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Built in 1643, Wimpole Hall has been altered a number of times by subsequent owners to become the largest country house in Cambridgeshire. Various architects have participated in its construction, the most notable being Soane; examples of his style include the Bathhouse, Book Room and the striking Yellow Drawing Room.
Elsie Bambridge, the last owner of Wimpole, bequeathed her estate to the National Trust in 1976, after having spent a life time reconstructing it from the day purchased it in 1938. What you see today is a culmination of development of the earlier owners and the collection assembled by Captain George and Elsie Bambridge.
In the gardens, the work of Soane continues to stand out. He is best remembered as the architect of the Bank of England, but he also designed magnificent glasshouses at Wimpole Hall. A Second World War bomb shattered his masterpiece, but the fragile structures have now been rebuilt and are open to the public. Originally built in 1794 to grow pineapples and vines, the National Trust recreated them according to Soane's original designs. This was the final flourish in a two-year restoration of Wimpole's five-acre walled garden, and was completed in 2000. Although modern building regulations and health and safety legislation meant that certain aspects of the design had to be adapted, they have also been designed to allow wheelchair access.
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