16 March 2023 - The Colourful Story of Sutton Place

From Jekyll to Jellicoe and Beyond - The Story of Sutton Place. Sutton Place, near Guildford, is a Grade I listed Tudor manor house built around 1525 for a courtier of Henry VIII. It is of great importance to art history in showing some of the earliest traces of Italianate renaissance design elements in English architecture. It was famously owned by J Paul Getty from 1959 until his death in 1976. John was head gardener there when it was owned by Stanley J. Seeger who set up the Sutton Place Heritage Trust and opened it up for public events. When Stanley Seeger sold Sutton Place it was bought by Frederick Koch who set up the Sutton Place Foundation which carried out major work on both house and garden over the next 15 years.

Professional gardener John Humphris was head gardener at Borde Hill for many years, and then garden manager at Sutton Place for nearly 20 years until he retired. In 2009 he was honoured with the RHS Victoria Medal of Honour for his services to horticulture. He is the RHS Ornamental Show Judge for the RHS, and is on the RHS Woody Plant Trials sub-committee, the Bursaries Committee, and the Awards Committee. John is the chairman of the Easebourne Garden and Allotment Society and has spoken to The Midhurst Society in the past.