The park and gardens of Blickling Hall lie one and a half miles north
west of the market town of Aylsham. Built between 1616 and 1627 its a
masterpiece of Jacobean architecture. Famed for its spectacular long
gallery, superb library and fine collections of furniture pictures and
The Hall contains one of the finest ceilings in England measuring 120
feet in length adorned with an intricately plastered ceiling, and
offering fine views of the gardens on the east side of the house.
Its gardens are full of colour throughout the year with both formal
gardens and extensive parklands complete with lake. Incorporating
important elements created by the leading garden designers over the past
Blickling Hall hosts lots of events both inside the hall and also open
air concerts in the grounds during the summer months. For more pictures
of Blickling Hall and its lands look at the gallery on the location page
The first manor house to be built at Blickling was owned by Harold Earl
of the East Saxons who later became King of England.
The Boleyns - Sir John Fastolfe (immortalized by Shakespeare) sold
Blickling to his neighbour and protégé Geoffrey Boleyn in 1437. In
1505 Blickling Hall was inherited by his grandson Sir Thomas Boleyn,
whose daughter Anne Boleyn became the second wife of Henry VIII. Since
Anne's date of birth has never been confirmed its not certain where she
was born. If she was born in 1501 then its possible that she was born at
Blickling Hall, but if her date of birth was 1507 then she is more
likely to have been born at Hever Castle. Certainly records indicate
that by 1505 Sir Thomas Boleyn was living at Hever Castle with his wife
Elizabeth and their three children which included Anne. After Anne's and
her brother Georges death both her parents died leaving no heirs,
Blickling passed into the ownership of Sir Edward Clere.
The Hobarts - The hall was brought In 1616 by Sir
Henry Hobart from Sir Edward Clere who had allowed the hall to become
quite dilapidated. Sir Henry set about tearing down the medieval
moated manor house and replacing it with another Hall. Many
similarities exist between Blickling Hall and Hatfield House, as a
result of Sir Henry employing the same architect to re-design Blickling
Hall in 1619. Lyminge, was required to incorporate much of the existing
medieval fabric into the new Jacobean building, which presented him with
a real challenge. Another Hobart was involved in one of the last duels
to be fought in Norfolk on 21st August 1698 on Cawston Heath. The
contestants were Sir Henry Hobart MP of Blickling Hall and Oliver Le
Neve, a lawyer from Great Witchingham
The most distinguished Hobarts was the 2nd Earl of Buckinghamshire who
was Ambassador to Russia. It was he who brought home the gigantic
tapestry of Czar Peter the Great at the Battle of Poltawa, a gift from
Catherine the Great. This tapestry can be seen in the Peter The Great
Lothian - In 1850 the property passed to the 11th Marquis of Lothian, it
was he who left Blickling Hall and 4,500 acres of estate to the National
Trust on his death in 1940.
During the Second World War Blickling Hall was requisitioned and was
used as an Officers Mess for nearby RAF Oulton. At the end of the war
The National Trust let Blicking Hall to tenants but in 1960 the Trust
began to restore the hall and the grounds. Blickling Hall was
first opened to the public in 1962.
The Ghosts of Blickling Hall - Sir Thomas Boleyn father of Anne Boleyn
was said to have been cursed for taking no action to stop two of his
children being executed by Henry VIII. Each year his spectre has
to attempt to cross 12 bridges before cockcrow. His frantic route takes
him from Blickling, to Aylsham, Burgh, Buxton, Coltishall, Meyton,
Oxnead and Wroxham.
is also said to haunt her ancestral home on the anniversary of her
execution. As the clock strikes midnights she appears in a coach driven
by a headless coach man and four headless horses. Anne, herself if
of course headless.
In 1945 'The Wicked Lady' with Margaret
Lockwood and James Mason was filmed at Blickling Hall.
There is a pyramid within
the grounds of Blickling Hall which contains the remains of John Hobart
the 2nd Earl of Buckinghamshire and his two countesses. Modelled on the
Roman pyramidal tomb of Cestius, it was commissioned by his daughter
Caroline. The Earl died under mysterious circumstances in 1793. The
saying goes that Lord Buckinghamshire suffered from gout in his foot,
and that after immersing his foot in cold water he died.