Blickling Hall

                    (c) by John Ashley Photography

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 tapestries.
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 three centuries. 

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 for Blickling.

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.

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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 Room. 

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.

Anne Boleyn 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.

For Norfolk or Suffolk Self Catering - Click                    the Self Catering or Accommodations Link.s. In 1945  'The Wicked Lady' with Margaret Lockwood and James Mason was filmed at Blickling Hall.

For Norfolk or Suffolk Bisto 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.

Picture (c)
                    by John Ashley Photography