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
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
The first manor house to be built at Blickling was owned
by Harold Earl of the East Saxons who later became King
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
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.
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.
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.