About Blickling Hall
Blickling Hall is a stately home of historic importance in Norfolk, England.
History of Blickling Hall
The original banqueting hall on the Blickling Estate was built in the 15th century, when the estate was in the possession of Sir John Fastolf. Blickling’s most famous resident was Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII and Queen of England between 1533 and 1536. The Boleyn family owned Blickling, and resided here for the first few years of the 16th century. Historians generally believe all three of the surviving Boleyn children – Anne, Mary and George, were born here.
In 1616, Sir Henry Hobart, Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas bought Blickling, and commissioned the architect Robert Lyminge to build him a house. Hobart’s heraldry can be seen throughout the estate. The house stayed in the Hobart family until the 18th century, with each owner making alterations and additions.
In 1785, the house passed down the female line, ending up in the possession of William Kerr, 8th Marquess of Lothian. In 1940, the last private owner of Blickling, Philip Kerr, died and left the house to the National Trust. By this point, it had already been requisitioned for use in wartime, and was used as the Officers’ Mess for the nearby RAF Oulton.
At the end of the war, Blickling was de-requisitioned and let to tenants until 1960. The house then underwent a major refurbishment programme to restore the house sympathetically to reflect its history. Blickling opened to the public in 1962. In more recent years, it has been the site of various innovations, including a heat pump system which used residual warmth from the lake to heat parts of the house, and the deployment of wasps in order to control moth infestations.
Blickling Hall today
Blickling remains in the care of the National Trust – the house and estate make for an excellent day out, and there’s plenty to see and do on site. The Jacobean house is glorious – look out for the grand entrance hall and staircase in its original style, as well as 1930s style Brown Drawing Room. The Chinese Bedroom also has some of the best surviving examples of original Chinese wallpaper in the UK today.
Make sure you take the time to stretch your legs and enjoy a walk around the grounds and gardens of Blickling.
Getting to Blickling Hall
Blickling is in Norfolk, about halfway between Norwich and Cromer via the A140: it’s signposted from the main road with brown signs. Allow 30 minutes from Norwich. If you’re coming by public transport, trains and buses go to Aylsham, 2 miles away. You’ll need to call ahead to book a cab, or walk the remaining distance – there are footpaths, notably the Weavers’ Way.
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