Ralph Dutton, 8th Baron Sherborne

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Ralph Dutton.
Hinton Ampner House. Ralph Dutton's bedroom was in the room with the bow windows to the left on the first floor.
View of the garden created by Ralph Dutton at Hinton Ampner.
Hinton Ampner House and Gardens.
The Uffizi Society, Oxford, c.1920. Ralph Dutton (wearing glasses) is seated third from left. Also in the front row are Lord Balniel, later 28th Earl of Crawford (2nd from left); Anthony Eden, subsequently Prime Minister and Earl of Avon (4th from left); and Lord David Cecil (5th from left). Second row: later Sir Henry Studholme (5th from left)

Ralph Stawell Dutton, 8th Baron Sherborne (1898–1985) was the 8th and last Baron Sherborne.[1] He created the gardens at Hinton Ampner near Alresford in Hampshire, England, and on his death left the house and garden to the National Trust.[2][3] It is now open to the public.

Ralph Dutton was the only son of Henry John Dutton (1847–1935) and Eleanor Cave (died 1946), the last of four children, with three elder sisters.[1] He started to create the garden at Hinton Ampner in the 1930s, with funding from his father.[4] Previously, the parkland came directly up to the house, which was designed to be a hunting lodge.

The house, originally built in 1793, was remodelled extensively in 1867, but was restored to its original state in 1935 by Ralph Dutton, on the death of his father. It was badly damaged by fire in 1960, but Dutton restored it again.

Dutton authored the book A Hampshire Manor that chronicles the history of the manor at Hinton Ampner and its gardens.[5] Dutton collected paintings, hung in the house, including a set of paintings of the four seasons by Jacob de Wit, depicting cherubs painted in a three-dimensional monochrome style. He also had a well-stocked library in the house, which was damaged in the fire.

Other non-fiction books authored by the 8th Baron Sherborne:[6]

  • The English Country House [1935]
  • The English Garden [1937]
  • The Land of France (with Lord Holden) [1939]
  • The English Interior [1948]
  • Wessex [1950]
  • The Age of Wren [1951]
  • London Homes [1952]
  • Normandy and Brittany [1953]
  • The Victorian Home [1954]
  • The Châteaux of France [1957]
  • English Court Life [1963]

Dutton was appointed High Sheriff of Hampshire for 1944. He was also Trustee of the Wallace Collection.[7] A great-grandson of John Dutton, 2nd Baron Sherborne, Ralph Dutton became the 8th Baron Sherborne on the death of Charles Dutton, 7th Baron Sherborne in 1982. With no direct heirs and unmarried, he gave his estate, including Hinton Ampner, to the National Trust on his death in 1985.


Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by
Charles Dutton
Baron Sherborne