticket holders receive 10% off all purchases.
The Parham House & Gardens Season Tickets are now valid for one year from the date in which the membership starts, making it excellent value.
Members also receive 10% off purchases in the Plant & Garden Shop and becoming a Season Ticket holder supports the work of the Parham Park Trust charity. The 2015 prices: £20 for a Single ticket, £35 for a Double and £50 for a Family ticket.
Lady Emma Barnard commented: “My grandparents Clive & Alicia Pearson were passionate about sharing Parham with the public and they embraced the whole process with characteristic care and ardour.
“We remain as passionate about sharing Parham today, and our overarching aim is to create pleasure for all those who come.
“We are delighted to offer new events and developments each season, and hope to welcome you soon.”
Visit www.parhaminsussex.co.uk Tel: 01903 742021 firstname.lastname@example.org
Parham House and Gardens, Parham Park, Pulbrough, West Sussex RH20 4HS (Sat Nav users: RH20 4HR)
Report and pictures contributed by Zanny Gilchrist.